Covering Coronavirus in your wedding speech
27 Jan 2021
2020 was certainly a year most of us will never forget, with around 196,500 weddings postponed to 2021. Wedding and after-dinner speech writer Marc Blakewill offers his advice on making reference to the events of 2020 in your wedding speech
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Above: Wedding and after-dinner speech writer Marc Blakewill writing a wedding speech
Weddings will be back, hopefully, in spring. And if you’re due to make a speech, so is the stress. Not only do you have the usual worries about length, structure and jokes, there is a certain subject you feel you should mention: yes, the virus. It’s put a factory-full of spanners in the works; it’s made you worry about the health of your family and friends; it’s basically been a solar-system-sized headache. So, now the wedding’s back on, you feel it needs to be covered in your speech. The question is: how?
First, the good news. However you’ve been affected, everyone will want to release their frustration about this infernal pandemic. And that frustration can be turned into funnies. So, here are some tips on how to cover the Covid.
If the wedding was postponed, you’ve got a natural “in” at the very top of the speech. You might want to keep it simple and start with: “So, finally…”.
Alternatively, you could joke about the original wedding date. “Prince said he’d party like it’s 1999. Today we’re going to party like it’s 6th June 2020.”
People might expect a reference to Covid, so why not play with their expectations? For example: “The reasons for the postponement are fairly clear. I insisted on wearing my old suit and it’s taken this long to fit in it.”
You could also turn the thanks on their head. You are, of course, delighted everyone has come. You know they’d much rather be self-isolating at home watching repeats of Homes Under The Hammer or doing yet another Zoom quiz.
If the story is still current, you could refer to considering Barnard Castle as an alternative venue. Unfortunately, Dominic Cummings has already booked it for a repeat eye test.
Killing two birds with one stone, you could thank people for their generosity and smuggle in a stockpiling joke. You’re glad things are now back to normal. At one point, the wedding list was “hand sanitizer, pasta and toilet roll.”
If you’re the best man, this gives you all sorts of angles. Perhaps the groom didn’t notice anything different with social distancing as people usually cross the road when they see him.
The pandemic could give you a chance to subvert a standard compliment. You heard the bride would look stunning in white. You’re just glad it wasn’t a white biohazard suit.
The “Stay Home – Stay Alert” slogan will be in people’s minds for a long time, so why not have some fun and adapt your own: * Stay upright * Control your glass * Slurp wine
But however you choose to cover the Coronavirus, don’t overdo it. If you’ve got an interesting anecdote, great. If not, keep references limited and brief. The pandemic has dominated our lives, you don’t want it to dominate your speech.