Worried About Writing A Wedding Speech? An Etiquette Expert Shares Her Top 5 Do's and Don'ts (Exclusive)

Jacqueline Whitmore, an etiquette expert, says when it comes to wedding speeches – practice makes perfect!

<p>Getty</p> A young woman is giving speech during an event


A young woman is giving speech during an event

When it comes to writing wedding speeches Jacqueline Whitmore has a few tricks up her sleeve.

As an etiquette expert, she says one of her main suggestions when it comes to wedding speeches is to maintain eye contact with the bride and groom as well as the audience to convey your sincerity.

"Speeches follow a set order with the best man, maid of honor and parents of the couple speaking before other guests," the founder of The Protocol School of Palm Beach, an etiquette industry’s leading coaching and training company, tells PEOPLE.

Speaking with PEOPLE Whitmore shares 5 of her top pieces of advice for preparing and giving a speech at a wedding. One of the most important tips she wants people to keep in mind? Keep it simple!

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<p>Getty</p> Man makes a wedding speech


Man makes a wedding speech

1. (KISS) Keep It Short and Simple 

"One of the cardinal rules of wedding speech etiquette is brevity. While it's tempting to share a lifetime of memories and anecdotes, guests may not have the patience for a long-winded speech," Whitmore says.

"Keep your speech concise and to the point, focusing on the most important messages or stories you want to convey."

2. Know Your Audience

"Understanding your audience is paramount when crafting your wedding speech. You'll be speaking in front of a diverse group of people, including family, friends, and sometimes even children," she says.

"To ensure that your speech is appropriate and engaging for all, avoid using inside jokes or references that only a few people will understand. Instead, opt for universal themes like love, unity, and happiness that resonate with everyone in attendance," she adds.

3. Keep it Upbeat and Positive 

Whitmore says: "A wedding is a celebration of love and happiness, so your speech should reflect these positive emotions. Choose your words carefully, and steer clear of controversial topics or any anecdotes that could be embarrassing or hurtful to the couple (i.e., past relationships)."

"It's also wise to avoid excessive use of humor, as it can be a double-edged sword, potentially offending or alienating some guests. A balance between humor and sincerity is the key to a memorable and well-received speech," she continues.

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4. Practice Makes Perfect

"Rehearse your speech multiple times to ensure you feel comfortable delivering it," the expert adds.

"Practice will help you avoid stumbling over words and will increase your confidence when speaking in front of a large audience. Consider recording yourself or rehearsing in front of a trusted friend or family member who can provide constructive feedback," she shares.

5. Keep it Classy

"The final piece of advice for mastering wedding speech etiquette is the art of toasting. At the end of your speech, it's customary to raise your glass and propose a toast to the newlyweds," Whitmore says. "When doing so, remember to keep it concise, classy, and heartwarming. You can say something as simple as, "To the love, joy, and lifelong happiness of [couples’ names]!" 

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Read the original article on People.