Remember to thank your wife

PUBLISHED: 10:42 31 August 2012 | UPDATED: 21:48 20 February 2013

Remember to thank your wife

Remember to thank your wife

Newly-married journalist Chris Brierley gives his tips on how to stay calm and deliver the perfect speech.

Remember to thank your wife

Newly-married journalist Chris Brierley gives his tips on how to stay calm and deliver the perfect speech.

The grooms speech

Being a journalist you would think standing up and giving a speech would be easy. In some respects it was but, in other ways, it was challenging.

My fiance - (she is now Mrs B) - bought a grooms book months before the wedding. I think it was a prompt for me to start thinking of what I was going to say. She ordered a nice little book from Amazon and it was presented to me one Sunday afternoon.

I flicked through it whilst sitting in the bath, put it down, picked it up a few weeks later and then left it to gather dust on my bookshelf until a month before the wedding.

With the big day fast approaching I decided to lock myself away in the lounge with a few beers and write.

My job involves me being able to make complicated stories accessible, so a lot of what I do needs to be concise, pithy and to the point. I can also talk for England if you let me. So the key was to be selective and to be ruthless at editing myself down.

I approached writing my speech as follows:

1) I wrote a list of events/stories/tales from Kim and my courtship so far that I wanted to share with people. I disregarded those that were either inappropriate or too gushy or simply not ones I wanted to share.

2) I did use the guide book to get an idea of structure. It gave me a insight into who I needed to thank and jokes that I could steal or adapt. The joke I used was one about mothers-in-law and dragons and it did actually work. Only use a joke if you have that kind of relationship with your future MIL.

3) I learnt from experience. My brother in his speech forgot to thank his wife. I made sure she was at the top of my list. And Ive been to weddings where the speeches have gone on and on so I wanted mine to last no more than 10 minutes.

4) I did a brain storm and wrote a long list of things to get in.

5) Then I left the list for a week and came back to it adding and deleting stuff.

6) Once Id written it, I then edited it down. With my job Im used to delivering scripts as though its a conversation. I wrote my speech as if I was going to read it word for word. If you are worried then write bullet points and have some blurb under headings instead.

What worried me most was about getting the right tone and making it appeal to everyone. You dont want to be telling crude jokes which might upset your father-in-law or great-grandmother.

A hairy moment was the line about seeing Kim as long-term girlfriend material and not a one-night stand. I think I managed to pull it off with my cheeky next line of Well baby, you are actually more than long-term girlfriend material. You are my best mate and now youre my wife.

A good friend decided to heckle in jest but I brushed it off and it made people laugh. The key to the speech for me was getting the thankyous sorted without forgetting everyone but really it was about giving people an insight into my love for my wife.

For me talking is how I make a living. Although I was a little nervous worrying about what the best man might say. But put that out of your mind and just concentrate on own your speech.

Chriss four tips:

1. Give yourself enough time to write it.

2. Read it out aloud and, if you want to share, its worth delivering it in front of someone you trust.

3. Make sure you look at people when delivering it, dont spend all your time reading from notes. Look around the room. People will be smiling and its about engaging with them.

4. Make sure you thank your new and beautiful wife for doing you the honour of marrying you. And make sure you compliment the mother and father-in-law.

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