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Why Musical Wedding Speeches Are Tone Deaf

(March 2017)

Understandably, we at Wedding Speech Builder are no fans of musical wedding speeches. Well, if everyone did them, we'd be out of a job. But self-preservation aside, there are a few genuine reasons why you should never consider putting a performance in place of a traditionally spoken speech.

It's Awkward

Picture the scene: an audience has just enjoyed a beautifully composed tribute from a doting father, and the whole room is wondering where all these onions have suddenly come from. With bated breath, they await the turn of the Groom, whose own words will surely cause everyone present to cry all the water out of their body.

But wait, what is he doing? Is that a boombox? Is… is that an acoustic guitar? Oh, Christ no, he's going to sing, isn't he? Jesus wept. And so, much to everyone's collective embarrassment, the Groom finishes setting up his cheap, rented equipment complete with background hum, and before you know it, he's warbling his way through a Take That track with a voice so out of tune that all the local dogs have caved their own skulls in.

Musical speeches have no place at a wedding, end of discussion. All you'll end up with is a cringeworthy performance and an audience full of sycophants smiling awkwardly and clapping along out of desperate anxiety and kindness. I mean sure, the professionals might be able to pull it off, as our site's founder Chris Tait explains in this interview with BBC Radio.

But you are almost certainly not a professional, and even if you are, there's another reason you should think twice about going with a gimmick.

It's Egotistical

This video has been given the title of "The best best man's speech ever!". It features Youtube personality Daniel Buccheri singing a medley of popular songs tailored to the bride and groom. Now the fact that he's a Youtube star should make you realise how much of a self-promoting knob this guy is already, but when you consider that he's made himself the focus of attention on his brother's big day it really hammers home what a monumental bell-piece he is.

I don't care how soulful your voice is, how deep your lyrics are and how much thought has gone into your clever little sing-song; you never, ever step on the toes of the happy couple in this way. I don't doubt that this probably went down well at the time, and Mr Buccheri almost certainly got laid after this performance, if not during. But is it really fair for someone other than the bride or groom to be the most memorable part of the day? No, it is not.

If you want to promote your singing abilities, get your arse down the pub on open mic night. If you want to do your best man duties, turn the spotlight firmly onto the bride, the groom and no-one else.

It's Lazy

Using music or videos to entertain your guests is a complete and utter cop-out because all you're doing is relying on someone else's words or some old found footage instead of composing a piece yourself. And for the love of God, don't offer up some kind of dance or PowerPoint presentation in lieu of speech, unless you want to go full-on David Brent here.

Telling a story really isn't that hard you know, and it's always far more satisfying for an audience to use their imagination than to spoon-feed them the details using photographs and video clips. Besides which, what will you do if your equipment fails? Do you stand there and announce "there was a well funny video in this bit"? No, I don't think so. You can't go wrong with a piece of paper and some heartfelt quotations, so stick to that and you'll be just fine.

If you're having trouble remembering or composing your speech, then ask for some help, either from a friend or from us lovely folk at Wedding Speech Builder. But don't take the easy route and just wing it with a cobbled together montage or a schmaltzy musical number, because this will end up providing an utterly meaningless experience to the bride, the groom and everyone present.

Your words are the most powerful tool in your inventory, and regardless of what marvels technology can offer, this will remain the case for as long as human beings congregate, fornicate and celebrate.