By: Susan Dugdale | Last modified: 04-29-2021
50th wedding anniversary speeches!
Here's the recipe to help you tell a perfect golden wedding anniversary love story; to make a 50th wedding anniversary toast.
Whether you're the husband, wife, a dear friend, or child of the couple celebrating, you'll want the speech you give to touch the hearts and minds of all who hear it.
The goal is to distill the essence of 50 years of marriage into 4 to 5 minutes; to make your audience laugh, cry a little and reflect. If that seems a little daunting, I understand. ☺
Here's a logical step-by-step process that will take you through everything you need to do to achieve the impact you want. So please, take the time you need and follow it.
The type of content people would like, and expect, to hear in a 50th wedding anniversary speech is:
There's obviously something very special holding this marriage together. 50 years of partnership has values worthy of celebration! Acknowledging and sharing them is truly inspirational for everyone. What positive qualities underpin this marriage?
First gather your ingredients.
The easiest way to do this is to 'brainstorm' as shown in the image below.
Allow yourself at least 30 minutes of uninterrupted, quiet time.
In your mind, as vividly as you can, see the couple you want to write about.
Then on a blank piece of paper and without any thought of order, (beginning, middle or end of your speech), start jotting down ideas as they come to you.
(You could open a new document and do this on your computer too. I just happen to find it easier to access ideas with a pen in my hand.)
Think in pictures and make them big, multi-colored ones. Now add sound, smell, feelings or taste to bring those memories back to life. It's like making movies in your mind!
As each image/thought occurs note down a single word or a phrase - just enough to serve as a peg to hold onto the idea securely. You'll return to it later to flesh it out in detail, if you decide it's wanted.
Do not dwell too long on any one idea. Work quickly and keep going until you run out of ideas, time or paper!
Now go back through your notes and review them.
Get rid of the weak and only keep the best or strongest ideas; making sure everything you've kept fits with the tone you want to achieve, and is relevant to your audience.
Tweak until you've got the balance how you want it.
Your brainstorm notes may end up covered with circles, arrows, and scribbled out bits. You may even want to do another before you consider yourself ready to move on.
With your notes ready to go you're set for the next step; organizing the speech. This is where you will order the flow of your material.
You'll decide what comes first. What comes next? And what's the link between these ideas?
Can you see a theme uniting all your material?
If you're relatively new to preparing speeches you may find it helpful to read through my page on how to outline a speech. This will give you a better understanding of how to structure what you want to say.
You'll also find a blank speech outline template to download. That will guide you through structuring the opening, body and conclusion of your speech - ensuring you get your notes in the best and most effective order possible.
You may not need, or use, all the steps I've put into the outline. However what is absolutely certain is that you'll need the basic three-part format: an introduction, a body and a conclusion.
Writing the outline of the speech is only part of the process. Rehearsing it is essential if you want it to be memorable, for the right reasons.
Once you practice it out loud you'll find out whether it's too long, too short, the content doesn't flow as well as it could or there may even be parts needing a complete overhaul.
If possible give your speech to a couple of close family members or friends and ask them for feedback to help you fine tune.
Practice too if you can in the venue. This will give you an idea of the volume you need in order to be heard and where to stand to be seen by everybody.
The more practice you do, the better it will be! Please don't be tempted to 'wing it'.