I’m Trying Not to Ruin the Wedding

Must get to successful toast. This is the goal.

My triplet sister’s wedding is in t-8 days and as the co-maid of honor, I will be speeching. Lord help us all.

In everyday interactions, most people expect very little from me. When I make any kind of joke, they are happy and will give me a laugh. But an audience has expectations. They expect me to be funny, charming, sincere, knowledgeable, sleepy, etc, and they demand their chuckle treats. This and any kind of expectation makes my nerve levels skyrocket.

When I have prepared and practiced for the engagement, it’s possible for everything to go smoothly. When I’m not prepared, however, and when the quotient between the audience’s expectations and my ability to perform is especially high, we’re diving head-on into the danger zone.

I often find myself fighting the temptation to stop speaking and let the entire room sink into silence. How long would they just sit there and watch me as I watch them? How long before someone spoke up and tried to make it all end?

As a sober, well-rested, and unstressed individual, my verbal filter already does a spotty job. When I’m nervous, it’s completely gone. I’ll say anything, literally anything, in order to combat the silence and fill the ever-approaching quiet.

For that reason, having me speak at a wedding is a risky decision. It’s such a special and heartwarming moment and one that’s the result of much planning and travel by many parties, that I will invariable do something to creatively offset the mood with what will be later be viewed as “inappropriate” humor.

In order to protect the wedding from myself, I’m reinforcing my filter by making a list of a few subjects that I will not, not under any circumstance, speak on or mention in order to keep the silence at bay.

I will not make any pregnancy jokes.

I will not make any jokes about or mention previous boyfriends and how we were SO surprised when sister and her fiancée got together (note: this isn’t entirely true, but it’s exactly the kind of thing I’m prone to say).

I will not bring up family squabbles or secret shames.

I will not discuss my personal sweating with anyone besides my immediate family.

I will not talk for longer than twenty (20) seconds about the wedding night in the company of grandma.

I will not mention people I think dressed poorly.

I will not make jokes about myself, other members of the wedding party, or the preacher being drunk or on drugs.

I will only make two (2) weight-related jokes about sister having to fit in her dress.

I will not complain about having to be at the wedding, how I’m bored, or how it could have been better.

I will not stray from the content of my written-out speech, unless there’s a really funny joke I can make.

These are my promises to myself and to my sister. Let’s hope for everyone’s sake that I remember this while I’m on stage fighting the silence. May I reach for my speech and not for the sex jokes.

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37 thoughts on “I’m Trying Not to Ruin the Wedding

  1. artzent says:

    Oh, I missed this, How did it turn out? I am sure that you had them all i pain from laughing!

  2. The really hard part is if you give a great speech, and then someone stands up and tries to drunkenly one-up you. Then it’s a Speech-off, and those get gruesome.

  3. Addie says:

    We’ll want photos and complete feedback, of course.

  4. Reblogged this on The Eloquence Academy and commented:
    Becoming a speaker at the wedding, as an emcee, a friend or a relative to the bride is always a nerve wrecking idea. You know that you are being entrusted with a role in the most important day of someone’s life.

    We then begin to ask ourselves “Am I going to make a fool of myself? Can I do it?”

    The thing is, we will always have our doubts, but we simply need to prepare before the event and when the time comes, speak from the heart.

    I find that speeches like these are great when you start off on a humorous note, and then suitably move to a sincere and heartfelt note.

    Here are my tips for the blogger:
    Remember that silence is powerful if you are doing a sincere speech. If you are nervous, just keep your eyes in the general direction of your sister but look into your mind, play an image of yourself doing a great relaxed speech and imitate your imagination.

    Here are some one liner jokes that you can get away with if it’s not funny since it doesnt take up much time:

    I am so happy to have control over the 5 minutes that the (bride) didn’t plan…

    They say a man is incomplete until he is married. After that, he is Finished.

    They say Love is blind, but marriage is a real eye opener.

    Pause filler:
    The audience can sense it when you are nervous and uncomfortable. To stop yourself from babbling on, put your champagne or wine glass near you and take a sip to pause. then say ” I’ll be needing many refills today.”

  5. kitchenmudge says:

    Didn’t know you were a triplet. Now, if you’re IDENTICAL triplets, all kinds of fun could be had. “He thinks he just married me.”, for instance.

  6. Two Zanex and four fingers o Jack Black,for the nerves,but whatever you do don’t lock on anyone who you might think looks a bit peculiar or odd in some way.I think you’ll do just fine.

    • edrevets says:

      I’m definitely considering a private flask for this very purpose. Once then nerves are gone, it’s all much easier. I’ve got my sister up there to keep me in check too. She has one heck of a job ahead of her.

  7. Wishing you a successful and minimally stressful wedding speech!

    But just one thing, here… You wrote: “I will not stray from the content of my written-out speech, unless there’s a really funny joke I can make.”

    Right after the comma, after the word “speech”, the rest of those words, if acted upon, could invalidate any or even all of your well intentioned “will nots”. This is a path that could lead to danger, or it could bring on adventure, fun and laughter.

    In any case, let us know how you make out, and I hope it goes really well. And now please realize that my words of caution here, are without any real serious meaning at all! 🙂

    • edrevets says:

      Sometimes a good joke is worth the sacrifice. More often than not, however, you are correct. Hopefully my sister will smack me if things get too out of hand.

  8. Rich Crete says:

    Silence is perfectly acceptable if you do it with many hand gestures. You could always just read your list of “I will not”s. That would be the awesomesauce.

  9. idiotprufs says:

    Before your speech, take a deep breath and relax, but make sure you have apology cards ready to go.

  10. tomwisk says:

    Wing it. Nothing makes a wedding unforgettable is a free form five minutes riffing on whatever pops up. Your sister might not speak to you for a while, but everybody else will think you’re a perfect candidate for their next speaker needs. Most of all, have fun.

  11. Wait, wait. You’re a triplet? I think there’s a ton of good toasty comedy right there.

  12. Pleun says:

    Just keep it short 🙂

  13. tedstrutz says:

    I suspect your sister would be better off with Zach Galifianakis delivering the toast. But, she is stuck with you. But if she is reading this comment, I can reassure her that she really has no worries with her maid of honor. I’d love to be there.

  14. nothing wrong with index cards. Or written up and down your arms, disguised as prison tattoos.

  15. Audrey says:

    Good luck, you’re gonna need it! 😉

  16. jensine says:

    you go girl and just pinch yourself now and then to stay focused

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