When it comes to the wedding speeches, they’re a bit like Marmite. People tend to love them, or hate them. If you’re a guest who’s close to any of the people giving a speech, it can be a really emotional part of the day. Personal stories and memories tend to be shared and they can range from embarrassing to sentimental.

Over the years, we’ve seen everything. Well, perhaps not everything- but we’ve seen a lot! Speeches that have had crowds roaring with laughter, speeches that have had people in tears of joy and sadness. Often whilst remembering people who cannot be there to celebrate with them. We’ve seen proud parents and friends who’ve torn their mate to bits, forgetting that their friend may soon be returning the favour for them. We have seen old photos and films and heard the most amazing stories about our couples. We have also seen happy crowds turn, when speeches have gone on longer than anyone was anticipating.

Speeches tend to reach their peak if they’re wrapped up, in total, in around 20 minutes. Around 5 minutes for a wedding speech is a good amount of time in our experience- especially if the speeches are being given before the meal is served. Any longer than this and people tend to get restless. Even more so if they’re getting hungry or if there are children present. Speeches that go on for a while pre-meal can also mean that starters go cold or that food is sitting around waiting to be served. This is something to keep in mind. It’s worth asking your speech givers to stick to a pre-agreed time limit where possible.

Wedding speeches and their challenges

As a wedding photographer or videographer our approach to speeches is about the light. Usually the speeches take place in a location that is less than ideal. They are typically indoors, which can mean lots of orange or mixed lighting and lots of odd shadows. The human eye is clever enough to not really notice these things, we’re all so used to it. But these things are visible on camera. Because of this, the speeches can be notoriously difficult to photograph if you’re working in a particularly dark room or one with particularly bad lighting. Sometimes this will mean that your wedding photographer or wedding film maker will need to set up lighting or use flash to help combat this to give the best possible results.

One of the best things about the speeches though is the fact that they are a great opportunity to capture lots of great action shots. Lots of natural reactions and laughter. Sometimes tears too. Here are some such moments captured during speeches at real weddings we have photographed.

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