Speaking for everyone...

Although the prospect is enough to fill most with dread, remember that a wedding reception audience is there out of love. Use the following tips to deliver a memorable, heartfelt dedication:

Be prepared

Give yourself plenty of time to write and practice. Memorise the speech, use cue cards when necessary.

Take it easy

Make sure everyone can hear you, while speaking clearly and slowly.

Read the room

To deliver a speech that is wedding appropriate, the humour and tone need to appeal to everyone.

Then there was the time...

It is okay to lightly tease the person you are toasting, so remember funny stories to make the room smile.

Praise be

People love to have their efforts recognised, so remember to mention the bride, bridesmaids, and families.

Two drink maximum

A bit of liquid courage is tempting, but you will thank yourself later for not slurring.

Timing is everything

Five-to-10 minutes is perfect - ask someone to give you a cue to wrap things up.

• Thanks the guests for coming and sharing in the special day.
• Thanks everyone who contributed to the cost of the wedding.
• Compliments and praises the bride, and welcomes her new husband into the family.
• Toasts the bride and groom.
• Thanks the father of the bride for his toast.
• Thanks the guests for attending and for their gifts.
• Thanks both sets of parents.
• Compliments his bride.
• Thanks his best man.
• Thanks and toasts the bridesmaids.
• Thanks the groom for his toasts to the bridesmaids.
• Comments on the bridal couple, particularly the groom.
• Reads any messages from absent friends and relatives.
• Ends with a final toast to the bride and groom.