Speech time: Advice for nervous grooms

Every groom gets nervous on his big day, but some simple calming tips will be sure to keep the jitters at bay.

While for many grooms-to-be the most nerve-racking experience is out of the way once your bride-to-be has said “yes” to your proposal, as the special day looms closer, the realisation dawns that this may have been a piece of (wedding) cake in comparison to what comes next.

Standing up in front of family, friends – sometimes in a cast of hundreds – can be a daunting experience for even the most confident of grooms.

And with so many things to juggle on the day – remembering the vows you’ve so carefully prepared and memorised; ensuring you don’t trip over your bride’s gown during your first dance together; keeping everyone mingling and having a good time at the reception; praying that your best man omits any embarrassing past indiscretions during his speech – can all spell major stress time for grooms.

The key is to remember you are there to have a good time, and that the people attending are there to share in your happiness.

Try these tips to keep the jitters at bay:

• Write down a few key points you want to include in your speech prior to the day. For grooms who are a little stuck, try retelling the story of how you and your bride first met – guaranteed to garner some “awww’s”.

• Big day jitters? Presentation skills trainer and coach Nigel Heath advises taking some big deep breaths to steady your nerves. “This is so simple and obvious that many people dismiss it without trying it. That’s a pity because it is really powerful,” says Heath.

“Just notice what happens to you when you deliberately take three slow, deep breaths, preferably in through your nose and out through your mouth. This simple exercise will bring you a deep sense of relaxation and calm.”

• Get a good night’s sleep the night before. And whatever you do – schedule the buck’s night at least a week before your wedding day.

• While it may be tempting to down a few glasses of Champagne for a little “Dutch courage”, don’t go overboard. You want to remember the day after all!

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