The wedding reception should be the time when everyone can relax after the ceremony and enjoy each other's company. However, wedding speeches can sometimes mar an otherwise perfect reception for a number of reasons including shyness, a language barrier and inappropriate content. Instead, it may be more appropriate to subsititute speeches with other forms of honoring the bride and groom.
If someone is not particularly confident in public speaking, but can sing or play an instrument, they may prefer to celebrate the bride and groom by singing a song or playing a piece of music. Choose a piece or compile a medley of songs or music that has sentimental significance to the couple.
Anyone with computer skills can put together a PowerPoint presentation featuring the couple in photos. A few weeks prior to the wedding, you can ask the couple's families and friends to share pictures with you that you can compile into a slideshow set to music. If possible, find photos from their childhood and college days, as well as more recent pictures.
Leaves of Love
Place a potted tree with bare branches at the entrance to the reception. Place a table next to it, where you have left supplies of pens and cardboard leaves attached to ribbons. Encourage guests to write messages on the leaves and tie them to the branches. Instead of giving a speech, the speaker can read messages from the tree.
Those with poetic abilities may enjoy writing a personalized poem, as opposed to a regular speech. You can even find professional writers online who will compose a poem for you, if you send them details about the couple.
Special family and friends that are not able to attend the wedding can be asked to send voicemails and taped messages that can be made into a compilation tape to be played during the reception.
With a little planning and rehearsal, the kids in the family can be gathered to perform a song for the couple. Try to gather the group together a couple of times before the big day to practice their song.