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Wedding Receptions Archives - New Orleans Weddings - Reception, Venue & Planning

Does Our Wedding Party Have to Sit Together at the Reception?

 Etiquette, Planning Tips, Wedding Etiquette, Wedding Receptions  Comments Off on Does Our Wedding Party Have to Sit Together at the Reception?
Jul 052016

Figuring out where each of your guests will sit brings up a lot of questions — and a lot of politics. From aunts who haven't spoken in years to divorced parents to that high school friend who doesn't really know anyone, picking a seat for each guest can be stressful! And while at this point anyone who has agreed to be in your wedding party pretty much has to follow whatever directions you give them, you've still got to decide where they'll sit. So do you have to seat them all together? Our experts weigh in.

Where you seat your wedding party depends on where you've decided to seat yourselves. If you've opted for a sweetheart table instead of a head table, you can either have a separate table where your bridesmaids and groomsmen all sit together (either themselves or along with their dates), or you can opt to have them serve as hosts for a few tables throughout your reception. The latter is a great option if you're bringing a number of groups of friends together who don't know one another: Split up your wedding party to host tables full of guests they know, or mix-and-match and ask them to introduce everyone and get the conversation started.

If you're having a head table, the traditional option would be to seat your bridesmaids and groomsmen by your sides, whether on either side of the two of you or alternating around the table. If you have the space, invite their dates and plus-ones to join you, as well.

You could also opt for a family head table, sitting with your parents and siblings and having your wedding party host other tables.

If you do decide to have your bridesmaids and groomsmen sitting at separate tables, try to disperse them evenly throughout the room. Even if three of your bridesmaids are close friends and the other two are from different phases in your life, avoid the urge to seat those 'maids together and separate the rest of them — you wouldn't want those two remaining bridesmaids to feel left out of the fun!

See more: Should We Seat Relatives Our Age with Family or with Friends?

BRIDES Florida: 5 Dance Studios to Prep for Your First Dance

 Florida, Local, Miami, Wedding Receptions  Comments Off on BRIDES Florida: 5 Dance Studios to Prep for Your First Dance
Jun 302016

You may feel confident with your moves at the club, but when all eyes are on you during your first dance, this is one area to leave to the pros. Get your spouse-to-be involved choosing a song and style you both feel comfortable with while waltzing around the dance floor. With the help of these Florida dance pros, you'll look just as hot as one of the couples on Dancing with the Stars as you grace the floor for your first song together as newlyweds.

Arthur Murray Dance Center
South Florida-based couples can choose from two of Arthur Murray's studios: Boca Raton up north or Coral Gables in the south. While the studios specialize in everything from slow and Viennese Waltz to the Fox Trot and Argentine Tango, let the onsite wedding consultant help customize the moves you're after for your first dance. They'll take everything from your personal styles to that of the venue into consideration when helping map out a lesson plan to prep for your debut dance number. Read real brides' reviews here!

Miami Ballroom Dance Studio
Go for traditional steps or work out choreography with an instructor to your first dance with private lessons at the Coral Gables-based dance studio. The 4,500-square-foot studio is lined with hardwood floors and gives couples the option to go one-on-one with an instructor to fine-tune their moves with dance specialties that include ballroom, as well as swing, salsa, cha cha and tango.

Your Wedding Dance
With a combined experience of 50 years, the instructors at Your Wedding Dance will ensure that even if couples are convinced they have two left feet, they'll be dancing gracefully in no time. In just three lessons, couples will have the moves down to their first dance that takes into account everything from the shoes you'll be sporting to your dress train and tiara. Busy couples don't have to worry about making time to drive out to the studio, either. An instructor can come straight to you, fitting right in to all of your other pre-wedding scheduling.

See More: Now That You've Got the Steps Down Pat, Browse These Local Wedding Musicians and Get Ready to Dance the Night Away!

Fred Astaire Dance Studio of Coral Gables
Founded by one of Hollywood's best dancers himself (and star of 33 musicals!), the Fred Astaire Dance Studios are all about maintaining elegance when hitting the dance floor, and no time is more important than your wedding day. Instructors trained in the Fred Astaire method can help with everything from getting the basics down to choreographing an entire number for both you and the wedding party if you'd like to get them involved in the action. Read real brides' reviews here!

Dance Sport USA
Couples going classic can perfect their ballroom moves at Dance Sport USA in Delray Beach, known as South Florida's top ballroom dance studio school. Don't be intimidated by the professionals waltzing around here — the award-winning team of instructors will have you looking just as smooth on the dance floor when your wedding day roles around. Read real brides' reviews here!

Click here to find other local wedding vendors who can help make your first dance flawless and all the rest of your big day dreams come true!

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8 Creative Ways to Make a Grand Entrance at Your Wedding Reception

 Planning Tips, Wedding Receptions  Comments Off on 8 Creative Ways to Make a Grand Entrance at Your Wedding Reception
Jun 252016

Why have an ordinary grand entrance at your wedding reception when you can have an extraordinary one? It is your big day, after all! Whether you're working with an unlimited budget or you don't have a ton of money to spare, there are so many ways to arrive at your wedding reception in style that you might as well do something out of the box.

1. Organize a flash mob with your wedding party
What better way to surprise your guests than with a flash mob only your wedding party knows about? Regina Osgood, owner of Meant2Be Events, had a couple that decided to go this route and it was a huge hit. "The bridal party was allowed to enter just as they normally would, but they were in on what happened next," she tells us. "Once the bride and groom were announced, the DJ changed the song, cuing the full ballroom of guests to come to the dance floor where the flash mob began. Everyone talked about it all night long!"

2. Go big or go home
For brides whose wedding budgets know no bounds, it doesn't get any grander than showing up at the reception in a helicopter. Wedding and event planner Courtney Hammons of A Magical Affair has literally seen it all. "We recently had a couple that did a kabuki drop for their grand entrance," she says. But her personal favorite? The couple that arrived via ski boat to their reception.

3. Use a "built in" grand entrance
"Many catering halls have dramatic entrances built in, such as coming up through the floor in a glass elevator or doing a stage curtain entrance," point out Lynn Jawitz, owner of Florisan Wedding and Event Design in NYC.

See More: Every Formal Portrait You Should Take at Your Wedding

4. Try a rose petal, confetti or balloon drop
All of these things can be done either expensively or inexpensively depending on your approach, notes founder & CEO of Vow To Be Chic, Kelsey Doorey. For example, you can buy a few thousand rose petals online for cheap (less than a hundred dollars) to create a beautiful and fun entrance, she says. "If you want a big bang while saving your bucks, you could run through a paper banner with your new spouse, like the finish line of a race. Decorate the banner with your married name or paint it to match your wedding colors."

5. Put on a show
Impress your guests with some talents of your own! "Breakdance your way onto the dance floor, sing for the crowd or find yourself a great costume or mask to wear," recommends Florida-based wedding planner Aviva Samuels of Kiss The Planner. Snow machines, fog machines and confetti cannons will also liven things up a bit.

6. Play with the lights
Key Largo wedding planner Lynn D'Ascanio of D'Asigner Events once worked with a specialty lighting company that projected fireworks and 3D flying dragons onto the ceiling of a tented event for a Chinese wedding as the couple walked in. If your theme lends itself to something cool like this, we say go for it!

7. Get some sparklers
"If your entrance is outside and after dark, super long wedding sparklers can make a really spectacular picture as you dance your way through them to the real dance floor to do your first dance," says seasoned wedding planner Sandy Malone of Weddings in Vieques.

8. Do a silhouette entrance
According to Stefany Allongo, founder and chief consultant of The Majestic Vision, something different and fun is using a projection screen to create your silhouette for your guests to see. "You can start your first dance behind the screen and then proceed to the dance floor. It makes for a gorgeous photo." Plus, it's a total crowd pleaser too!

Tongue Tied? Consider This Your Go-To Guide to Wedding Reception Speeches

 Bridesmaids, Groomsmen, Planning Tips, Wedding Reception, Wedding Receptions  Comments Off on Tongue Tied? Consider This Your Go-To Guide to Wedding Reception Speeches
Jun 042016
Bride and Groom at Sweetheart Table

Photo: Amber Gress

Public speaking — ugh! Most of us dread having to talk in front of a group of people. Thankfully your big day probably won't involve too much of that, but what about giving a speech at another person's wedding — like a friend or relative? We chatted with Tim Fortescue, a senior coach with Own the Room, for his tips on how to give an engaging toast at someone else's soirée.

How can I warm up the room?
"Stay true to who you are and be authentic about your friendship with the bride. If it's within your personality to use humor, then go for it. If not, then don't force it. Stick with universally understandable stories — there is usually some humor in the story of how you met. Nothing warms up the audience like involving them, and an easy way to do this right away is to shift the spotlight to someone special to the bride or groom and have the audience give them a quick round of applause. Grandma and grandpa, or the mother and father of the bride or groom are both great choices. It allows you the chance to catch your breath and get comfortable in front of the room for a second."

What kinds of jokes should be avoided?
"Stay away from anything involving old relationships — including breakups and even crazy nights out. Remember, half of your audience is a friend or family member of the groom and doesn't want to hear any of that. In general, your stories should place the bride and groom in a positive light — even if it is slightly embarrassing for them."

See More: Everything You Need to Know About Who Gives a Toast and When

What about the more heartfelt stuff like personal stories?
"A good rule of thumb is to tell two short stories: One that is humorous, and one that is heartfelt. Aim for genuine stories that reflect the depth of your friendship with the bride. Grab a notebook and jot down memories from your friendship. Choose the best funny story and the best heartfelt story. Practice how you would tell these two stories to a friend and jot down the ideas as they come to you. You should plan to tell both stories within three minutes, and realize that in the moment you may go longer. One story may be longer than the other, and that is fine."

What about delivery tips?
"Watch your body language (don't fidget, don't slouch), speak slowly, and deliberately and cut out weak language. That means any word or phrase that doesn't help your message. The classic weak language is 'um' or 'uh,' but weak language can also be words ('like' and 'basically') or phrases ('you know?'). Be mindful of keeping weak language low, but if a few of these words sneak into your toast, the audience likely won't notice the difference."

How long should the toast run in total?
"The sweet spot is four minutes, although I've seen successful toasts go longer and shorter. Four minutes allows time to shift the spotlight to the audience (to catch your breath), three minutes to tell your two stories, and a toast at the end."

How to Give a Killer Maid-of-Honor Speech In 5 Simple Steps

 Bridesmaids, Wedding Receptions  Comments Off on How to Give a Killer Maid-of-Honor Speech In 5 Simple Steps
May 292016

At most weddings, the the best man typically claims the "best toast of night" honors. His speech tends to be a mix of roasting the groom, as well as a few good-hearted sentiments for the new couple. And while the maid of honor gives a toast as well, it usually veers towards the standard, sweet script (read: forgettable) to ensure there are no hurt feelings — but it doesn't have to be that way! The MOH's speech can (and should!) be just as fun, heart-warming, and if not more memorable's than the guys. It just takes some thought. Here, a quick guide to stealing the show with your toast.

1. Ditch the Generic Praise
Too often maid of honor speeches devolve into a series of platitudes: "She's the best!" "She's so pretty!" "She's so funny!" While all of this might be true, this kind of generic praise doesn't have any heart. A guy you went on a date with the other night was "so funny"; your dog is "the best"; your obnoxious cousin is "so pretty." Use the toast as your moment to bring the bride to life. So, use stories to back up exactly how the bride embodies all of these qualities. This leads us to the next tip ...

2. Become an Awesome Story Teller
There's a reason stories are passed down from generation to generation — they resonate. We don't remember numbers. Or platitudes. Or generic advice. Stories stick with us. They breathe life into the bride and the groom — and do a better job of getting your point across than making a blanket statement.

"Sarah is such a great friend! She'd do anything for me!"
"When we were freshmen in college — thousands of miles apart and penniless — I had just been dumped by a boyfriend. I was devastated and spent my days crying. Sarah got a loan from the family she babysat for so she could come and visit me. She spent four days, sleeping on my dorm room floor, reminding me of how much better off I would be, but that it would take time to get there."

See the difference?

3. Remember: This Isn't About You
While a lot of the stories you tell should be about your time with the bride, you should not be the focal point. There's nothing worse than a speaker who goes on and on about herself! You hear about her parents; her ideas for the future; how she overcame adversity and then finally — finally! — she mentions the bride. This isn't your moment. You're simply the vehicle to explain why the newlyweds are so fantastic. Only bring yourself into the mix as necessary, and instead focus on the couple of the hour.

See More: Best Toast Ever? Watch This Best Man Surprise the Bride with a Britney Spears Dance Routine

4. Leave the Ex-Boyfriends in the Vault
You have a treasure trove of stories about your best friend's dating life. The guy who claimed he was an attorney, when in fact he was just taking the LSAT. The guy who insisted he be called "El Jefe" whenever they got intimate. The guy whose mommy issues were so bad that he called his mom the morning after they hooked up. There's no doubt that these tales are hysterical, but they're also embarrassing. Think about it: Do you want your grandma knowing about your rolodex of guys from years past? No one wants to be reminded of their dating failures, particularly in front of their families, friends and new life partner. So, as tempting as it is, save the ex-talk for your next girls' night.

See More: Bookmark This: 5 Tips for Giving an Amazing Wedding Toast

5. Start with the Bride, End with the Couple
You're likely giving a speech because you've been extremely close to the bride for a long time. Of everyone at the wedding, you have the best insight of how much the groom has changed your friend (hopefully for the better — if not, find some way in which for the better!). Your speech needs to be about the friend you knew long before the groom, and then pivot to what role the groom has played in your friend's life. Maybe she's even funnier now thanks to her new husband's sense of humor or his support has empowered her to take risks in new ways.

The point is that your toast should have an arc. Here's a quick outline:
"This is who my friend has always been."
"Then she met the groom."
"And not only is my friend still fantastic in the ways I laid out before, but now she's even more wonderful because of the groom in these ways."
"I'm so glad you found each other."

Stories, of course, will make each of these bullet points better, and ensure that you give a well-balanced (you want some laughs, followed by some tears of joy!) toast that the bride, groom, and guests will remember for years to come.

BRIDES Chicago: 7 Chi-Town Tunes You Need to Add to Your Wedding Playlist

 Chicago, Illinois, Local, Music, Wedding Music, Wedding Receptions  Comments Off on BRIDES Chicago: 7 Chi-Town Tunes You Need to Add to Your Wedding Playlist
May 132016

You have your dress picked out, hair and makeup artist on call, and your bridesmaids assembled. But when it comes to the reception, you need to make sure your guests rockin' out to the best tunes — keeping the party going all night long. And if you're a Chicago bride, chances are you want to pay homage to the Windy City. That's easy to do when it comes to your wedding playlist, as there are tons of Chicago-focused songs, perfect for any Chi-town bride. Behold, the ultimate Chicago song playlist.

1. "My Kind of Town (Chicago Is)" by Frank Sinatra
"New York, New York's" cousin, "My Kind of Town (Chicago Is)" was originally part of the musical score for the 1964 movieThe Rat Pack Robin and the 7 Hoods starring Frank Sinatra. It lost to Mary Poppins in both the Academy and Grammy Awards that year but now is the ultimate homage to the Windy City.

2. "Dancing in the Street" by Martha Reeves and the Vandellas
Not only is it the perfect summer anthem, "Dancing in the Street" mentions Chicago in its lyrics, They're dancin' in Chicago, down in New Orleans, in New York City. Play this at your wedding, and you'll please everyone — from your grandparents to your teenage cousins.

3. "Chicago" by Michael Jackson
This song was released on Jackson's posthumous album Xscape. It's old-school MJ and perfect for dance floor dance-offs.

4. "Homecoming" by Kanye West
This song is a perfect pick for later in the evening after grandparents and other elderly family members head to their respective hotel rooms for the night. And since it's Mr. Kim Kardashian's tribute to Chicago, which happens to be his hometown, you know it'll be a Chicago-loving crowd-pleaser.

5. "All the Way" by Eddie Vedder
Pearl Jam singer Eddie Vedder created this song as a tribute to the Chicago Cubs, and it's ideal for a sing-along once the champagne is flowing. Chances are if you've grown up in Chicago, your entire family knows every word.

See More: Still Looking for a Ballroom Where You Can Dance the Night Away? Check Out These Chicago Wedding Venues

6. "The Night Chicago Died" by Paper Lace
Recorded in 1974, this song will bring some major nostalgia to your parents and their friends — while simultaneously getting everyone on the dance floor. Fun fact: it's not just cool to Chicagoans; it reached number one on the Billboard charts during the summer of '74.

7. "On the South Side of Chicago" by Freddy Cole
This song is an excellent dinner hour choice, as it is jazzy, relaxing, and perfect for getting everyone ready for the romantic and fun evening ahead. Fun fact: Freddy Cole is Nat King Cole's brother and the late Natalie Cole's uncle.

Now that we have your ultimate Chicago playlist for you, you'll need a DJ. Read about who we named the five most popular DJs in Chicago, including Music by Design (read real brides' reviews here!) and White Label DJs (read real brides' reviews here!).

And for even more Chicago-centric wedding fun, head to our local vendors page to find Chi-Town experts who'll make your big day dream come true!

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6 Wedding Reception Game Ideas Your Guests Will Love

 Planning Tips, Wedding Ideas, Wedding Receptions  Comments Off on 6 Wedding Reception Game Ideas Your Guests Will Love
May 122016

Weddings are all about bringing people together to celebrate over delicious food and dance floor fun. But as your planning your big day, you may decide that you want to splurge on a few more activities to keep guests' butts out of their chairs and active throughout the night. If you're wondering what kind of games you can include during your reception, here are six of our favorite suggestions.

Mad Libs for Wedding Advice
Customize and create different Mad Libs that you can leave on tables around your reception for guests to pick up throughout the night. It'll be a fun way for them to interact with each other and it will be a fun treat for you to read after your wedding for some laugh out loud moments.

Traditional Lawn Games
Whether you had an affinity for corn hole or giant board games, like Jenga or scrabble, you can section off a part of your reception where you have these games for your guests to play throughout the night. It'll keep them out of their chairs and close to the dance floor.

Video Games
If you or your fiancé love video games, you can set up stations at your wedding of video games that people can stop by and play. You can even have small prizes for winners along the way.

Oversized Word Search
Transform a classic chalkboard into a creative word search that your guests can try their hand at all evening long. The trick is to write the letters in permanent paint and provide chalk only for circling words. Get creative and include details about you and your groom for guests to find.

Board Games
Not all guests want to spend the night on the dance floor. Offering a selection of quick, multi-player board games (read: not Monopoly) will entertain your more introverted guests throughout the evening.

College Drinking Games
If you loved to play flip cup or beer pong back in the day and are having a more relaxed, casual wedding, you can set up stations at your reception where people can relive their college drinking games. Pro tip: Substitute water for beer in the solo cups so things don't get TOO reminiscent of freshman year.

See More: 9 Tricks to Keep the Dance Floor Packed at Your Wedding

Jen Glantz is a "Professional Bridesmaid" and the founder of Bridesmaid for Hire. She's the author of All My Friends Are Engaged and frequently wears old bridesmaid dresses to the grocery store and on first dates.

4 Tips for Tackling Your Wedding Reception Seating Chart

 Planning Tips, Wedding Planning, Wedding Receptions  Comments Off on 4 Tips for Tackling Your Wedding Reception Seating Chart
May 052016

Once all of those RSVP cards come flying into you mailbox, it will be time to check off another task on your wedding planning to-do list: making a seating chart. Planning out who should sit at what table can be quite time consuming, especially since weddings are a giant combination of friends and family members who have never met before.

So before you dive in and start strategizing where your guests will sit so they can be wined and dined at the affair of your lifetime, here are four tips that will make crafting and creating your seating chart a whole lot easier.

1. Assign Tables Not Seats
You might wonder if you should go the extra step and assign people actual seats at your reception, instead of just tables. But unless your caterer is requiring that you give specific seat assignments to every guest, or you're having an ultra-formal wedding, our recommendation is that you make things easier on yourself by just assigning tables. Figuring out the exact spot for each of your guests is a total headache and not worth the stress — unless your caterer or planner says so.

2. Don't Rush the Process
It may be tempting to try and start the seating chart process before you've received any RSVPs, but it's best to wait until you know your final headcount before diving into to this task. That way, you won't have to make any large changes when you find out a group of people aren't coming to the wedding.

3. Try Not to Over Think
Most of your wedding guests will only be hanging around their table to eat dinner and then make their way to the dance floor or the open bar, so don't spend too much time perfecting your seating arrangements.

See More: Digital Seating Charts That Will Help Simplify Wedding Planning

4. Be Prepared for Last-Minute Changes
You may find a guest here or there throwing you a curveball, saying they are no longer bringing a plus-one or asking if now they can bring a plus-one. If you find a change in the number of guests the week before the wedding, it's best not to stress over putting them at the perfect table and instead just finding them a seat.

Jen Glantz is a "Professional Bridesmaid" and the founder of Bridesmaid for Hire. She's the author of All My Friends Are Engaged and frequently wears old bridesmaid dresses to the grocery store and on first dates.

Place Cards Fit for Every Wedding Style (That You Can Buy Now!)

 Wedding Receptions, Wedding Style & Decor  Comments Off on Place Cards Fit for Every Wedding Style (That You Can Buy Now!)
Apr 242016

You've spent weeks — and quite a few tears — getting your wedding seat chart just oh-so-right. (Should your divorced aunt and uncle be at the same table? Where on earth should you put that second cousin of your hubby's? What's the world record for the number of chairs crammed around a single table?) But alas, it could all very well be in vain if your guests aren't sure of where to sit come the wedding reception. Nip that problem in the bud with the prettiest of place cards adorning your tabletops.

First, it's important to note that place cards and escort cards are not one in the same. While escort cards point guests to just a particular table at the reception, place cards direct them to a designated seat, and are thus sometimes referred to as a slightly more formal choice when it comes to reception seating assignments.

Place cards just don't tell guests where to go, but they can also help pull your whole wedding table défor — from the flowers to the china — together, like a neat little bow. We've collected a few of our absolute faves below for you to peruse — all completely shoppable and fit for just about any big day style!

Wedding Place Cards

Photo: Cathy Crawford

A painted branch or bough is just the thing to bring the outdoors within at a rustic affair or barn wedding. Bright yellow lemons bring to mind the Italian countryside for a destination wedding. And for foodie couples, cutlery-adorned place cards will get your guests salivating at the thought of all the yummy noms ahead.

Faux antler place card, $22 for six, Favors and Flowers, Calligraphy by Ellen Weldon Design LLC; Citrus branch place card, $94 for 100, Lana Frankel for Wedding Paper Divas, Calligraphy by Mary Anne; Gold silverware place card, $40 for 12, Mrs. John L. Strong

Garden Wedding Place Cards

Photo: Cathy Crawford

A pair of translucent leaves, an incredibly dainty rose bud vase, and even a wreath of greenery all make for place card perfection at a garden-inspired or summer wedding.

Spring leaves digitally printed on vellum, $1,550 for 100, Regas; Glass vases, $22 for eight, Save on Crafts, Calligraphy by Mary Anne; Boxwood wreath, starting at $15 each, EAB Designs

See More: An Affordable Centerpiece Idea We Love: Bud Vase Arrangements

Wedding Reception Place Cards

Photo: Cathy Crawford

A crisp white place card on which a pretty little butterfly has landed, is just the thing for a springtime soirée, while laser-cut lettering turns your table décor into a modern masterpiece (plus it makes one heck of a built-in favor for your guests!). And finally, for a farm-to-table fiesta, this adorable chalkboard figurine is what country-chic is all about.

Hand-painted butterfly place card, $80 for eight, Bernard Maisner Calligraphy and Fine Stationery; Laser-cut acrylic script, $1,200 for 100, Amber Moon Design, Calligraphy by Anne Robin Calligraphy; Mini pig chalkboard, $25 for four, Birch Lane, Calligraphy by Mary Anne

Get this year's annual wedding dress issue! Subscribe now for the best wedding dresses, advice, and big-day inspiration. Or pick up the BRIDES April/May 2016 issue, on newsstands now and available for download here.

7 Tips for Getting Laughs With Your Maid-of-Honor Speech

 Bridesmaids, Wedding Receptions  Comments Off on 7 Tips for Getting Laughs With Your Maid-of-Honor Speech
Apr 212016
How to Write a Funny Maid of Honor Speech

Photo: Getty Images

Your maid-of-honor speech is your chance to light up a room filled with wedding guests, good-smelling flowers and lots of hors d'evours with a good laugh. But figuring out what to say and how to say it, in your speech, to get a good chuckle out of the crowd, can be tough. Here are seven tips for making your maid-of-honor speech a laugh-out-loud wedding moment.

1. Keep It Short
The longer your speech, the more opportunities you'll have for people to start losing attention and missing your joke lines. Start the speech off on a funny note and you'll capture the attention of the audience for a minute or two.

2. Pause After Delivering a Joke
Whenever you say a joke, be sure to pause for a few seconds afterward to let the audience laugh. When you tell a joke and then immediately start speaking right afterward, you won't give people a chance to laugh or even understand what you're about to say next.

3. Stay Original
Avoid using clichés or stealing famous or common jokes. The more original you are with your humor, the larger the chance you'll get your audience to laugh. If they have heard a joke before, they won't find it as funny this time.

4. Don't Use Inside Jokes
You and the bride may have shared some incredibly funny moments that still make you laugh out loud to this day. If the joke or the situation is something other wedding guests would have to be there to understand, avoid using it in your speech. If people don't understand the context behind a situation or a joke, it will go over their heads.

5. Poke a Little Fun
It's okay to make a little bit of fun of the bride, maybe for her childhood taste in movies or music, but keep it light. Don't say anything that would embarrass her or make her feel uncomfortable.

See More: Taylor Swift's Maid-of-Honor Speech is Everything

6. Listen to Inspiration
When you're writing your speech, the best way to get in a funny-zone is to watch or listen to stand up comedy. Have a routine playing in the background as you take to the page and write the speech.

7. Practice Reading It Beforehand
The more times you practice your speech before the wedding day, the better it will sound when you read it for real. Rehearse the speech in front of non-wedding guests too in order to see if your jokes do well with them.

Jen Glantz is a "Professional Bridesmaid" and the founder of Bridesmaid for Hire. She's the author of All My Friends Are Engaged and frequently wears old bridesmaid dresses to the grocery store and on first dates.

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