I received an interesting question last week.
“Alex, how do you write a wedding speech for a wedding that stems from an office romance? Is it a sensitive issue?”
First of all, most office romances are kept secret. Every corporation has a different policy about office relationships but most parties like to keep the romance away from the prying eyes of coworkers. Usually, everyone in the office knows that there is a relationship and the two lovebirds still try to keep it a secret.
However, when we’re dealing with a wedding speech, it is obvious that the relationship is out in the open. There is no need to tip toe around the fact that two colleagues met and fell in love while on the job. Happens all the time.
However, there are some landmines that you should look out for.
First of all, if the relationship was kept secret for a number of months, do not mention it. It adds little to your wedding speech and it will only make it seem as though the bride and groom were doing something dishonest. You do not want to paint them out to be some sly lovers having a rendez-vous in a cheap motel room.
Secondly, office colleagues have a tendency to tell inside jokes in their wedding speeches. Remember that you are speaking to an audience that for the most part does not know you. Stay away from office jokes unless you can frame it as interesting and relevant anecdote.
Here’s an example of how one might incorporate a work story into the wedding speech. Notice how the story is relevant because it highlights a personal characteristic about the bride (witty) and it also talks about the first time that the bride and groom met.
The first time Tom saw Liz she was over at the water cooler talking to some of the secretaries, and Tom assumed she was one of the new hired secretaries. We had both been nervous about the new department head who was due to begin work that day and we wanted to make a good impression. It turns out, Tom did make a good impression on our new boss.
It was just after lunch when the boss’s secretary asked Tom and me to come into the office. We both felt we had our chance to get in a good first impression and score some much-needed points for possible promotion. I had the nerve to enter first and saw that the boss’s chair was facing away from us, so I blurted out, “It’s great to finally meet you, sir.”
To my horror the chair suddenly swung around and in the chair was Liz. Her immediate words, in typical witty Liz style, were, “And it’s likewise nice to meet you, ma’am.”
Tom obviously played his initial meeting with Jane much cooler than I did, which I suppose is one reason that we’re honoring the two of them tonight.
And in the end, my best friend Tom and my spectacular boss Liz– yes, Liz, I’m completely sucking up right now – are ready to start their new lives together as husband in life.