BETSY and Elyse Dawn are Chicago-based sisters who have spent their adult lives planning weddings.
They co-own their planning and floral business, Two Sisters Events, and have dealt with hundreds of brides along the way—from the simplistic ones to the very extra ones.
While they’ve seen their fair share of mishaps, have dealt with several overly opinionated mothers-of-the-bride, and have had to overcome last minute hurdles, they said a few weddings stick out.
“In one instance, the bride’s dad was giving a toast and it turned into a 40-minute speech. It was awful,” Betsy began.
“Think of the most second-hand embarrassment you’ve ever felt, that’s what we felt watching this.”
The planners said that the whole staff—the caterers, photographers, and bartenders—couldn’t believe what they were witnessing.
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In their nine years of planning weddings, Betsy and Elyse themselves had never seen anyone ramble for so long.
“He wasn’t even talking about the bride or the couple for the whole thing.
“At one point, he was talking about the bride’s sister and how proud he was of her because she was getting her doctorate and becoming a surgeon or something,” Betsy said.
This long-winded divergence upset the couple.
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“Literally the bride got up crying and left. She was mortified. That’s how awful it was.”
Although Betsy and Elyse had warned the father in previous meetings to keep his speech short and sweet, he ignored their advice.
“It wasn’t until the bride got up crying and left that the father finished. The groom and the mom got him to stop then,” Betsy added.
Thankfully, the bride’s sister consoled her in the bathroom and the show went on afterwards.
The experienced planners suggest keeping your speech to two minutes long, and they say to leave behind most inside jokes that other guests wouldn’t understand.
“Don’t tell a bunch of stories that are only interesting and fun to the couple,” said Elyse.
They also recommend you leave out any embarrassing memories and avoid poking fun at the couple, because you never know how this will be received.
“It’s their big day. Just let them have it,” Betsy said.
Remembering a time when a maid of honor chose to include some questionable stories in her speech, Elyse said things got awkward:
“She was talking about a time when the couple got into a really big fight while they were dating.
“It was like, he came over and he was banging on the door and the girlfriend wouldn’t let him in or talk to him.”
The maid of honor brought this story back to their wedding day by saying that that fight was the moment she knew the couple was going to get married.
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“We actually do know they’re divorced now though,” Elyse added.
When it comes to speeches, keep it lighthearted and leave the roasting behind.
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