So, you’ve chosen to work with a professional wedding speech writer and have received your first draft back to review. Once you read it over, you realize it’s missing something(s), but how do you ask for edits?
It’s 100% ok to ask for what you want in your custom wedding speech
People often feel like the writer is the expert, and they don’t want to step on their toes by questioning the tone or wording of the speech, but, remember, writing is subjective! What might sound good to the writer might not be your style or might not be sentimental enough for you.
Think about what kinds of things you want to be edited
Before you ask for edits, take some time to read over your speech draft a few times (and try reading it out loud, too!). Once you’re familiar with the speech, you’ll have a better idea of what you might want to be edited:
- Are there sections that feel too wordy?
- Are there word choices that don’t feel like you?
- Are there any transitions that feel awkward for you?
- Are there quotes that don’t match how you feel?
- Is the tone too silly and fun when you really want something sentimental?
- Does it feel like it’s missing something?
- Is there a story you really want to be included?
- Do you want to thank anyone?
What if I don’t know what I want to be changed?
Sometimes, we just feel in our gut that something isn’t right. In this case, see if you can narrow down which paragraph doesn’t feel right to you and then reach out to your speech writer for advice on next steps.
What to do if you can narrow down the section(s) that don’t feel right
Consider highlighting the section(s) that don’t feel right and let the speech writer know it’s just not what you’re looking for. If you’re savvy with Word or Adobe, consider highlighting the parts that feel off to you to show your speech writer exactly what feels off. You can also physically highlight a printed copy of the draft and send them a photo!
You can say something like:
- “Thank you for the draft! I’ve highlighted a few sections that don’t quite feel right, but I’m not sure why… is it possible to try rewording them?”
- “Thanks for sending this over! I like the start, but the second half, starting from the 4th paragraph, just doesn’t feel like me. I really want the bride to feel loved—can we try something different?”
What to do if the whole speech feels off
If the speech just doesn’t feel like you or something you’d be proud to read, don’t hesitate to ask for a rewrite! Most of the time, speech writers will allow for at least one total rewrite.
You can say something like:
- “Thank you for getting this draft to me. After reading it a few times, it just doesn’t sound like me. Could we please do a total rewrite? I really want the speech to feel fun and personal—do you need more information from me to make this possible?”
- “Thank you for putting this together. It’s a nice speech, but it’s not what I was hoping for. Can we do a rewrite? I’d really like it to be more about the bride and her partner, equally. I like the quote at the end, but everything else feels too focused on the bride and me. What else would you like to know about the couple to help make this more personalized for them?
What if you hate the speech?
First, try not to panic! If you read through your draft and absolutely despise it and don’t think any of it is worth salvaging, that’s ok and you’re not out of luck!
Remember that a speech writer is trying to learn about you just as much as they’re learning about the couple, and sometimes they might misinterpret your tone/vibe/personality.
While it might be disheartening to feel like you’ve potentially wasted your money, don’t give up without talking to the writer because you might still come out with a speech you LOVE!
In this situation, you can say something like:
- “Hi there, thank you for putting this together. I’m going to be honest, I don’t love it. The whole thing sounds too cliché for me, and I don’t feel like it’s personalized in the way I was hoping. What would you suggest we try moving forward?”
- “While I appreciate you writing this for me, it’s not something that matches what I want to say on my friend’s wedding day. Is there any other information that I can give you to help make this speech more suited to my style?”
- “Hi there, I’m not sure what to do here. I really don’t feel like this speech is suited to me. Do you have an suggestions on how we can fix this?”
In this situation, you might not know how to fix the speech or what to ask for, so don’t hesitate to put the ball in the speech writer’s court and ask them for advice on how to move forward if you’re really unhappy with your speech. They should be happy to work with you!
Writers expect edit requests and are used to A LOT of them
In my experience and my fellow writer’s experience, we are so used to getting a lot of feedback on our writing and we expect it when we’re working with clients! If we happen to nail it on the first try, that’s wonderful, but we usually expect our client’s to have at least a few things they’d like tweaked!
Whether it’s for a blog post, an e-book, a news release, a short story, a speech etc., we are used to getting drafts back filled with edit requests and changes—that’s part of the job and wedding speech writing is no different!
When I was in school for public relations, part of our training prepared us to handle our drafts coming back full of red edits and crossed-out sentences! Truly, edits are part of working together to create something impactful!
So, edit requests or total rewrites should never offend the writers you work with; in fact, we’re more than happy to work on edits because we know that means the speech is being tailored to your exact wishes, so don’t hesitate to ask for what you really want!
Speech writers really want you to succeed
Generally speaking, most speech writers came into this field because they are talented writers who are passionate about helping others. We want our clients to feel confident and proud to read their speeches in front of a crowd, so please never hesitate to ask for any edits or changes you might like.
What if I want to do my own edits?
For my clients, I have no problem with this!
Sometimes the professional draft will give you a great foundation and will spark some ideas you hadn’t even thought of yet, so you suddenly know exactly what you want to add to make it your perfect speech.
With clients who are comfortable doing their own edits, they’ll often send me their edited version back so that I can double check the grammar and the flow of the speech for them and I really enjoy this process as well! I truly believe speech writing is best when it’s a collaborative process!
Next Steps: Hiring a wedding speech writer?
If you’re ready to work with a professional wedding speech writer, I’d love to help!
With over 5 years of experience with wedding speeches, I’ve worked with hundreds of happy clients and would love to help you bring your speech vision to life!
QUESTION: Have you ever worked with a professional speech writer? Did you enjoy the experience? Did you find it challenging to ask for edits? Let me know in the comments!
Until next time!