Becoming a wedding speech writer
When I tell people that my full-time job is as a professional wedding speech writer, I usually get one of two responses:
- “I had no idea that was a thing.”
- “How do you become a wedding speech writer?“
So, for today’s blog, I thought I’d share my perspective on becoming a wedding speech writer and what skills are valuable and necessary for this career! We won’t talk about the business skills today, but more about the skills you’ll need for writing and working with your clients.
Skill 1 to Becoming a Wedding Speech Writer: Customer service
You’re going to be working with clients who will need support from you before they choose to work with you, while they’re working with you and even afterwards. You will need to provide guidance, check-ins, advice and respectful assistance throughout the process, especially when things go off the rails!
So, unless you have a customer service team dealing with all your clients for you, you’ll need to brush up on your customer service skills.
Skill 2: Writing (grammar, flow, editing, creativity, storytelling)
Obviously, as a writer, you’re going to need to write well. Brush up on your grammar skills and pay attention to how words flow together to ensure you’re able to organize and share your client’s stories in a meaningful and creative manner.
Remember, practice makes perfect, so make writing a part of your daily routine!
Skill 3: Patience
Every client will be different and will have different expectations and hopes from working with you, so there will be times when you’ll need to be patient as you work through those expectations (and uncover them if they weren’t clear from the start).
You might write a lovely speech that one client will absolutely adore and find that another client hates those words and that style. So, remember that everyone is different, and it may take a few tries and some extra communication to get on the same page, but don’t let it discourage you!
Skill 4: Reading between the lines
In my opinion, this is an essential skill for speech writers, as many clients aren’t necessarily sure what they want from their speech at first.
So, you’ll need to listen carefully to each client and learn to spot the clues in what they share to uncover what they’re really feeling and what words might suit their situation.
Skill 5: Empathy
While I knew that I’d be hearing personal stories, I couldn’t have imagined how much people would openly share with me.
Remember that weddings are complicated, and sometimes people feel big emotions like loss and grief over these celebrations and will often be grappling with sharing them in their speeches. So, part of your job will be compassionately guiding them through this in the speech writing process.
Skill 6: Collaboration
Some of your clients might have a lot of ideas that they want you to incorporate into their speech, so you’ll need to collaborate to help them share what’s important while ensuring they have a great speech.
Sometimes this takes a lot of teamwork, communication and creativity.
Skill 7: Determination
It takes time to establish yourself as a wedding speech writer. You need to find your speech writing style, find your potential clients, get hired, and produce a product that people love so they’ll recommend you and leave you reviews. Not to mention all the time it takes to learn the ins and outs of life as an entrepreneur (marketing, legal aspects, accounting, technology etc.).
This can take a lot of time and effort, and it’s important to know that this isn’t always an easy industry to break into. However, there’s always room for new writers! Don’t ever let someone tell you that a market is too saturated or there’s no room for you because there’s always a way to innovate and break into a market (in my opinion).
But it’s important to know that it will take time and effort to grow your business, build trust with your clients and gain your footing, so be persistent and be willing to work long hours.
How long did it take me to become a full-time wedding speech writer?
It’s been 5 years since I started my journey as a wedding speech writer. My first Etsy business was called the Eco Bride Project in 2016, based on an eco-friendly wedding planning blog I ran from 2014-2016.
In 2019, I rebranded and started Lenore Freelance Writing, which has now grown into my full-time career and is a business that has sold more than 91% of other shops on Etsy. But it has not been easy.
I worked through school and then during my full-time office job for years, only to come home and work 4-5 more hours on Etsy each night. I worked weekends, I worked through trips, I missed out on events, and more.
Over these 5 years, I’ve had big successes and even bigger setbacks. But I kept at it, and it’s grown, and I’m really proud of my business and what I’ve created. I still work A LOT (often 12 hours days and through my weekends), especially during wedding season, but it’s part of being an entrepreneur,. It’s a challenge I’m up for, and I can’t wait to continue growing and sharing tips and tricks that I’ve learned along the way.
Next Steps: Reach out!
If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below or message me at my Etsy shop! I’d love to hear from you!