6 Tips on Giving an Awesome Wedding Speech


  1. Prepare and practice what you want to say to the couple and their guests

    You don’t have to be a pro to write or give a wedding speech, just have a plan, and execute it. There’s nothing like standing up in front of 150 of your friend’s or sibling’s favorite people to make you nervous; add in a few drinks, and lots of emotions to the mix, and that’s a recipe for disaster if you’re not prepared. Use note cards to guide you, and prepare a beginning (introduction), middle, and end ( a final quote or heartfelt message you want them to remember).

  1. Keep it under 5 minutes

    Keep things short and sweet. A one to five minute wedding speech is the perfect amount of time to toast the couple, long enough to share laughter and tears, but short enough to keep guests from getting bored.

  1. Give a strong introduction that DOESN’T include “I’m really nervous because I’ve never given a speech before”

    Welcome all of the guests; tell them when and where you met the bride, groom or couple, and how honored you are to be chosen to give the speech. It’s always nice to find out if any guests flew in from out of state or out of the country, and acknowledge those places and how much it means to the couple that they are there to celebrate this joyous occasion.

  1. Add in some humor 

    Everyone wants their wedding to be fun; so generating some laughter will make people happy and enjoy your wedding toast so much more. Incorporate some appropriate, PG-rated humor about the bride or groom or couple to get the crowd involved and listening. After all, those of you in the wedding party have the most memories of fun times together. Why not share your fun memories?

Laughter during the wedding speech

  1. Touch on everyone’s need for love and connection

Remember it’s truly a miracle that these two people found each other out of the 7 billion people in this world. What makes this couple so great together, what does it mean to each of them that they found their soul mate, and that all of their closest friends and family are there to celebrate this union? Has the couple or family overcome something challenging to get to this moment, did they meet in a really special way, or do they share the same values, faith or interests that brought them together and make them so special?

The Wedding Toast

Guests Raise Their Glasses!

  1. End with a strong close and don’t forget to ask everyone to raise his or her glasses

Use a quote from a song or poem that might be helpful to drive your message home.

Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Love is…that person who enters your life out of nowhere, and suddenly means the world to you. -Unknown
  • You aren’t wealthy until you have something money can’t buy. -Garth Brooks
  • A great marriage doesn’t happen because of the love you had in the beginning, but how well you continue building love until the end. – Unknown
  • A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person. – Mignon McLaughlin
  • A perfect marriage is just two imperfect people who refuse to give up on Each Other. – Unknown
  • The couples that are “meant to be” are the ones who go through everything that is meant to tear them apart and come out even stronger than they were before. -Unknown
  • A good marriage is not just about marrying the right person; it is also about being the right person. – Unknown
  • “When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible” – When Harry Met Sally
  • When love reigns, the impossible may be attained. – Indian proverb
  • Without love, the world itself would not survive. – Lope de Vega
  • There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved. – George Sand

Raise your glass_Wedding speech



The Last Dance as Bride and Groom

The Last Dance as Bride and Groom

It’s the lasts that you long for, and remember…The Last Dance

The anticipation and expectation of events for your wedding, and all that will happen that evening, is something only the bride and groom really understand. There is so much focus on choosing the perfect music for your wedding from the first dance, to the father daughter dance, mother son dance and the “party” music. However, couples seldom think about the evening coming to an end, and what about a “last dance”? What song should be chosen for the last dance? Will your photographer still be there to capture that final moment that the two of you will cherish forever? This photograph taken by Mark Alison Photography is one of those moments, a moment in time captured forever. It is a magical photograph of the last dance of our bride and groom Christie and Jesse. The lighting, the angle, and the fact that it’s just the two of them alone, makes that moment for them one that will be remembered forever.

As much as you don’t want your wedding to end,  you do want to create a lasting memory of that final dance together at the end of the night.

Couples put all kinds of thought into the first dance song but may forget about the last song… too often leaving the celebration ending on a, “Whoops, I guess we’re out of time, time to turn up the lights now and leave,” kind of note.

As for song choices, there are some classics, and well, there’s nothing like Donna Summer’s “Last Dance”. Choosing the perfect last dance song to send you on your way guarantees you’ll create the perfect musical end to your wedding.



Here are some of our favorite “Last Dance” songs:

Beautiful Day – U2

Can’t Help Falling In Love – Elvis Presley

Cheers Drink To That – Rihanna

God Gave Me You – Blake Shelton

Good Night My Love – Benny Goodman and Ella Fitzgerald

I Don’t Want This Night to End – Luke Bryan

(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life – Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes

Last Dance – Donna Summer

My Best Friend – Tim McGraw

New York, New York – Frank Sinatra

Save The Last Dance For Me – Michael Bublé

The Way You Look Tonight – Frank Sinatra

Then – Brad Paisley

What A Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong

You and Me – Dave Matthews Band

You Are the Best Thing – Ray LaMontagne




Real Wedding: Shannon and Dennis

Shannon and Dennis 11-1-14
The Wedding Style – 1940’s Old Hollywood Glam 
We had so much fun designing this wedding with Shannon and Dennis for their November 1st, 2014 celebration. The bride Shannon has always been enamored by the 1940’s Old Hollywood Glam style, and she wanted to play that up for their wedding.
She carried this look all the way through her gorgeous gown, her accessories, and definitely with the decor. They wanted the ceremony and the venue to reflect a vintage elegance, but wanted the reception to be full of dancing, laughter, and great music. We combined our Ultra-Platinum centerpieces with the beautiful antique finish Mark Alison Photography chose for their photos to create something truly special and unique. Since The Bella Sera was an old twin theater 40 years ago, the couple felt it rather fitting to go with their wedding style and feel. The bride’s veil was true to style also and was very special to her, as an honorary bridesmaid, who could not attend, constructed the entire veil for her by hand. Another honorary bridesmaid who could not make it sent her several brooches for her bouquet, along with a kangaroo and cockatiel to add all of the little touches that made the wedding so special for them.
The Couple
The bride and groom are both complete comic book nerds, and they bonded over that well before they even started dating, and continue to do so. The groom loves her compassion and heart, and she loves his kindness and strength. They have always chosen each other in any difficult situation they have encountered. They met at a high school graduation practice, and reconnected several years later.

It was clear to both of them that they were meant to be together about six months into the relationship when they were casually planning a huge life event together. “That’s what we will tell the kids, anyway” said Shannon. In all honesty, the bride said she knew they were going to be together forever when they spent an entire weekend binge watching Bridezillas, and the groom was just as into it as she was.

The Proposal
They were eating lunch before a movie, and he said “You know…with all of the plans we’re making together, we should probably get married”. She said “Did you just propose to me”, and he said “Yeah, I guess I did”. She was pretty crestfallen, and it certainly wasn’t the engagement story she had hoped for. However, it was “their story”, and one they will always remember happening the way it was suppose to. A few months later he proposed formally as she was getting ready to go dress shopping with his Aunt and Uncle who were in town visiting. He got on one knee and proposed before they visited any bridal shops with a beautiful ring. It was so fitting, as Shannon found her gorgeous gown that same day.

The Ceremony
Dory Pinkham is one of The Bella Sera’s favorite officiants, and Shannon and Dennis absolutely loved her. Dory showed how much she really cares about the couples she works with, and connects with them to ensure that what she’s saying on your wedding day resonates with the couple and all of their guests. Dory made sure to incorporate a passage regarding Dennis’ deceased family in a way that felt organic and sincere. The couple feels blessed to have her in their lives. They absolutely loved her.
The Celebration 
It was very important to them that their wedding be on time, and not be dry and incredibly boring like many weddings can be. While guests were seated for the ceremony Shannon created a truly unique and personalized program telling the story of the two of them that guests could enjoy while they waited for the ceremony to begin. It paid tribute to the day (Day of the Dead) and those who were unable to make it to the wedding.

The groom was incredibly close to his Grandfather, who raised him, until his untimely death. His mother, who also died when he was young, was a very important presence in his life, and they both wanted their guests to know a little more about those who meant so much to the groom. Overall the program was a fun way of telling the couple’s story in a very unique and fun way.

Looking back they both said everything on their wedding day went by so quickly. They were so pleased that the whole celebration really represented “them” so well and that is why it will be so memorable for the two of them. “It was outwardly post and elegant, but at it’s heart, was fun and offbeat too” said Shannon. She said seeing Dennis’s reaction when he saw her for the first time ranks among her very favorite moments of the day. They both also loved the toasts given by their wedding party; this close group, and their toasts, ran the full gamut from completely traditional, to, well, the bride’s friend Jen. The toasts rank among the highest highlights of the night for the couple. Every speech was beautiful and heartfelt. Shannon was in tears by the end of them. She said she doesn’t think people realize the impact their words have, and they were so touched by everything their wedding party had to say to them, about them, and for them.

It meant the world to the couple to have people at their wedding who wanted to share the experience with them, front and center, and enjoy themselves. The guests were mostly from out of town since they are part of the military community. Most of her childhood friends attended too. Besides a wedding on the beaches in Hawaii, Shannon said this was her favorite wedding she has ever attended, even though she may be completely biased. Her guests said how beautifully decorated the venue was, and how amazing the food was. The couple demonstrated the importance of creating a celebration that truly represented who they are by offering a taco bar and chips, salsa and queso station for their food. This was a joint venture between Dennis and Shannon, as they have always loved tacos and thought it would be fun and a little quirky for their guests.  Everyone absolutely loved the taco bar.

The Music with DJ Done
Bella Sera’s amazing DJ Done, Joe, rocked the house. He played everything they loved from the 80’s and 90’s, and everyone loved him and had a blast. The bride and a few guests were shocked and delighted to hear a few songs come on that none of them had requested, but were talking about wanting to hear. Joe knew exactly what their tastes were. He happened to graduate the same year Dennis and Shannon did, so he knew exactly what to play.  He even started beat boxing the first time they met him.  As for the wedding day itself, he was completely on point.  Their guests were gushing over how talented and in touch he was. In fact, they had mentioned a few songs they wanted to hear in passing to each other that night, and within the hour, ALL of those songs had been played, even without them having to request them. The couple said, “He’s a genuinely nice guy, and we could not have been happier with his performance”.

“Mark Alison Photography, and Mark specifically, was really fun to work with on their wedding day”, said the bride. He really appreciated and enjoyed their theme, and was receptive to a few ideas they had. He had a strong concept of what he was doing and looking for, and the couple absolutely loved their photos and the beautiful antique treatment he put on the photos to match the era, theme and their style. Shannon wanted candids and shots of everyone enjoying themselves and being natural and not in stuffy, awkward shots. He accomplished this for them very well.

The Venue (written by the bride)
The Bella Sera was instrumental in the execution of our Wedding. We came in with a strong sense of what we wanted, and The Bella Sera made those ideas come to life. With us living so far away from the venue in Colorado Springs, knowing that our vision and any subsequent concerns were addressed, put our minds at ease. There was very little work on our part that needed to be done after our planning and design session last December. All questions and concerns we had between then and the wedding were addressed and taken care of very quickly and efficiently. The Bella Sera is truly a diamond in the rough. For the pragmatic brides out there, I will say this: “You will be hard-pressed to find a venue that will give you your dream wedding for a reasonable price”. We had looked at venues closer to where we live, and we would have gotten far less for far more. One of the highlights of my night was hearing how beautiful the place was and what an incredible job I did finding and picking this place. I worked directly with Sari and Elisabeth, who were absolutely amazing. They recommended all of the vendors we worked with, and they were a perfect fit. The staff at Bella Sera takes the time to get to know you and then works to ensure your day is as near to perfect as possible.
Overall, it was a perfect day for the couple. They truly want to share life’s adventures together, and they are looking forward to sharing the journey ahead of them. It was so wonderful to express their love and commitment for each other in front of those they love and care about the most.
The Bella Sera was truly blessed to share in this celebration with Shannon and Dennis. Their style was so much fun to work with, and everyone loved their creative program that told their love story and showcased their personalities in such a creative and unique way. We wish you all the love and happiness marriage brings! –The Bella Sera Staff
The Wedding Professionals & Details:
Officiant – Dory Pinkham
DJ – DJ Done, Joe
Photography – Mark Alison Photography
First Dance Song – “Come Away with Me” by Norah Jones
Dress – Allure Bridals from Something Beautiful Boutique
Tuxes – Mens Warehouse
Design and Decor – Elisabeth Montoya, Lead Designer – Bella Sera Event Center
Catering – Bella Sera Catering
Cake – Sugar Plum Cake Shoppe. The flavors were chocolate with mocha filling and a buttercream frosting. The design of the cake was a nod to a gorgeous Australian cake the bride saw last year, although the original was copper.

Real Wedding – Edna and Daniel Prieto

This week we wanted to feature a real wedding. On August 9th, 2014 Edna and Daniel Prieto spent the day with 350 of their closest family and friends. Many of which traveled to Colorado from 10 different states, and even from as far away as Mexico to celebrate this union.

Simply put, we just love this couple! They are two of the most kind, pleasant, fun and “in love” couples we have ever met.

What mattered the most to them?
When asked to share the most incredible memories of their day, Edna said “Where do I begin?” She said friends and family are still talking about their wedding. They are still telling them that it was the most beautiful, fun, unique and meaningful wedding they have ever attended. They said it has set a new standard in their entire family. One of the most special comments she read in their guest book was from a few single guests who said they looked so happy on that day and it makes them want their wedding day to be exactly like theirs. But beyond being simply stunned by the beauty and love that was ever present at their wedding, Edna’s cousin pointed out that their “very serious” uncle who never lets loose, was actually on the dance floor dancing and having a great time! It was a celebration that you couldn’t help but have fun at! The Grandma of the bride said that it was such a gift to see Edna’s mother actually enjoying herself and not having to do a thing because the Bella Sera took care of everything. This is exactly what they wanted since they hadn’t seen some of their guests for years.


What were the top three most memorable moments?
The Grand Entrance – Since their ceremony was at a church, they hadn’t interacted with any quests for quite some time after they finished pictures at the church. Therefore, they said the most incredible moment of the entire reception was when they pushed open the Romeo & Juliet balcony doors and were announced for their Grand Entrance. They said the cheering and applause were overwhelming. They felt like movie stars up high looking out onto all of their favorite people in the world.

Their First Dance – they had rehearsed a very special first dance for months, and when they were actually performing it right after their video was shown, it was magical. Everything was timed perfectly and all of the guests were so surprised and delighted when they broke out into break dancing and fun, sassy moves. It was a blast. They started out dancing to “Amor del Bueno” by Reyli , and then broke out into a collection of songs for their Surprise dance which included a mix with Fergie, Iggy Azalea, T.I. and Prince Royce.

Mark Alison Photography created a cinematography film/music video for them that they showcased at the celebration. Guests absolutely loved it, they were blown away by the loving story that the video told. Check it out!

The Ceremony at Church of the Ascuncion in Denver – it was so incredibly beautiful and meaningful. Edna said Daniel was so nervous when he saw her for the first time. They had everyone there who meant so much to them. There was a special moment and message from above when they started to leave the church, and it began raining. They felt God’s presence in their marriage at that moment, and as soon as they arrived at The Bella Sera, the rain stopped.

How they met, fell in love and became engaged…
They met in 1st grade and were childhood friends for a very long time. They lost touch at 12 years of age and Daniel moved out of state. About five years ago Daniel moved back, and they started their friendship up again while she was in school. Edna finished college in Ft. Collins and then travelled for about 6 months. They knew that much more than a friendship was brewing. When Daniel finally realized he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her, he planned to propose during the Cirque De Soleil show. He had it all planned out, but he was too excited to wait. So he turned to her in the parking lot before they even made it to the show doors and said “I just can’t wait anymore”, and he asked her right there. At first she wondered why he couldn’t have just waited, but looking back on it she said it was just perfect the way he did it. They knew it was perfect because the Cirque De Soleil story was all about the two main characters finding each other.

Vision for Their Wedding
The overall vision that they both wanted for their wedding, was a simple, yet elegant style for the reception where family could feel comfortable and also marvel at how different and unexpected the décor was from anything they may have seen before. They loved a pool blue color and wanted to mix it with a soft yet bold grey, and Bella Sera had the perfect match for both of those shades!

As another unique design feature, they chose The Bella Sera’s one-of-a-kind hanging wedding cake that was suspended from the ceiling by their head table. Bella Sera designed and baked their cake, and the couple said it was a true wow factor. It looked so beautiful and it added to their romantic theme of unique things. It was not only absolutely beautiful, but their family is still raving about the butter pecan and cinnamon flavors that they chose. Yum!

The Bella Sera Event Center
The couple said they were just amazed at everything and everyone at The Bella Sera, beginning with Kaylene at their very first tour. They loved their private tasting and design session, and couldn’t say enough amazing things about Sari, their event coordinator. She executed everything with such precision even one of Edna’s bridesmaids commented the week after the wedding about Sari and said “She was amazing and so much fun! It was great how she kept you calm, brought you a drink and let you know you didn’t have to worry about a thing.” Sari took really great care of them. With 350 guests, they said the bartenders were absolutely amazing.

The wedding ended at 1 am, and they had to literally push people off the dance floor. Not a single person wanted to go home! It was the exact reaction that they wanted from their guests, a celebration that everyone wanted to last forever!

As with all of our amazing couples, we were blessed to have known Edna and Daniel, and to have had the opportunity to serve them. We wish them all the best in their marriage and journey ahead.
The Bella Sera Staff



The Team of Wedding Professionals:
Venue – Bella Sera Event Center / Catering – Bella Sera Catering / Wedding Cake – Bella Sera Cakes / Photography – Mark Alison Photography / Cinematography – Mark Alison Photography / Package – Bellissimo Package Bella Sera / Design & Décor – Elisabeth Montoya, Bella Sera Lead Designer / Flowers – Family friend / Church – Church of the Ascuncion in Denver


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