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Bigger Honor — Giving a Eulogy or a Wedding Toast?

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There may be no higher testament to what people think of you than when you’re tapped to talk at these events.

Giving a speech in honor of the newly-married couple at a wedding or delivering a eulogy to properly send off the recently deceased are two moments in our lives when we speak glowingly about someone else. The opportunity to do so does not come along often and should be embraced: they are milestones to go down in history and you’re being asked to be a vital part of it.

It’s also ironic that these events in which we must impart words of wisdom, share memories and maybe even offer humor take place at two starkly contrasting stages in the human experience. A wedding marks the beginning of a couple’s relationship as they start their journey in life together. A funeral represents the end of an existence where we reflect on what the deceased accomplished and meant to others while also reflecting on our own mortality.

Speaking at a wedding is an enormous honor. It means the couple has a love for you that they trust will be redirected back at them in front of their family and friends. It shows they feel you can properly convey who they are as a couple and as people. You are acting as their PR rep, articulating who these lovebirds are and what makes them so special.

Speaking at a funeral comes with more than just a certain amount of prestige, too. A request to do so shows those left behind feel you can capture the emotions of the day and remind everyone exactly what kind of person the recently deceased was in a final goodbye. Depicting someone’s essence in the most of somber of moments is no easy task, so when someone asks you to do so, there’s an awful lot of confidence in you that should not be forgotten.

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