A bad speech, he added, can lead to dangerous moments at a wedding. “If it’s off-color, inappropriate, boring or too long, it sucks the energy out of the wedding as food gets cold,” he said.
Social media, Mr. Franklin said, has helped increase demand in the vow-writing industry. “Vows have gone viral and there’s greater attention to the moments that go wrong,” he said. “There is more pressure to get it right to avoid disaster stories.”
Over the last two years, Mr. Franklin, who lives in Los Angeles with his wife and business partner, previously worked as a political consultant and communications strategist. During the pandemic, he shifted his focus to speech writing, mostly for weddings, working with couples, their parents, maids of honor and best men. Fees vary from $400 for one partner, $600 for both partners and $500 for other wedding party members.
“Most popular are the mothers — I’ve written a hundred of those,” he said, adding that 30 percent of his customers, like Ms. Mumford, are panic buyers who reach out on, say, Friday for a wedding on Sunday.
A parent’s speech is often the hardest, he said, because it typically runs twice as long as the couple’s vows. “They have to speak to and about the couple, sometimes highlighting each person individually, so there’s more to do,” he said.
Advice: “People have a reading voice that’s different than a speaking one. I tell everyone, ‘Push louder and more enthusiastically on humor, and drop your voice down and softer on the sweeter lines.’”