Contacting anyone at the very last minute for some service is never a good idea. But stuff happens and occasionally we get a request where the client needs it like yesterday. Such happened on Saturday, May 21, 2022. A text came in which read: “I need your help pretty badly. Please give me a call as soon as possible.”
This fellow is the groom at a traditional, elaborate Indian (as in India) wedding ceremony. And the wedding was to take place the following day. He needed a groom speech, about five minutes long. Some nine hundred guests would be present. I told him I would try to help, but explained that this depends upon writer availability. People make plans, even writers make plans. And sometimes they’re not willing to cancel personal plans, which is perfectly understandable.
I immediately texted wedding writer Kate Jonez. She did not respond right away, so I contacted Brian Ackley who does occasional wedding speech writing, as well as a whole bunch of other stuff, for us. He replied that he is unavailable. I told the client that I have a lot of excellent writers on the roster, but the two I use for weddings can’t help, given this super-short deadline. He asked me to use any good writer, even if they don’t specialize in wedding speeches.
OK, I replied, I’ll see what I can do. I texted Mike Branom, who normally does speech, technical and public relations writing. “Mike, would you like to take on a five-minute groom toast? Wedding is tomorrow. Emergency priority.” I added a toothy grin emoji. He replied, “Apparently so. But I need to talk to him soon. Also, it’ll be a serious, somber toast. ‘Funny’ takes time and he doesn’t have that.”
I notified the client. Our normal fee for a speech of this length is $300. Rush is twice that. The client agreed, I billed him and he paid. Then I hooked him up with Mike. They talked and Mike got to work. He whipped out the first draft, then he and the client brainstormed on the draft, and the final version was sent to the client.
I’ve not heard back from the client but I’m sure he’s busy with a lot of more important things.
We’re always happy to help clients with their speeches but things get really dicey if you wait until the very last minute.