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To Speak, Or Not To Speak – A Bride’s Guide To The Wedding Speech

Image: T-One Photography

Traditionally it was only ever the Father of the Bride, the Best Man and the Groom who spoke at the reception, but these days many more of the bridal party are getting involved in the wedding speeches.  In a previous post we looked at the dos and don’ts of wedding speeches for the traditional speakers (FoB, BM, MoH) but what about the bride?  After all, you’re half of the main attraction!

Me?  Why would I as the bride want to make a speech?

The bride’s speech, while still relatively new in the world of wedding speeches, is a lovely addition to any reception.  It’s a lovely chance for you to express all the love, happiness and excitement you’re feeling on this important day, and to share those feelings with your guests.

The best part is that there is no traditional way to do a bride’s speech.  So while the Father of the Bride is meant to reminisce about his darling daughter, and the Best Man is meant to mock the groom, the sky is the limit for you!  You can give thanks to important people in your life, or share funny, sweet or meaningful stories… whatever you like.  To give you a hand we’ve compiled a list of suggestions below.

But I hate public speaking!  I’ll be a nervous wreck!

Only you can decide whether or not you feel comfortable saying a few words on your big day.  If the thought of getting up to speak breaks you out into a cold sweat, and if you think that worrying about having to give a speech will ruin your happy day, give it a miss.  Or you can write down a few words just in case, and see how you’re feeling as the day goes on.  You might find you’re enjoying yourself so much that you don’t mind saying a few words!

Everyone gets nervous when it comes to public speaking, so if you’re a bit shaky when it’s your turn to take the microphone, take a deep breath first.  Maybe start with a joke or a funny memory.  Either way, your guests are there because they love and care about you… you’re not being judged on your public speaking ability!

But I’m afraid if I start thanking people I might start crying!

Believe it or not, most guests actually find it really touching if a person gets a bit choked up during a speech, be it the Father of the Bride, the Best Man or the Bride herself not that it’s any consolation!  The best thing to do in that situation is to stop, take a deep breath, give your new husband a big hug, and take it from there.  If you’re able to continue your speech, great.  If not, hand the microphone over to your husband, who should be more than happy to pick up where you left off.

So what do I say?

The same advice we gave to others giving wedding speeches applies here.  Keep it short, sweet and speak from the heart.  Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Remember to thank your guests for coming to share your special day with you and your new husband.  It’s always nice to give a special nod to anyone who has travelled from overseas, as well.
  • You should definitely thank anyone who has helped you in the wedding planning process it was a stressful but exciting time, and people like your bridesmaids, friends and family might have helped to keep you sane!
  • Do thank any friends or family who have made a special contribution to the wedding, like a homemade wedding cake, handmade floral centrepieces, or the guests who did readings at your ceremony.
  • Give special thanks to your own parents for their love and support all these years, and to your new in-laws for welcoming you into their family.
  • Don’t forget to say something lovely about your new husband!  You could tell a cute story about how you met, when you knew he was The One, or a sweet message about how happy you are to be his wife, and how you’re looking forward to spending the rest of your lives together.
  • A nice way to finish your speech is by toasting the guests for their love and support, and for being there with you to celebrate your love.

What not to say!

When it comes to the don’ts of giving a bride’s speech, the rules are pretty much the same.

  • Don’t thank a huge list of people parents, in-laws, bridesmaids, guests, husband… keep it simple.
  • Don’t tell any inside jokes only a few people actually understand them, and it makes things awkward for everyone else.
  • Keep it clean remember, your parents, in-laws and older relatives are listening!
  • Try not to repeat anything that’s been said in the other speeches.
  • Don’t drink too much beforehand to calm your nerves save that for AFTER the speeches!
  • Don’t let your nerves get the better of you.  Remember, you’re talking to a room full of people who love you and care about you.  Take a deep, relaxing breath, keep it short and sweet, and you’ll be brilliant!

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