Nearly a quarter of brides now make a speech at their wedding, according to a 2015 survey. But because this is such a new idea, there’s not that much material around to help a bride give a great wedding speech, so here’s our guide to being the best bride speaker ever.
Be the audience
For a modern wedding, there are few rules but this one is golden – when you’re writing your bride speech, put yourself in the position of the audience and think about what they would like to hear. Some family gatherings welcome laughter and jokes, while others are about relationships and yet others may be deeply spiritual – working out which is right for your audience will help you write a stunning bridal speech.
It’s a great wedding tip for you to go first. Then you’re not trying to upstage your father or the best man. It also allows you to set a tone, and to air some stories that are relevant to your wedding, such as light-hearted tales about your wedding planning or poking some gentle fun at your beloved.
This is a chance to thank guests who’ve travelled far, or given up a lot, to be present. The modern wedding isn’t cheap and you probably have a friend you know has been doing without takeaway coffee and trips to the cinema to save enough to celebrate in style – a thank you for their love would be a great gift to them. Then there are family members who’ve been amazing during the wedding journey and this is the time to express gratitude for their commitment, and of course, there’s the thanks owed to a new husband for enriching life. Gratitude is never unwelcome and allows you to speak with grace and confidence.
There’s no requirement that you speak for ten minutes or wow the crowd, it’s better to be short, sweet and sit down feeling you could have done more than to collapse onto your chair wishing you’d stopped a lot quicker.
Consider making a slideshow of pictures since the day you met, or gather advice for new husbands from all your friends and read it out to your new husband. Some brides like to call up their bridesmaids and tell a few stories about them, while others focus on the history of their relationship as told in restaurant selfies or football ticket stubs or whatever other ephemera makes their story unique. Originality, and expressing your own personality, will always win over an audience.
You’re going to be full of excitement, but you may find you’re also pretty tired by the reception. Practise your speech until it becomes second nature so that you don’t get tripped up by exhaustion, nerves or emotions. Try it out on a bridesmaid that you can trust to keep quiet about what you’re going to say because you don’t want her spilling the beans before the big day.