How to nail your bride speech
Like a free bar stocked with craft beers and Bollinger, giving a bride speech is a sure-fire way of impressing not only your guests but your husband too. Admittedly it’s another ‘to do’ to add to the Excel spreadsheet but here’s the thing – a bride speech totally ROCKS a wedding and it may just be the coolest thing you can add to your day.
From our experience beautiful words are the best way of decorating a wedding. No one remembers the bunting but a good bride speech gets everyone laughing and loving a bit more. And you can rest assured no other bride will have your speech on their Pinterest board.
Of course giving a bride speech is one thing, giving a brilliant one is another. Read on to get our expert tips.
Why a bride speech rocks
- It’s still usual – The stats suggest only one in five brides give a speech but we reckon it’s rarer than that! It’s guaranteed to get guests more excited than the actual ‘I dos’.
- You just can – Why should your husband speak ‘on behalf of you unless he’s helping you into a taxi after a night out and you’re feeling ‘tired and emotional’?
- It’s really blooming nice– Chances are your friends and family have spent hundreds of pounds to watch you get hitched. They want to hear from you!
- Your husband will love it – You’ve taken a bit of pressure off him and spilt the thank you list. You’ve stood up in front of his mates and got them all laughing. You’ve just reminded him why months of table planning and colour scheme debates have been well and truly worth it.
- You might love it too – Giving a bride speech is fun. Remember this is one of the few chances in life where you get to shout about how lovely your husband is without people wanting to throw things at you.
Bride Speech - The First Consideration
So are you speaking on behalf of your groom (uncommon but it has been known), are you both giving speeches or are you delivering a joint speech (we LOVE joint speeches and you can read our Mr & Mrs speech tips here)?
Whatever the case, your speech is going to demand a bit of discussion with the groom.
Let’s assume you’re both delivering speeches, you’ll need to ensure you’re not doubling up on the thanks or the stories. Sure, you’ll each want to thank both sets of parents (and score brownie points with the in-laws) but only one of you gets to tell the story where you got locked in the pub.
You also need to think about how you’re scheduling the speeches – if you have more than three you might want to think about having one after each course of the wedding meal or even saving the best man’s speech till the evening (though that’s a risky strategy if there’s a free bar).
Bride Speech Etiquette
Ha! Brilliant. Someone forget to write the bride speech etiquette book which means you get to say what you want, how you want. A bride speech is essentially the Burger King of speeches.
The main role of your speech is to
- make all the guests feel welcome
- thank the important people
- sing the praises of the man you’ve just married
Even though the groom may already have thanked them you might want to extend your personal gratitude to the following people
- your parents
- your in-laws
- the best man & ushers
- your maid of honour & bridesmaids
Of course there may be others you want to mention (children from previous relationships?) but resist the urge to read out half the guest list. Nothing kills off a speech quicker than a tedious thank you list.
If you’re planning on giving thank you gifts to any of the wedding party we recommend saying you’ll be ‘personally handing them out later’ so the process doesn’t disrupt the flow of your speech and the guests aren’t tempted to start checking their whatsapp messages.
The 5 rules to writing a great bride’s speech
Rule 1 Be Different
A heart-warming tribute to your groom should be the focus of your bride speech but remember every bride thinks her husband is gorgeous, kind and generally amaaazing. Cut the cliches and concentrate on what makes your man unique. Avoid words like ‘soulmate’ or ‘beautiful’, anything that’s overused. Is he a library-lover, a technology fiend, a devoted foodie? Nailing his individual and quirky characteristics shows you ‘get him’.
Rule 2 Be Funny
Giving a bride’s speech already gains you respect from your audience but you’ll go up in the rugby lads estimations if you make them laugh. Ideally within the first 20 seconds. Of course, being funny isn’t about finding good jokes on the internet but rather making witty observations about your relationship. Conduct a courtship-autopsy – what have you done together, what do you regularly ‘debate’, what seems to be a regular theme in your relationship? See what you can have fun with.
Rule 3 Tell a story
Right this is the important bit. Your speech should tell a story. Yes it’s made up of lots of different elements but it needs to hook people in from the beginning, establish a theme and carry that through to an almighty climax. One basic example was a teacher who talked about the lessons she had learnt from her husband – the good, the bad and the ability to now shout a range of football chants. Simple but effective.
Rule 4 Less in More
If you and your groom are both giving speeches you should both aim for about six minutes. It doesn’t sound long but it’s plenty of time to be both funny and sincere. You might feel you have plenty to say and lots of people to thank but try to be strict with yourself. No one ever watched a wedding speech and thought ‘if only it was longer’. Once you write your first draft, edit it down to half the length. We promise it will make it a hundred times stronger.
Rule 5 Prepare to Deliver
A confident delivery is half the battle. Check the acoustics of the venue and get a mic if necessary (you wouldn’t believe how many speeches are ruined simply because the guests can’t hear them). Try to memorise the speech but don’t be afraid to use notes on the day (your brain will be scrambled). Remember everyone wants you to do well so make sure you smile. It’s scientifically proven to be infectious and those scientists know stuff.
Bride Speech - Do's and Don'ts
Keep it a secret – it’s more fun that way
Make the thanks yous meaningful – Don’t just talk about what people have contributed to the wedding, thank them for what they’ve contributed to your life (even if it is just an appreciation on malt whiskeys). Keep each thank you less than 50 words.
Toast something meaningful -ideally something that will make your husband and guests smile – maybe ‘a lifetime of dancing on tables’
Practise your speech and film it on your phone – Watch it back and spot where your speech can be improved.
Talk slower than feels natural – It’s what those authoritative people do to make themselves seem more intelligent.
Thank the caterers or the venue – It’s unnecessary.
Talk over laughter – You’ve worked hard for those laughs – don’t rush them. Always wait until your guests have settled down before continuing with your speech.
Get overly soppy – Get the balance right between sweet and just showing off. Leave the pet names at home and keep anything overly gushing for the bedroom.
Be afraid to use cue cards – Try to memorise the speech but dont be afraid to use notes on the day (your brain will be scrambled).
Bride Speech Help
Speechy is here to help brides in need. As professional TV scriptwriters we’re programmed to entertain and get the best out of people. We sweat the hard stuff so you don’t have to.