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. It’s not about etiquette books, a long list of thank yous or ‘his job’ anymore, it’s about dropping a love-bomb on the party and kick-starting your marriage with a bang.

This is your chance to thank your friends and family and make them feel loved. It’s also a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to shout about what a sublime example of gorgeousness you’ve married without being considered a little bit smug.

As ex BBC scriptwriters, we’ve compiled the ultimate guide to nailing your bride speech.

If you’re wanting a bit more hand-holding, check out our amazing bride speech template or find out how you can commission a TV scriptwriter to craft your wedding speech

As Seen In...

Why a bride speech rocks

The arguments for not sitting back and letting a line-up of three men hog the wedding mic are well-rehearsed, but choosing to give a bride speech ain’t really about feminism. It’s just about adding something special to the day.

  • It’s a proper thank you – Thank you cards are nice, but they won’t leave your favourite people with the nice warm glow that a great speech does.
  • Guests love it – They want to hear your side of the love story.
  • Your husband will love it – We’ve yet to meet a groom who didn’t blooming LOVE his Mrs giving a speech. Surely he deserves a few compliments thrown his way?
  • You’ll love it –  The blokes won’t admit this but giving a speech is fun. You’re surrounded by people you love (and OK, a few random children you couldn’t shake off the invite list) and everyone is rooting for you. It’ll become one of your wedding day highlights -totally out-ranking those ‘I dos’.

Bride Speech - Surprise or Scheduled?

The first thing to think about is whether you want to surprise your groom or schedule your speech into the day.

The surprise speech is always nice but get a sense of the groom’s thank yous so that you don’t needlessly echo each other. Also keep an eye on your duration. If there’s no check on the length of the groom speech, you need to keep yours relatively concise. 

If the groom knows you’re giving a speech, you can divvy out the thank yous (and check that you aren’t repeating the classic stories). Sure, you’ll each want to thank both sets of parents but only one of you gets to tell the story where you got locked in the pub. You can also agree to contain both speeches to about six minutes.

If there’s going to be more than three speeches, schedule them so you avoid a speech-clump. Perhaps have one between each course of the meal, or have the traditional male line up after the main meal and the surprise bride speech after the dessert (NB: you’ll get more laughs once everyone’s had their Champagne!)

Bride Speech Etiquette

A bride speech is the Burger King of speeches – you get to say what you want, how you want.

But (massive klaxon warning!) make sure you’re not left with the ‘scraps of speeches’. Check out Confetti’s Guide to Etiquette to get a sense of who’s doing what so you don’t find yourself repeating the same thank yous as your husband and mumbling ‘again’ far too often. Stake your claim on the good stuff (or, if your speech is a surprise, avoid the content that’s already been covered and get inventive)!

Remember, the main role of your speech is to

  • make all the guests feel welcome
  • give your personal thanks to the important people
  • make your man feel properly loved

People to consider thanking (depending on the groom’s speech)

  • your parents
  • your in-laws
  • the best man & ushers
  • your maid of honour & bridesmaids
  • any children you and/or your groom already have

Of course there may be others you want to mention 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 it doesn’t disrupt the flow of your speech and the guests aren’t tempted to start checking their whatsapp messages.

The Classic Bride Trap

We cannot stress this strongly enough…. A bride’s speech should not be more romantic or less humorous than the groom’s.

If you’re the naturally soppy sort, you might be hoping your bride’s speech is an opportunity to get get all dewy eyed and leave singletons weeping at the glory of the love you have found. It’s not.

OTT declarations of love can still be cringey even in a wedding context. If you can’t imagine reading your speech to your mates down the pub without them wanting to throw things at you, you’ve probably pitched it wrong.

Yes, you can be sweet, you can be loving, you can even cry with happiness – just make sure you’re funny and self-depreciating too.

The 5 rules to writing a great bride’s speech

Bride Speech - Do's and Don'ts

DO

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.

DON'T

Thank the caterers or the venue – It’s unnecessary.

‘Explain’ why you’re giving a bride speech  – Yes, you might always have the last word, but these days a bride  speech doesn’t need any justification.

Show off – Yes, it’s your special day. But no, you’re not allowed to show off about it. Be conscious there’s single girls out there. Be self-depreciating & be humble. Don’t do a Paltrow. Instead, channel Jennifer Aniston and be the rocking hot girl who everyone still likes.

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).

A Bit About Speechy

Speechy is an elite team of wordsmiths and includes Heidi, Roger, Claire and James. Between us, we’ve been included in the Edinburgh TV Festival’s ‘Ones to Watch’ and featured in the BBC Hotlist.

During our telly careers, we’ve  worked with people such as Christine Bleakley, Richard Hammond, Sharon Osbourne, Dan Snow, David Mitchell and Mel Geidroyc. Get us!

These days we’re the go-to experts for wedding speech advice – featuring in wedding bibles such as Rock n Roll Bride or Wedding Ideas Mag, and more mainstream media such as Radio 1 and Radio 2. 

Of course, our favourite thing is helping people write amazing speeches and we still get excited when brides tell us we’ve added a special moment to their day.

Your Bride Speech - How We Can Help

Click on ‘Read More’ to find out about each product or service, or simply ‘Add To Basket’ if you want to buy now. Contact us if you want a no-obligation natter about which service would suit you best.

  • Bride Speech Template

    £39.99

    Speechy’s Bride Speech Template will not only help you write a wonderful wedding speech, it will turn you into a natural storyteller!

    It comes with a Content-Creator (guaranteed to extract brilliant material from even the most uninspired) and a choice of three speeches that our team have crafted for you to simply pick your favourite and then personalise.

    Fun, clever and possibly the best wedding investment you could make.

    Further details below. Enjoy!

  • Bespoke Speech

    £395.00

    Commission the Speechy wordsmiths to craft a bespoke (and rather brilliant) wedding speech for you. 

    Buy today and we’ll get the ball rolling.

    Please ensure you’ve booked your speech into our calendar before purchasing. Call us on 07971 225 245 if you haven’t already.

    More details below.

  • Speech Review Service

    £150.00

    Purchase a Wedding Speech Review and the Speechy wordsmiths will ensure it’s a speech to remember for all the right reasons. 

    Once purchased, simply upload your speech when prompted and our experts will ensure it passes all the etiquette and story-telling tests. We’ll also rewrite any sections that we feel are lacking and ensure your speech is one you can’t wait to deliver.

    Your ‘Reviewed Speech’ will be emailed to you within 48 hours of purchase.

    Further detail can be found below.

  • Delivery Masterclass

    £150.00

    Deliver Your Speech Like a Pro with our Speechy Delivery Masterclass

    Wedding speech delivery is just as important as writing a great speech. As ex BBC TV directors, we’re trained to get the best out of you and teach you the tricks of the presenting trade. 

    The Masterclass is a one-to-one Skype call with one of the Speechy team that will take between 45 and 60 mins. We’ve worked with numerous celebrities and countless comedians as part of our TV career helping them to get into their comfort zone and deliver the goods and, with a few simple tips, we guarantee you will too! 

    We’ll ask you to present your speech before giving you feedback & presenting tips, and then get keep on rehearsing it until we feel you’ve got it. You’ll inevitably see immediate an improvement but we’ll also send you a personalised email with everything you need practise and remember on the day. It’s basically The Cheat’s Guide to Nailing It. 

    Once purchased, we’ll be in touch to set up the Masterclass Skype call or you can call us in advance to check our available time-slots.

Bride Speech - It Gets People Talking

Grazia’s Rhiannon Evans explains why she HAD to give a bride’s speech and the uber-cool Kat Williams of Rock n Roll Bride explains why she’d choose to give a bride speech now (‘Having An Alternative Wedding Is Now A Trend’).

Confetti and Wedding Ideas are right behind the #thisbridewill campaign too.

Speechy were also interviewed by Badass Women’s Hour about it and The King of Love, Steve Wright, quoted our bride speech tips on Radio 2 recently.

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