Nail your bride speech
The first thing to say is there’s nothing intrinsically special about giving a lesbian wedding speech. Straight or gay – all wedding speeches need to make your guests smile and leave you with a lifelong memory.
Of course there’s not many etiquette books designed for lesbian brides. Count that as a blessing. Etiquette books are guaranteed to turn a good speech bad.
By following a few key pieces of advice from the Speechy scriptwriters (BBC trained, celebrity schmoozers and wedding speech revolutionists) your speech is guaranteed to be both unique and a little bit wonderful. We’re on a mission to rid weddings of boring, cliched and meaningless speeches so follow our advice and you’ll craft a speech less ordinary.*
*Of course, if you’re looking for a bit more hand-holding, check out our lesbian bride speech template or bespoke speech writing service. Yes, we can do the hard work for you!
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Who's going to give a Speech?
The first thing to consider is how you and your bride are going to divide the speech duty. It might just be one of you addressing your guests (though it seems like a missed opportunity) or you could both give a speech. The other option is giving a joint speech (we LOVE em!) and you can find out more about Mrs & Mrs speeches here.
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 about when 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 dinner or even saving one till the evening do (though that’s a risky strategy if there’s a free bar).
Wedding Speech Etiquette
Let’s get this out of the way first. Don’t get tied down with traditional etiquette. A lot of it is outdated and well, just not fit for a gorgeous modern wedding.
Tailor your style to fit in to the scene you’ve set. Have you invited a lot of older relatives who expect a certain level of decorum or just a dozen of your Pacha amigos who expect Jagger Bombs on tap? Are you dressed traditionally or are you a Rock n Roll Bride (if you haven’t decided yet – these sites might help Offbeat Bride, Rock N Roll Bride, Equally Wed, Nouba, Polka Dot Bride & Hello May). Whatever style of wedding you opt for, make sure your speech reflects it. in that one) – just make sure your words reflect the wedding you’ve created.
The main role of your speech is to
- make all the guests feel welcome
- thank the important people
- sing the praises of the woman you’ve just married
Here’s the people you may want to consider thanking
- your parents
- your in-laws
- your side-kicks for the day – bridesmaids etc
Of course there may be others you want to mention (children you already have ?) but resist the urge to read out half the guest list. Nothing kills off a speech quicker than a tedious thank you list, esp if you’re one of the few guests who doesn’t get a mention.
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 bride should be the focus of your speech but remember every bride thinks her partner is gorgeous, kind and generally amaaazing. Cut the cliches and concentrate on what makes your woman unique. Is she a library-lover, a technology fiend, a devoted foodie? Nailing her individual and quirky characteristics shows you ‘get her’ Avoid words like ‘soulmate’ or ‘beautiful’, anything that’s overused.
Rule 2 Be Funny
All wedding speeches need to be humorous. That’s what hooks people into your story and makes speeches a wedding highlight. 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 and your girlfriend done together, what have you argued about, 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 partner – the good, the bad and the ability to now shout a range of football chants.
Rule 4 Less in More
The length of your speech depends on whether your bride is also giving a speech. If you’re both doing a speech – aim for five mins, if it’s just you then you can plan for about eight minutes (ten allowing for laughter and ad libs). Remember one ever has ever listened to a wedding speech and said ‘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 Don't state the obvious
Don’t bother mentioning you’re marrying a woman. It’s blooming obvious. Let’s hope your guests are fully up to speed with same sex marriages and are more interested in their salmon souffles than they are your sexuality. Certainly don’t turn your speech into a sermon about equal rights – the fact your marrying a women doesn’t grant you the right to be preachy or pompous on your wedding day. It’s all about the love!
Wedding Speech - Do's and Don'ts
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 bride 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 don’t be afraid to use notes on the day (your brain will be scrambled).to use notes on the day (your brain will be scrambled).
A Bit About Speechy...
The Speechy team includes James, Heidi, Roger and Claire. 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 Richard Hammond, Sharon Osbourne, Dan Snow, Sandi Toksvig, 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, or more mainstream media such as Radio 1 and Radio 2. Even Eamonn Holmes has wanted our advice on how to deliver a speech at his son’s wedding when we were on his show recently.
Of course, we love helping people write amazing speeches and we still get excited when they tell us we’ve added a special moment to their day.