Nail your bride speech
There’re hardly any good etiquette guides designed for lesbian brides wanting to deliver a great wedding speech.
Count that as a blessing. Following ‘the rules’ is guaranteed to turn a good speech bad.
Instead, here’s some advice from the Speechy writing team (BBC trained scriptwriters and wedding speech revolutionists). We’re on a mission to rid weddings of boring, cliched and meaningless speeches. We want to help you craft a speech that’s a little less ordinary.*
Who's going to give a Speech?
How are you and your bride going to divide speech duty? Is just one of you addressing your guests (though it seems like a missed opportunity) or do you both want to deliver a speech? Another option is giving a joint speech (we LOVE em!), and you can find out more about joint speeches here.
Let’s assume you’re both delivering speeches; make sure you’re not doubling up on the thanks or the stories. Sure, you’ll each want to thank both sets of parents, but only one of you gets to tell the story about when you got locked in the pub.
Work out how you’ll schedule the speeches. If you have more than three, consider 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 'To Dos'
Tailor your wedding speech style to fit 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 want 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 Rock N Roll Bride, Dancing With Her, Equally Wed & Hello May).
Whatever style of wedding you opt for, make sure your speech reflects it.
The role of your speech is to
- make all the gorgeous guests feel welcome
- thank the important people
- sing the praises of the woman you’ve just married
Here’re the people you may want to thank
- your parents
- your in-laws
- your side-kicks for the day – bridesmaids etc
There may be others you want to mention (children or your partner 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.
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 crucial 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 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 were 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 up to speed with same-sex marriages and are more interested in their salmon soufflés than they are your sexuality. Certainly, don’t turn your speech into a sermon about equal rights – the fact you’re marrying a women doesn’t grant you the right to be preachy or pompous on your wedding day. It’s all about the love!
Your Bride Speech - Let Us Help You!
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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 too 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).
Don’t give gifts – If you’re planning on giving gifts, give them earlier in the day, so the process doesn’t disrupt the flow of your speech, & the guests aren’t tempted to start checking their WhatsApp.