Mother of the Bride Speech Template
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This is the bit that gets some mums in a muddle. Relax, you only have two jobs to do; make everyone feel welcome and make your daughter feel loved.
DON’T GO OVERLY FORMAL – Forget about the traditional speech etiquette, as long as you’re polite and loving, no one cares if you address them as ‘ladies and gentlemen’ (in fact it seems overly formal if you do).
DON’T STEAL THE GROOM’S THUNDER – The biggest trap mothers fall into is thinking they need to thank people. Actually, that’s the groom’s job. That said, it pays to mention your daughter’s new-in laws.
Do NOT get sucked into thanking your friends or family members who’ve travelled far. It’s not your day and, quite frankly, too many thank yous becomes boring. Remember the bridesmaids will be thanked by the groom (and most likely, the best man) so keep it concise if you do!
PREPARE TO BE EMOTIONAL – Of course, if you’re speaking on behalf of a father who’s passed away, then you’ll want to pay tribute to him. Be careful though; you don’t want to turn your speech into a eulogy. Read our advice on how to write a heartfelt tribute to the dearly departed while ensuring your speech remains a joyful one.
The structure of a mother of the bride speech is the same as a father of the bride speech. Here’s the idea…
A heart-warming tribute to your daughter should be the focus of your speech but remember every bride is beautiful, kind and generally amaaazing. Cut the cliches and concentrate on what makes your daughter unique. Is she an indie chick, a library-lover, a technology fiend? Nailing her individual and quirky characteristics is key to delivering a great speech. Whether she’s ditsy, gobby, obsessed with fake tan, people love her the way she is and it’s your chance to celebrate that.
Yes, the expectation may be on the best man, but all wedding speeches should make people laugh. Of course, being funny isn’t about finding good jokes on the internet (if only it were that easy) but rather making witty observations about your daughter and her relationships with her family and the groom. Imagine your daughter in a sit-com – what sort of character would she play? The high-powered businesswoman who can’t work the remote control? The fitness fanatic who jogs when she eats? Have fun with her character.
Create a narrative, so your speech doesn’t just sound like a collection of random anecdotes and ‘to dos’. Your speech needs to hook people in from the beginning, establish a theme and carry that through to an almighty climax. One of the fathers we worked with used the wedding venue as the inspiration for his theme. As his daughter was getting married in a theatre, he recounted her ‘best dramatic performances’, from the toddler tantrums to becoming a bridezilla. He then gave the happy couple a standing ovation.
A mother of the bride speech should be about six minutes long (eight allowing for laughter and ad libs) if you’re standing in for the father of the bride. If you’re both giving a speech, then you shouldn’t go over five minutes each. Remember no one 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.
A confident delivery is half the battle. Make sure your daughter has checked the acoustics of the venue and organised a mic if necessary (so many speeches are ruined simply because people can’t hear them). Talk slower than feels natural – it will make you seem assured even if you’re feeling nervous. Even if you’re reading from notes – try to maintain eye contact with the guests and your daughter. Also, remember to smile. It’s scientifically proven to be infectious and those scientists know stuff.
TRIBUTE TO YOUR DAUGHTER
This is the heart of the speech but where do you start? How about with a glass of wine and a brainstorm with some other family members? If your daughter has siblings, they’re likely to be a good source of content!
Get out the old photos and ask yourself lots of questions. How did she make you laugh when she was a child? Who was her first teenage crush (always good to compare the groom)? Rather than resorting to clichés about her being a ‘wonderful, funny child’, find the insights and anecdotes that paint a picture.
Of course, as well as the childhood years, talk about the woman your daughter has become. Again, rather than rely on platitudes, think about what makes your daughter unique. Is she a social-media fiend, a tech-head, or a glam girl? Does she love exotic adventures or does she secretly love to knit? Cherish your daughter for exactly who she is – even if she is slightly crazy and still addicted to Haribos.
TRIBUTE TO YOUR SON-IN-LAW
Yes, it’s definitely worth mentioning the groom too! And try to make this more than a few cursory sentences at the end. Think about why the groom is suited to your daughter. What quirks of hers is he good at tolerating? What guilty pleasures do they share?
Think about how you two have bonded. What do you like about the groom? Again try to make this tribute jam-packed with unique, honest insights (without alluding to any reservation you may or may not have!)