This is a hashtag we’re pretty passionate about. We know some of us might get a bit ‘eye-rolly’ about it, like c’mon, of course lots of brides give speeches but the reality is, still too few.
While we respect a bride’s choice not to give a speech (it’s just not some people’s bag) the stats just don’t add up. We just don’t believe blokes naturally like public speaking so much more than us girls. And we certainly don’t buy into the idea that three blokes are automatically the best choice to put pride of place on the wedding mic.
A wedding speech is a wonderful thing. It’s one of life’s special moments. It’s eight minutes, a thousand words, that captures the love, the craziness, the hope and the excitement of a couple getting hitched. As well as celebrating the couple, it celebrates the people who will support them throughout their marriage.
These days, there’s loads of bride speech examples and advice that prove they’re a great idea – so why are so many women still throwing the opportunity away? Quite frankly we reckon more brides would LOVE giving a speech if only they actually considered it.
Speechy's Bride Speech
We know giving a bride’s speech is rather awesome because we did it. In fact, that’s what kick-started Speechy.
I gave a bride’s speech when I got hitched back in 2012. I’d been desperate to get married for ages (terrible feminist) so when he (finally) proposed I was relieved to discover he was also keen to ‘get on with it’. We didn’t want to bankrupt ourselves or get overly stressed about the whole thing (though it’s impossible not to be stressed about table planning) but I wanted to make it really personal, a bit different and a right good bash.
I’m not one of those Pinterest brides (fair play if you are, but I get too jealous and want EVERYTHING) and the thought of handcrafting bunting was not for me. Instead I knew the one thing I could offer our guests was, well, words. Words and lots of booze (we had a lot of Scottish guests).
It’s not often you get the chance to tell your friends, family or even your partner how much you love them. Certainly not when you’re sober. And generally not in any thought-through or considered way.
I wanted to tell people I thought they were blooming brilliant and leave them with that hygge feeling (without the help of a chunky knit jumper or candles). I wanted my speech to be the equivalent of an audial cuddle; one of life’s special moments that my mum and my man would remember for a long time.
Of course, I wanted it to be funny but I also wanted it to have heart. I probably spent a few weeks thinking about it and a couple of days writing it. Not much really in the scale of wedding planning. Still, for me, the speeches became the epicentre of the day.
The theme of my speech played with the idea my new husband was a bit of a wannabe hippy (you know, the middle class sort who still shops in Waitrose). I set up the notion that by marrying him I was essentially joining a commune and all the guests were invited too!
I made sure that every guest laughed and that everyone I loved knew how much it meant to me for them to be there. I felt like my speech got everyone rooting for my marriage a little bit more.
Yes, I admit I felt a bit like a rock star delivering my speech (let’s face it, brides still get kudos just for standing up!) but it really wasn’t about showing off. Quite the opposite. It was about paying my own tribute to the people around me, and most of all, admitting what a blooming great specimen of a bloke I’d married.
Naturally, I’m one of those people who squirms at Facebooks posts where people confess to loving their partners. I’m much more comfortable waxing lyrical about everything my fella does to annoy me, rather than what he does to amuse me, but on my wedding day, I felt I should confess. Yes, I adored him. Yes, he had taught me a lot. Yes, he makes me feel happy. And, oh yes, he’s a bit bloody gorgeous.
It would have felt wrong to me to sit back and let my bloke give a speech saying how awesome I was without me doing the equivalent for him. And the truth was, he LOVED it. Not so much the compliments (he’s naturally quite big headed, so believe me, he didn’t actually need them!) but he loved seeing me stand up and make everyone laugh. Turns out he likes a ballsy bride.
On the day, my mum also gave a short speech (my dad had passed away a few years previously) and my new sister-in-law gave the best, rather ‘edgy’, speech of the evening (don’t think the grans got the penis reference luckily). Still, my groom didn’t feel too bad about the girls stealing the show. I kindly let him announce I was three months pregnant in his speech which was a surprise to most of the guests. And yes, the bump was a girl so it really was #grlpwr at it’s best I guess.
The Bride Speech Revolution
So why are we so comfortable letting the men ‘speak on behalf of us’ on our wedding days? Why are women still cool with letting our grooms bask in all the speech glory while we stay mute? And crucially, is it fair that he gets to start stacking up the in-law brownie points with his speech when we have to be on our best behaviour for the next few years and beyond?
Yes, there’s all the other wedding ‘to dos’ to think about but we reckon (acknowledging a s-load of bias here) a speech is one of the most important.
And it’s not just us who thinks so….
- The ambassadors of clever thinking – The Pool – have something to say about it.
- Grazia’s Rhiannon Evans thinks it’s all about saying a big thank you
- Afua Hirsch reckons brides give better speeches
- Lucy Jenkins was a bride who did – and she doesn’t even like public speaking!
Of course we’d love to hear from more brides who have, or are considering, giving a speech. Any tips or advice we can share – the better! For more of our bride speech examples and ideas – check out our Bride Advice page. Hope it helps ladies!
Prepare to rock the mic.