“Thank you guys! I’m very happy, it looks awesome… Thank you very much for this, I reckon I’ll knock them all dead!” – Katia H
Yes, traditionally it’s your Dad, your husband-to-be and his best man that speak at your wedding. But more and more brides (and their bridesmaids) want to have their say.
Having the female perspective can be refreshing and provide balance to the traditional all-male cast. But without a lot of thought and preparation it can just as easily cast a shadow over the day that you’ve spent months, if not years, planning.
Here are a few speech tips for brides to help you in getting it right:
1. Don’t leave it to the last minute: Believe it or not, it’s your speech rather than the flowers that people will remember. Don’t leave preparation to the night before. There’s a reason your father has spent the last 3 months getting his speech right – these things take time! And as the bride, the spotlight will be on you more than anyone else, so it’s even more important you’re fluent and prepared.
2. Timing: Some Brides want to use their speech to mark the end of the celebrations. This can be dangerous. Some guests may have left, many will be drunk and you may have missed the moment. I’d suggest speaking directly after your husband, providing a female viewpoint and leaving the Best Man to finish things off.
3. Enlist a friend: Most wedding dresses don’t leave much room for your notes! So make sure you’ve asked a Bridesmaid or close friend in advance to hold onto your speech until you need it. ‘Easy to read’ speech cards are always a good idea.
4. Consult the other speakers: Your biggest risk is covering ground that has already been mentioned in the other speeches. I would strongly recommend that however original you think your speech may be, you have a quick chat with your Groom, your Dad and the Best Man to ensure there is no frustrating overlap.
5. Be nice to your new family: This is not the time to offend your mother-in-law – you’ve got plenty of years ahead of you to do that! If you’re mentioning your own family, it would be courteous to include your husband’s too.
6. Using Rhyme: I’ve often been asked by Brides to write their speech in rhyme. This can add an original change of style from the other speeches. But be careful. Rhyme isn’t easy to sustain. If you want to use it go for a few verses, instead of the entire speech. You may also want to use a well-known poem as a template. If so, try to choose one that means something to the groom.
7. End with a Toast: I wouldn’t repeat one of the traditional toasts given by the other speakers. This is a great opportunity to include other people or say something a little bit different. You could toast your hosts (i.e. ‘Mum and Dad’) or propose a more general toast to ‘friends and family’.
If writing a speech on top of planning the entire wedding feels too much for you, then pick up the phone and give Seb a call on +44 208 245 8999 or email. It’ll give you one less thing to worry about!