The social event of the year. Apparently, many of Ms Middleton’s relatives are distraught to have been left off the list. The photos will be worth millions and an invitation is, literally, priceless.
And rumour (aka Elle Magazine and EOnline) has it that Pippa has been on boot camp to prepare. We’re told this involves five sessions per week with a personal trainer. Adherence to a strict diet. Abstention on a massive scale. Who’d have thought that wedding preparation would overlap quite so clearly with incarceration?
But there has been one glaring omission from this planning process. Absolutely no mention of the wedding speeches. Come on Pippa! Either you are keeping this one very close to your belt (when you’re not having to tighten it), or you are missing the opportunity to make a real name for yourself.
Remember the last ‘wedding of the century’? April 2011. The sun shining. Prince William and Princess Katherine driving down the Mall in a vintage blue convertible, L-Plates on the bumper. Screaming crowds. And yes, rumours galore about the content of Prince Harry’s best man speech (‘hair’ to the throne BOOM BOOM) and a groom speech for the ages from the man himself.
But what about the women? Standing on the scaffolding outside the Palace (working with SKY rather than planning to gatecrash) I heard whispers from the inside. No, the Queen wasn’t going to speak. Camilla was happy for Charles to say a few words. The bride remained mute (or ‘beautiful’ and mute according to ‘OK’). So much for the modern monarchy. There’s been a female at the head of the family for sixty years and they might marry commoners these days, but the wedding etiquette hasn’t quite adjusted to the new Millennium.
Nor has it kept in touch with the mood in the country (and beyond). Here we sit at Great Speech Writing, taking calls every day from wedding planners, nervous grooms, fathers who want to get their words just right and, yes, females! Brides, bridesmaids, maids of honour, mothers of the bride. All preparing a few words to redress the balance. And to bring wedding receptions kicking and screaming into the twenty first century. Some welcome guests to the party. Others want to say a few words about their husband. The bridesmaids are keen to give their unique insight into the bride’s life and times. And on every single occasion, those speeches are incredibly refreshing, offering a very different perspective while representing over half the human race in the process.
This is an estimate rather than statistic, but we reckon that 25% more weddings speeches are given by the girls now compared to ten years ago (when I set up this business). Research carried out last year confirmed that when guests wake up the morning after a wedding, they are most likely to discuss and remember the speeches. More than the service, the dress, the food or the music. And yet Pippa is prepared to shed sweat and pounds for weeks on end, without finding time to write a bride’s speech. Hopefully we’re wrong, and she’s busy preparing something that will appeal to Pippa’s Uncle Gary, Gary’s fourth wife Julie-Ann and Meghan Markle.
Forget the dress Pippa – a great speech is the way to be remembered for all the right reasons. And you can even eat doughnuts while you’re writing it!
About women speaking at weddings here