Are you a bride pondering whether to speak at your own wedding? Worried about taking the limelight from your fiancé? Nervous about standing up in front of your guests? Here’s some advice on why you might want to give a bride speech at your wedding and how best to do it.
Why Give a Bride Speech?
Because You Want To
Yes, traditionally it’s your dad, your husband-to-be and his best mate who speak at the wedding. However, it is your right to want to express your feelings on this momentous occasion.
To Give a Female Perspective
Having the female perspective can be refreshing and provide balance to the traditional all-male cast.
To Say Thank You
It’s also the perfect opportunity to give particular thanks. To your in-laws for welcoming you into their family, your husband for loving you, and, most importantly, your parents for all that they have done for you over the years.
How to Give a Bride Speech
There Are No Rules
There’s no formal etiquette attached to the format of a bride speech. Other speakers have specific roles that need weaving in (e.g. the best man has to toast the bridesmaids, the groom has to thank the hosts etc). But your guests will have no expectations of your speech so you can be as original and as off-script as you like.
You may want to involve the use of rhyme, as 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.
Joint Speech with Your Husband
If your husband is a nervous speaker, you may want to suggest a joint speech. It will help take the pressure off him and give you a chance to thank your loved ones together.
Consult the Other Speakers
Your biggest risk is covering ground that has already been mentioned in the other speeches. I would strongly recommend that, no matter how original you think your speech may be, you have a quick chat with your groom, dad and the best man. This will ensure there is no frustrating overlap.
When Will You Speak?
Think about when you might want to speak. Some brides want to use their speech to mark the end of the celebrations, but this may not be wise. Guests might have left, many will be drunk, and you may have missed the moment. I’d suggest speaking directly after your husband, and leaving the best man to finish things off.
Bride Speech Toasts
I wouldn’t repeat one of the traditional wedding 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’.
Article by Lawrence Bernstein of Great Speech Writing
Image from Gill Maheu Photography