When you think about wedding speeches, the first things that come mind are probably the best man’s speech, the groom’s speech or the father of the bride’s speech. Many people forget about the bride’s speech, with many brides choosing not to bother at all! We think this is an absolute tragedy… What better opportunity are you going to have to thank everyone you love and care about in your life, all at the same time in one room?
What to include in the bride’s speech…
You might think the boys have got it all covered, but there are a few things that are better delivered in the bride’s speech…
Talk about family
One of the most important things for the bride to mention in the bride’s speech is family. Her family, how they’ve been there for her over the years and how much she appreciates them. Also the new family she is becoming a part of and how honoured and excited she is to be part of it. Pay attention to the groom’s siblings, too.
Those who couldn’t be here
Delicate matters need a lady’s touch… Sometimes it seems a little inappropriate for the groom or best man to address those who couldn’t be there, then start with the jokes right after. Sometimes it’s better for the bride’s speech to include a mention for all those who aren’t there in person but are still in spirit, complete with a toast.
Give the gifts
Although traditionally the groom will hand out the gifts, there’s no reason why the bride can’t do this. Let’s face it, she is most likely the person who has gone out and picked the gifts, so it’s nice for her to hand them over. This also includes the gifts for the bride and groom mothers.
What’s putting you off?
Some brides avoid doing a speech because they’re worried that they’ll feel like a bit part in a male-orientated tradition. Some brides worry they’ll get too emotional and won’t get through it. But for many brides, it’s the thought of public speaking that’s enough to put them off altogether! We asked public speaking coach, Maggie Sawkins, to reveal her top tips for the perfect stress-free delivery!
Really rise to your tallest, breathe out, look guests in the eye and smile before you utter a word!
Take your time
Being relaxed about time creates a professional persona. Look directly at people, not at the floor, the ceiling or a point on the wall behind them. Pause before you speak to replace any ‘ums’ or ‘ers’. Spaces give your audience a chance to digest your words.
Have a plan
Choose a three-part structure for what you want to say, whether it’s for 3 minutes or 30. Use short anecdotes from your shared experience to make your points or illustrate one key ‘message’ or theme about the people you’re toasting.
Ask a friend or colleague to talk over your speech and then watch you practice. Receive feedback on your strengths and encouragement on areas to improve. There is a world of difference when you give this a bit of time.
It’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing to deliver a speech at your wedding and it can make you feel amazing! Make sure you enjoy every last second of it!