Traditionally it’s the bride’s father, the groom and the best man who say a few words, but these days we’re seeing more and more brides get up to make a speech of their own.
We think it’s a great idea, what better time could there be for you to personally thank your nearest and dearest? We chatted with our brides on the Wedding Ideas Forum about the idea of the bridal speech and their opinions were quite mixed!
Autumn Bride on the on the forum says “I am one for tradition and personally don’t like this new idea of bride speeches.”
“I’m more comfortable with public speaking than my other half,” says HannaBee13 from the Forum, “so would probably be quite happy to make a speech of my own.”
One bride-to be is saying her thank yous in her order of service. “I have put what I want to say in the order of service,” says mrsw. “Basically it’s a short verse for each member of the bridal party thanking them for their help and support.”
What should the speech be about?
So the men in your life may talk about certain matters and try to embarrass each other but there are a few topics that are particularly appropriate for the bride to mention.
Firstly, there’s your family, that includes your current family and the new one you’re marrying into. You’ll want to mention how important your current family have been to you over the years and how they’ve made you the person you are today. You’ll also be becoming part of your husband’s family and his parent’s daughter-in-law, so give them a mention. You may also be gaining new brothers and sisters, so you should say how excited you are to be involved with them all now.
The dearly departed
The groom’s speech may well be quite jovial and joking, but it’s also traditional for them to mention those who have passed away and those who are missed on this special day. It’s bad timing to do this and then head straight into the jokes, so mentioning loved ones no longer with you is a thoughtful element to have in your bride’s speech. That way you can leave the groom and the best man to do the jokes. Don’t forget, you can toast the dearly departed too, that’s also a charming touch.
Giving out gifts
You’ve probably chosen the gifts for the bridesmaids, your mum and the groom’s mother. So perhaps you’re the best person to hand these out? Traditionally it’s always been the groom but we think the bride is a better choice to be honest.
Worried about making a speech on your big day?
Would you like to say a few words on your wedding day but feel terrified of standing up in front of everybody? Do you think it should be just a job for the boys? Or are you worried about bursting into emotional tears?
We think you should be brave and go for it! So we’ve asked Maggie Sawkins, who’s coached hundreds of people in the art of public speaking. She gives us her top tips for giving a calm and stress-free speech on your big day.
Hold yourself tall, take a deep breath in and out, look around the room and look your guests in the eye and smile. There’s no rush, remember.
A professional delivery
Professionals always speak slowly and deliberately and are relaxed about timings. Remember comedians who raise a laugh always pause for the laughter to subside before carrying on. People want to hear what you have to say. Don’t look down at the floor, up at the ceiling or at a fixed point at the back of the room, look at people. Try not to say um or er either, if you feel one coming on pause before you continue with your sentence.
The rule of three
No matter how long you’re planning to talk for, your speech should have a beginning, a middle and an end, so divide it into three parts. To make it fun you can tell some stories about experiences the two of you have shared. It’s also good if your speech has a theme or a message that you can work into your words. Maybe your shared love of travel or sport or whatever it might be.
Practise out loud
The key to getting your speech word perfect is to practise it out loud over and over again. Get a friend, like your chief bridesmaid, to listen to you and ask her what areas she thinks could be improved upon and what works well.
If you’re well rehearsed and you’ve given yourself time to work on your speech, there’s no reason not to relax and enjoy it. Remember everybody listening to you is on your side and wants to hear your words. You’re only going to be doing this once, so make it count.
What do you think? Let us know by leaving a comment below or by joining the conversation on the Wedding Ideas Forum.