My favourite part of a wedding day is The Speeches. This is partly because by this point everyone (including myself) has started to properly relax, but mainly it’s because I get to share in the love and joy for the couple I’ve got to know so well. Traditionally speaking, the Father of the Bride usually kicks off proceedings, followed by the Groom, and rounded off by the Best Man/Men, but more and more these days (though still not enough in my opinion) the Bride is also choosing to give a speech… and what a happy wedding planner that makes me. bride’s speech
I always feel incredibly proud of my brides who choose to speak. It’s a brave thing to do, especially when it’s not something that is generally expected. But they absolutely nail it every time. I can see how much they are enjoying addressing their nearest and dearest en masse, and I’ll tell you something else, they always get the most wonderful reaction from their guests.
Here’s a little factoid for you: in my experience (having seen literally hundreds of speeches now), in a traditional line-up the groom’s speech is nearly always the guests’ collective favourite. Why? Because everyone at the wedding knows him. He’s the main man. He’s normally incredibly nervous (because unlike the bride, he *has* to give a speech), and as a protective audience we want him to do well. But he doesn’t have the pressure of being funny, unlike the Best Man, and let’s be honest, it’s not really difficult to get the groom’s speech wrong. His role, other than starting with the cheer-inducing line of “On behalf of my wife and I”, is to do a whole load of thank yous and then make all the female guests swoon by saying something incredibly lovely about his bride. Gently humorous, self-deprecating, grateful and sweet are usually the adjectives associated with a winning groom’s speech, and I’ve seen a fair few now- including my own husband’s!
But why should the groom do all these things on behalf of his wife? Aren’t some thank yous or personal anecdotes going to be so much more sincere coming from the bride herself? It may not come as a shock to you, given that I’m writing this post in the first place, that I chose to give a speech on my wedding day. There I am below, congratulating my Grandfather on making it to the wedding day alive and well. To be honest it was a no brainer from day dot. Aside from the fact I’m a bit of a show-off, my darling Gran had died just seven months before and as she had generously financed a chunk of the wedding, I wanted and needed to briefly talk about her. bride’s speech
I loved every second of giving my speech. I had felt so full of joy all day long and to stand up, look everyone in the eye and tell them how amazing it was to have them all here with us on our day of days came very naturally to me. But I know that public speaking is not everyone’s idea of fun, and what should a bride be saying in her speech anyway? So here are my Dos and Don’ts for what could be the most empowering and liberating 7.38 minutes of your life:
Do… stand up and own that mic. You are Beyonce and these are your fans.
Do… confer with your groom beforehand to make sure you’re not going to be saying the same things/thanking the same people.
Do… thank your bridesmaids. So much more sincere coming from you rather than your husband.
Do… thank anyone else who deserves a personal thank you/public high five from you.
Do… speak sincerely about anyone not at the wedding who you wish were there (a much missed relative, for instance).
Do… tell your new husband why and how much you love him so.
Don’t… overthink it. Honestly, you have so much to do in the days and weeks before the wedding, you don’t need the stress of ‘writing your speech’ hanging over you as well. Make a note of the points you want to make, have them on a prompt card and just go with the flow.
Don’t… let nerves put you off. You are surrounded by people you love and who love you back. They will enjoy hearing you speak, whatever you say.
Don’t… exceed 10 minutes. This applies to everyone but a good speech leaves guests wanting more, not checking their phones and wondering when they can get to the bar.
Don’t… forget to have it filmed. If you’re not having a videographer, enlist a friend or family member to film the speeches on their phones. You’ll enjoy watching your own speech back and seeing how well you did, and in years to come, how young and beautiful you once looked. bride’s speech
You are woman; let’s hear you roar. bride’s speech