Wed's guide to bride's speeches
Brides! Game to give a speech? We're all for it - follow our top tips for a bridal speech that'll bring the house down
Many of today's brides and grooms are choosing to skip any tradition that doesn't sit well with them - from passing on the bouquet toss to walking down the aisle together - so why not extend that to the speeches? Not only is it a great opportunity for the bride to thank everyone too, it's refreshing to hear a female voice amongst the sea of male speeches.
Don't double up
As it's still a fairly novel idea for a bride to speak at her own wedding, there isn't exactly a template to follow. The main thing to bear in mind is ensuring you don't just rehash what has already been said. We suggest you chat it through with your partner and decide who will be responsible for what. Or if that sounds too much like ruining the magic, have a trusted friend listen to both and highlight any duplicates.
Or... do double up!
Why not give a joint speech? Marriage is about your union and what could be more symbolic than giving thanks and sharing your story together? It may also help both of you to feel less nervous.
Clare Kinchin PhotographyKeep it snappy
The golden rule of any wedding speech is to keep it snappy and to the point. Far better to have a five or 10-minute speech that leaves people happy crying than drag things on for half an hour and have guests covertly scrolling their newsfeeds under the table. And when you add in a fourth speech? Well, keeping it succinct becomes even more important! Tell a story
One of the best ways to write an unforgettable speech is to tell a story. It could be funny, heart-warming, tear-inducing - whatever you like. Perhaps you've got a sweet anecdote about how the two of you met? Or maybe you've got some zingers from your months of wedding planning? Craft the words to recreate the story and you can't go wrong.
Freckle PhotographyHave an attitude of gratitude
This is your chance to thank everyone for choosing to celebrate your big day with you. Give an extra shout-out to those who travelled a long way to be with you or have challenging circumstances (for example, a new baby). You can also use your time to acknowledge the important people in your life who are no longer with you. Give thanks to your parents
Instead of letting the groom talk about your parents - you get to! Given that you probably know them best, this is a lovely opportunity to share some family stories and finish up with a big thank you for making you into such an awesome human being. #stayhumble
Freckle PhotographyBig up your bridesmaids
Normally it's left up to the groom to give thanks to the bridesmaids, but who better to speak about them than you? Share a witty hen night tale, tell your audience how your bridesmaids have outdone themselves and, of course, let them know how beautiful they are and how valued their friendship is. Quick - pass the tissues! Revel in the flexibility
You don't have to be rip-roaringly funny like the best man traditionally does, and you don't have to write a tear-jerker like your dad. So use this to your advantage and speak straight from your heart.Write cue cards
If you're feeling nervous, don't shy away from cue cards to keep you on track. You might not even need to use them, but just having them to hand will be a soothing thought. And if you do start to stumble, you'll be incredibly grateful.
Clare Kinchin PhotographyGet feedback
Give your speech to one of your friends and take their feedback on board. If there are any parts of the speech you're not sold on they'll be able to tell you whether they work or not from an audience perspective. Practice makes perfect
If speech giving is new to you, practise out loud in front of a mirror. Run through your lines on the commute into work. Bore your bridesmaids senseless with it. The more familiar the speech becomes to you, the more natural you will sound on the day and the less likely you are to get a blank mind and stumble. Enjoy yourself
Have a glass of wine or two (but not too many until the speech is over!) and soak up the other speeches. Then go for it. If you mess up a line, just laugh and the room will laugh with you! Say it loud and proud.
words Abby Driver
Copyright Wed magazine 2018