There are many reasons the brother of the bride may be asked to give a speech on his sister’s big day.
Perhaps your father isn’t comfortable with public speaking, or maybe he’s passed away. Maybe he isn’t invited to the wedding, or perhaps your sister just thinks you’re blooming funny and will add an awesome moment to the day.
Whatever the reason, a brother of the bride speech has the potential to be a wedding day highlight. Think about it – all those years of fun, adventure, scrapes, familial embarrassment thrown together with an undercurrent of sibling rivalry. How could it be anything top that?!
To help you along the way, from writing the speech to delivering it on the big day, here are some of Speechy’s top tips for brilliant brothers of the bride.*
We’re TV scriptwriters by trade (working on BBC shows such as Have I Got News For You, Dead Ringers & Horrible Histories) so we know how to entertain people…
We know planning isn’t usually anyone’s idea of fun, but your sister deserves better than you just winging it. It’s time to start gathering the evidence…
Grab a pen and paper & head into the family attic to look for any childhood mementoes that might trigger more memories. Hunt down her childhood diary, report cards and any old attempts at ‘artwork’.
Do some comprehensive social scrolling.
Get together with other family members and friends and bolster your list with stories you’ve forgotten, or maybe never even heard!
Then, when you think you have enough stories for a simple Pukka Pad to deal with, go through it and circle the very best stories, ready for part two…
Content and structure
Brother of the bride speeches are pretty rare, so there aren’t many models to follow telling you exactly how the speech should look. In some ways, this is exciting! You can play with wedding speech formats and make something unique.
However, if your speech is instead of a typical father of the bride speech it would be worth reading our advice in the Father Of The Bride Speech Advice blog. Or, if you’re effectively doing a ‘best man’ speech, see our tips on that.
Assuming you’re standing in for the father, you’re job is to welcome everyone to the wedding and then simply pay a touching, funny tribute to your sister.
If your dad has passed away, you’ll want to mention his absence and how proud he would have been watching his daughter get married. Of course, you need to be careful not to turn this into a eulogy. Of course, it will be an emotional part of the speech, for you and your sister, so we advise leaving this to the latter part of your speech before moving into a more uplifting toast. Read our dearly departed blog to get more ideas of how to handle this.
To do this, you’ll want to find a great structure for your speech. Perhaps it’s centred around you and your sister always fighting for attention right up until this day? Or it could be something totally abstract where you reveal to everyone her hidden and enduring love of The Spice Girls…
Whatever the theme is, make sure you plan a good story around this and break it into subcategories before you start writing. Then, list all the appropriate stories from the brainstorm thereunder.
For example, if it’s all about your constant battle for attention growing up, your headings may be ‘childhood’, ‘as grown ups’, ‘rare times we agree’, etc. Hopefully your stories should fit in here and will help your speech flow.
Also, make sure you include a section on her new husband, with some stories about him too.
Once that’s done, keep going over it to ‘punch it up’ as much as you can. Be your own worst critic. Invite others to read it too, if you like. The more eyes, the better you’ll make it.
Once everyone agrees the speech is perfect, you’re almost there. Almost…
Nobody likes homework. But practicing reading the speech over and over again will reap great rewards. You don’t need to know it off by heart, but the better you know it, the more natural you can be, allowing you to flow more naturally between sections.
If you do choose to learn the speech off by heart, which can work well, just make sure you have prompt cards with you on the big day – just in case.
Also, if you can, try to find friends or family members (note, not your sister) who you can practice in front of, at least as the wedding grows closer. That is the ones who haven’t stopped answering your calls after you repeatedly told them to read your speech…
It’s the big day and you’ve got the perfect speech. You know it really well and there’s no stopping you.
So enjoy it! I know this is easier said than done, but if you can read your speech to one or two family members to a rapturous reception you can do the same in front of a larger crowd. Just read slowly, take deep breaths, bring a glass of water with you and you’ll be fine.
Follow the above advice and you’ll absolutely nail your speech and make your sister incredibly proud. And, if you happen to need any advice on delivery, Speechy’s all new delivery service may be for you. Check out all the ways we can help you nail it.