Your speech will, in part, depend on whether your parents are also giving a speech or if you’re delivering it on behalf of your family.
If it’s the former, your parent’s speech is likely to be the more sentimental one, and your speech can have a more comedic bias. Feel free to include the ‘heated debates’, nights out, and all the glorious sibling-style anecdotes.
Of course, it’s not only an opportunity to tease your sister, you also have carte blanche to make fun of your parents and the way they brought you both up. Remember how they wouldn’t let you watch The Kardashians or eat sugar after 4 pm? ‘Well, mum, there’s a three-tier cake over there with our name on it, and YOU can’t do anything about it.’
Did you grow up squabbling or were you always as thick as thieves? Was one of you ALWAYS the favourite growing up? If so, it’s time to dish the dirt. Lovingly of course!
Sister of the Bride Etiquette
Your speech is essentially an extra-special maid of honour speech so check out our MOH Advice.
You don’t have to worry about being too formal. Tailor your speech to the style of the wedding. Is it a rock n roll affair, a traditional do, or a child-friendly bash? Think of your audience and decide if ‘ladies and gentlemen’ is necessary or OTT (generally it’s the latter).
Inevitably the other speakers will have used up the traditional toasts, but who wants them anyway? Think of a unique way to toast the newly-hitched, even if it’s just ‘to the coolest couple this side of Croydon.’
How To Structure Your Speech
There’s no set-in-stone sister of the bride speech structure, which is great as it allows you to be unique!
Our advice? Think of all your best stories about your sister and see if there’s a common theme. Or even just one, really great story that gets across EVERYTHING you want to pay tribute to.
- Start by gathering your intel. Get a bottle of wine in, maybe recruit a few mates and have, what they called in the 90s, a brainstorm.
- Think about the funny things first — the bride’s terrible taste in TV, her addiction to Haribos, her insanely competitive spirit. The quirkier the observation, the better.
- Once you’ve built her character up, you can then focus on your relationship. How she taught you ALOT of bad habits over the year or how you probably owe her thousands in unpaid taxi services.
- Once you’ve ticked all the funny boxes, you can move on to the emotional stuff. Get them laughing throughout the first 2/3 of the speech, get them crying in the final third. If you can get them cry-laughing at some point, you know you’ve nailed it.
- Remember ‘prove, don’t tell’ when it comes to describing your sister’s qualities. Adjectives get lost in a speech. Instead, if she’s generous, tell them about the time she paid for your car to be towed back to your house after it was impounded (yes, that did happen to one of us).
- As well as your sister, you also have to pay tribute to your sister’s new partner. Try to say more than just platitudes and give a sense of their character too. What have you two bonded over?
- Recognise what makes your sister and her partner a great couple and propose a toast to that.
Sister of the Bride – The Rules
- There aren’t too many but… most importantly… be funny! We cannot emphasise that enough. Sure, you may think your sister is the bee’s knees and you can get as emotional as you want, but a great speech relies on funny memories, and if you’ve already made people laugh, they’ll be more receptive to the emotional punch at the end.
- Avoid jokes you’ve found off of Google (other search engines are available), cheesy humour, or wedding gags. Instead, concentrate on the character of the couple. Remember the adage; it’s funny because it’s true.
- If humour isn’t your thing, then consider using quotes. Unlike internet gags, quoting funny or clever folk is legitimate. Check out some of our maid of honour quotes for inspo.
- One word of warning – keep the speech relatively short. Yes, we’ve told you to find LOADS of stories about your sister, but you don’t have to use them all. Be selective! Aim for between six and eight minutes, depending on how many other people will be speaking at the wedding.
- Preparing to deliver is also incredibly important as – no matter how good your speech is, it won’t be a great one if you rush through it. So take your time, look at the audience, and don’t mumble into the mic. Worth reading our post on How To Deliver Your Speech Like A Pro.
However, with all these stories and truth-bombs at your disposal, we’re sure you’re going to storm it.
Of course, if you still feel you need a helping hand – scroll down to find out how you can work with the Speechy team and craft your dream speech