Your Bride Speech
Like a free bar stocked with Bollinger, a bride speech is guaranteed to get the guests excited.
It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to shout about how goddamn gorgeous your fella is without seeming a bit smug, as well as a chance to thank your friends and family for a lifetime of love.
The Speechy team are TV scriptwriters by trade and after writing speeches for hundreds of amazing brides around the world, we’re rated ‘excellent’ on Trustpilot. We know how to entertain a crowd and pack an emotional punch without being cheesy.
Here are our tips so you can write & deliver a bride’s speech worth remembering.
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A bride speech is the Burger King of speeches – you get to say what you want, how you want.
But (massive klaxon warning) make sure you’re not left with the ‘scraps of speeches’. Check out Confetti’s Guide to Etiquette to get a sense of who’s doing what so you don’t find yourself repeating the same thank yous as your husband and mumbling ‘again’ far too often. Stake your claim on the good stuff.
The role of your speech is to
- make all the guests feel welcome
- give your thanks to the important people
- make your man feel properly loved
So who are ‘the important people’?
- your parents
- your in-laws
- the best man & ushers (depending on the groom’s speech)
- your maid of honour & bridesmaids
- any children you and your groom already have
Of course, there may be others you want to mention but resist the urge to read out half the guest list. Nothing kills off a speech quicker than a tedious thank you list.
If you’re planning on giving thank you gifts to any of the wedding party, we recommend saying you’ll be ‘personally handing them out later’ so it doesn’t disrupt the flow of your speech and the guests aren’t tempted to start checking their WhatsApp messages.
Five speech rules
A heart-warming tribute to your groom should be the focus of your bride speech but remember every bride thinks her husband is gorgeous, kind and generally amaaaazing. The only way for this to sound genuine is – prove, don’t tell.
Resist too many adjectives and recount the anecdotes that show your bloke’s qualities in action.
Cut the cliches & concentrate on what makes your man unique. Avoid words like ‘soulmate’ or ‘gorgeous’, anything that’s overused.
Is he a library-lover, a technology fiend, a devoted foodie? Nailing his individual and quirky characteristics shows you ‘get him’ and his friends & family will love you for it.
All speeches should be funny. Yes, you want to be sweet about your groom and kind to your guests but make them laugh too.
No one’s expecting a stand-up routine but if you manage to get everyone giggling within the first 30 secs, then you’re on to a winner. Your guests will relax and you will too.
Of course, being funny isn’t about finding good jokes on the internet – it’s about making witty observations about your groom and your relationship.
Remember the adage ‘it’s funny because it’s true’. Ask yourself lots of questions. What have you done together, what do you regularly ‘debate’, what seems to be a regular theme in your relationship?
Right, this is the crucial bit. Rather than just a collection of anecdotes and thank yous, a great speech should tell a story.
Yes, it’s made up of lots of different elements, but it needs to hook people in from the beginning, establish a theme and carry that through to an almighty climax.
One basic example might be a teacher who talks about the lessons her husband has taught her – the good, the bad and the ability to now shout a range of football chants. Another theme might be the bride’s interpretation of her marriage vows (e.g. man flu doesn’t count as ‘sickness’).
Creating a theme ensures the speech is easy to follow and entertaining. Find out #whatsyourstory
If you and your groom are both giving speeches, you should both aim for about six or seven minutes. It doesn’t sound long, but it’s plenty of time to be both funny and sincere.
You might feel you have plenty to say but be strict with yourself. Remember a long thank you list turns a good speech bad.
Once you write your first draft, edit it down to half the length. We promise it will make it a hundred times stronger. No one ever watched a wedding speech and thought ‘if only it were longer’.
The edit process might mean cutting some of your favourite bits but you need to wipe out the waffle and kill those cliches!
A confident delivery is half the battle.
Check the acoustics of the venue & get a mic if necessary (so many speeches are ruined simply because the guests can’t hear them).
Try to memorise the speech but don’t be afraid to use notes on the day (your brain will be scrambled). Thick A4 paper is fine (but only print 3/4 of the way down the paper so you can maintain eye contact with your guests) or you can use a tablet (a mobile still looks overly casual).
Talk slower than feel natural (makes you sound more confident) & leave pauses for laughter (sometimes people need a moment to ‘get it’).
More Delivery Advice on our blog.
Classic Bride trap
We cannot stress this strongly enough… A bride’s speech should not be more romantic or less humorous than the groom’s.
If you’re the naturally soppy sort, you might be hoping your bride’s speech is an opportunity to get all dewy-eyed and leave singletons weeping at the glory of the love you have found. It’s not.
OTT declarations of love can still be cringey even in a wedding context. If you can’t imagine reading your speech to your mates down the pub without them wanting to throw things at you, you’ve probably pitched it wrong.
Yes, we want to feel the love, but leave it for the audience to interpret it rather than spending the full seven minutes explicitly saying it. Tell the stories from your life together, rather than just looking for ways of telling your groom you love him. That bit is obvious!
Make the 'thank you's meaningful
Don’t just talk about what people have contributed to the wedding, thank them for what they’ve contributed to your life (even if it is just an appreciation on malt whiskeys). Keep each thank you less than 50 words.
Toast something meaningful
Practice and watch it back on your phone
Watch it back and spot where your speech can be improved.
Listen to feedback
It’s always worth testing your speech on a mate but this means you have to listen to them. If someone doesn’t get a joke, don’t waste your time explaining it as you won’t be able to do that on the day.
Everyone wants you to do well so make sure you smile. It’s scientifically proven to be infectious and those scientists know stuff.
Don't thank the caterers or the venue
Don't explain why you're giving a speech
Yes, you might always have the last word but a bride speech doesn’t need any justification for giving a speech.
Don't show off
Yes, it’s your special day. But no, you’re not allowed to show off about it. Be conscious there are single girls out there. Be self-deprecating & be humble. Don’t do a Paltrow. Instead, channel Jennifer Aniston and be the rocking hot girl who everyone still likes.
Don't resort to clichés
Yes you can thank your in-laws for ‘raising such a wonderful son’ but try to make it personal too. Thank your mother in law for the extra inch added to your waistline since you first sampled her Yorkshire Puddings.
Don't talk over laughter
You’ve worked hard for those laughs – don’t rush them. Always wait until your guests have settled down before continuing with your speech.
Bride Speech - let us help you!
Work with us and deliver a speech that will knock your groom’s socks off.
We offer a DELIGHT GUARANTEE on all our bespoke services so there’s no reason not to exploit us.
And, of course, in the world of Zoom, Whatsapp and Death Wish Coffee, we work with brides around the world.