We know giving a bride’s speech is rather awesome because we did it. In fact, that’s what kick-started Speechy.
I gave a bride’s speech when I got hitched back in 2012. I’d been desperate to get married for ages (terrible feminist) so when he (finally) proposed I was relieved to discover he was also keen to ‘get on with it’. We didn’t want to bankrupt ourselves or get overly stressed about the whole thing (though it’s impossible not to be stressed about table planning) but I wanted to make it really personal, a bit different and a right good bash.
I’m not one of those Pinterest brides (fair play if you are but I get too jealous and want EVERYTHING) and the thought of handcrafting bunting was not for me. Instead, I knew the one thing I could offer our guests was, well, words. Words and lots of booze (we had a lot of Scottish guests).
It’s not often you get the chance to tell your friends, family or even your partner how much you love them. Certainly not when you’re sober. And generally not in any thought-through or considered way.
I wanted to tell people I thought they were blooming brilliant and leave my mum and my man in no doubt how much I rated them. Of course, I wanted the speech to be funny but I also wanted it to have heart.
I probably spent a few weeks thinking about it and a couple of days writing it. Not much really in the scale of wedding planning. Still, for me, the speeches became the epicentre of the day.
The theme of my speech played with the idea my new husband was a bit of a wannabe hippy (you know, the middle-class sort who still shops in Waitrose). I set up the notion that by marrying him I was essentially joining a commune and all the guests were invited too!
I made sure that every guest laughed and that everyone I loved knew how much I valued them being there. I felt like my speech got everyone rooting for my marriage a little bit more.
Yes, I admit I felt a bit like a rock star delivering my speech (let’s face it, brides get kudos just for standing up!) but it really wasn’t about showing off. Quite the opposite. It was about paying my own tribute to the people around me, and most of all, admitting what a blooming great specimen of a bloke I’d married.
I’m naturally one of those people who squirm at Facebooks posts where people confess to loving their partners. I’m much more comfortable waxing lyrical about everything my fella does to annoy me, but on my wedding day, I felt I should confess. Yes, I adored him. Yes, he had taught me a lot. And, oh yes, he’s a bit bloody gorgeous.
It would have felt wrong to me to sit back and let my bloke give a speech saying how wonderful I was without me doing the equivalent for him. And the truth was, he LOVED it. Not so much the compliments (he’s naturally quite big-headed so he didn’t actually need them!) but he loved seeing me stand up and make everyone laugh. Turns out he likes a ballsy bride.
On the day, my mum also gave a short speech (my dad had passed away a few years previously) and my new sister-in-law gave the best, rather ‘edgy’, speech of the evening (don’t think the grans got the penis reference luckily). Still, my groom didn’t feel too bad about the girls stealing the show. I let him announce I was three months pregnant in his speech which was a surprise to most of the guests. And yes, the bump was a girl so it really was #girlpower at its best I guess.