Wedding speeches have always been one of the most popular but most dreaded parts of the wedding preparations. Nobody wants to ruin the day by saying something out of place, or going that step too far and telling a story that embarrasses members of the wedding party, but at the same time, the speech should be memorable and meaningful.
Normally the speeches come from the male members of the wedding party, but lately it is becoming increasingly popular for the bride to make a speech of her own. This is likely to be quite a lot different from the best man’s speech but similar to the groom’s. In her speech she will probably pay particular attention to thanking her maid of honour and bridesmaids, perhaps giving them a small gift at this point. Thanks should also be given to both the bride’s and groom’s parents. Be careful not to appear to be thanking one set of parents more than the other, even if you feel that you should (you can always do this in private later). And last but not least, obviously thank the guests for joining you in your celebration. But then what?
The bride could say something about the service, why particular vows and hymns were chosen, why the church that the service took place in was so special, or any funny stories relating to the preparations for the wedding in general.
However, it would be fair to say that the majority of the bridal speech should be focused on her new husband, maybe telling a little story of how they met, especially if the groom is telling his side of this story, so that the guests get the story from both a male and female perspective. These stories are likely to be very similar but also different as each will remember the little things that the other had forgotten, and the male/female point of view on all things romantic is usually amusing.
The speech is also a great opportunity to thank her new husband for his help in the preparations, and for a further declaration of love and commitment to him, perhaps in the form of a poem written by the bride herself, or chosen from one written by someone famous.
Often the bride’s speech will be remembered more than the groom’s speech. It is likely to be more compassionate, and as it is still a fairly new concept compared to the traditional groom’s speech, people will enjoy hearing something different. Simply remember to make it general to start with and finish with the more personal and it is sure to be a great success.
Sharren L Bessant