‘I’d Like to Say a Few Words’: 10 Brilliant Tips for Brides Giving a Speech
In these changing times, wedding speeches are no longer the domain of the groom, the best man and the father of the bride. Brides are now getting up there and saying a few words as well, and why shouldn’t they?
If you’re a bride who will giving a bridal speech at your wedding, the 10 tips below will help to deliver a grand speech to your guests.
1. Plan your speech.
You might see people in the movies deliver a purely improvised speech that has the guests rocking with laughter or shedding a tender tear, but that’s Hollywood for you. There’s nothing wrong with a minor ad-lib here or there, but you should plan what you want to say. Have a clear, simple structure and aim to speak for 5 to 10 minutes.
2. Prepare but don’t memorise.
Yes, you should prepare your speech, but don’t try to memorise it word for word. You’re likely to be feeling a bit nervous, which could cause you to forget your speech. Have a few notes ready that can guide you, but don’t read them word for word.
3. Talk about your family and those who couldn’t be here.
It’s particularly appropriate for the bride to mention her family in her speech and all the support they have given her over the years. The bride should speak of her new family, too, and how honoured she feels to be becoming part of it. Additionally, it’s the bride’s place to mention late friends or relatives and raise a toast to them.
4. Don’t go overboard with anecdotes.
Funny stories are part and parcel of a good wedding speech, but don’t sprinkle your speech with too many. Choose a couple of well-picked stories that illustrate how you’re right for each other. Timing is crucial as well: if you’ve just toasted a deceased loved one, don’t launch straight into a joke or anecdote after the toast.
5. Steer clear of the no-go zones.
There are some things you just don’t bring up in a wedding speech; namely, toilet humour, intimate stories and anything related to bodily functions, no matter how funny it may be. Don’t make in-jokes, either, otherwise you risk isolating your guests.
6. Don’t race through your speech.
Take your time instead of blasting through your speech. This lets your audience absorb what you’re saying. It also gives you the chance to collect your thoughts. If you find yourself filling your speech with ‘er’s and ‘um’s, pause for a second.
7. Ask for help.
Getting help from a friend is a part of good preparation. Go through the speech with them and listen to their feedback. They’ll tell you what they liked and where they think you could improve. This practice and insight will make the world of difference when you give your speech on the day.
8. Speak from the heart.
Make your speech heartfelt, but not overly emotional and mushy. Your wedding day is meant to be a happy day and you don’t want to upset yourself or have your guests all bursting into tears. A heartfelt speech will put your own personal stamp on what you’re saying, as nice as it is to say thank you to everyone who has helped you through the years.
9. Have gifts ready for your bridesmaids.
If you’re not quite sure how to fill your speech, now is the time to present any gifts you want to give your bridesmaids. Perhaps you know what you want to say, but not how to conclude it? Rounding off the speech with gifts for your girls is a lovely way to do it.
10. Be yourself.
If you’re no good at telling jokes, don’t feel you have to start reeling off a string of gags. Simply weave in some pleasant stories. Your speech should be natural, not contrived. It’s your big moment and you should enjoy yourself while you’re up there.
Follow the tips above and you can deliver a superb speech on your wedding. Remember to keep it sincere, share a few stories and acknowledge your family and your groom’s family, and others who have had a hand in your happiness or success. Set the stage for a successful speech with some planning and preparation, and then get ready for a round of applause from your guests.