Ladies, the male-dominated microphone is a thing of the past. More and more brides are choosing to deliver their own wedding speech. Because on the most important day of your life, you have things to say and people to thank. But before you clear your throat, it’s always good to get a bit of help. At Great Speech Writing we’ve written dozens of bride’s speeches. So, if you’re looking for advice on how to write one, look no further – just stick to the advice below or, to save a whole lot of worry, give us a call and we’ll write it for you!
What to say
You may be floating on happiness (and a few too many glasses of fizz!), but your emotions are probably running pretty high. Our guess is you haven’t slept and your new shoes are teeteringly high. So you don’t want to feel any more wobbly than you have to be. And this is why you need to know your speech really well, so it can stand up to unexpected interruptions and distractions.
The great thing about a bride’s speech is that it doesn’t have to follow a set format. Apart from thanking the key people, saying nice things about your new in-laws and making it clear that you’re madly in love with your groom, you, of all the speakers, can tear up the rule-book. While best men are conventionally funny, fathers adoring and grooms thankful, you are free to say exactly what you want. And nobody is going to stop you.
Starting to write
Now for the fun bit. Write down everything you want to say. Then whittle it down to the really important stuff. Then make another set of notes establishing the tone you want to set. Do you want to be funny or sincere? The best wedding speeches are a combination of both but you need to decide which is the prevailing emotion. Imagine what your guests are saying about your speech in the car on the way home. What do you hope they’ll say?
Once you have your ingredients, you can start mixing them up. Write a quick first draft, then rewrite – and keep rewriting until you’re happy. The important thing is to keep it light and engaging, ideally under 10 minutes (around 1,000 words). And you might find it useful to think of a theme. This way you can hang your speech off a central hook, so that the end responds to the beginning.
Make yourself heard
It’s not just the words you write, it’s how you say them. A good speech is wasted by poor delivery. There’s no point in having a brilliant joke if you look down at the floor and mumble the punchline. So you need to practise. A lot. People often think this means memorising a speech by heart. But at Great Speech Writing, we don’t recommend this – it can make you sound too rehearsed. Instead you have to know it inside out.
If your hands have a tendency to shake, consider printing your speech onto A6 cards. These will be easier to handle and won’t flap. And we recommend working on your posture. Stand with feet just under shoulder-width apart, make sure your back is straight and keep eye contact high. Try to imagine you’re chatting to friends, making lots of eye contact and appropriate gestures.
Most importantly, take it slow. We tend to gabble when we’re nervous so you need to speak more slowly than sounds natural. Emphasise key words and remember to breathe. This way, all your guests will understand everything you say. Which is, after all, the point!
The Great Speech Writing bride’s checklist
- Identify what you want to say
- Think about the reaction you want and work back from there
- Keep it light – but don’t feel you have to compete for laughs with the Best Man
- Talk about both sides of the families
- Talk about your groom as an individual
- Talk about you and him as a couple
- Speak slowly, clearly, and for no more than 10 minutes
- Finish on a toast
- And… enjoy the rest of your day!
Over to the brides
At Great Speech Writing, we believe every speech should be completely original. So we won’t offer you an interchangeable generic babble. But we are delighted to let our clients do the talking for us:
“I just wanted to let you know that the speech went very well on Saturday, with lots of good feedback afterwards. Having you involved certainly was critical to my confidence in standing up there, so thank you very much for all your help and ideas!”
Alice R, January 2016
Great Speech Writing can help you write your bride’s speech. Please contact us so we can talk you through the next steps.