Traditionally, the bride doesn’t give a speech at the reception, but there’s no reason why you shouldn’t if you want to. We’ve got some great sample speeches for brides to inspire you.
Whether you simply want to thank your guests for coming, and your family for their love and support, or if there’s something sentimental you want to say to your partner on the biggest day of your lives, a bride’s speech is the perfect time to do so.
Read more: Our favourite quotes about marriage
Here are four sample speeches for brides to inspire you or to adapt and make your own.
Informal Bridal Speech
“I know it’s unusual for a bride to give a speech, but those who know me well, understand that the chances of me being able to keep my mouth shut while everyone else gives a speech are pretty slim! Mum and Dad, what can I say? You’ve seen me grow up; you’ve helped develop and mature me into the person that I am today and I hope that after all your hard work it has been worthwhile. I love you both deeply.
“I’d like to especially thank my gorgeous bridesmaids. You all look so stunning, that’s why I’ve sat you as far away from me as possible! Can’t be upstaged on my own wedding day. A huge thank you to (insert name of best man) for dragging my new husband/wife kicking and screaming here today. I hope I’m only joking!
Most of all, I’d like to thank my new husband/wife for asking me to be his/hers – and for going through with it. You came into my life and completely changed it – for the better. I adore you and I would like to thank you for your patience and understanding. Thanks also for putting up with my tears, tantrums and all those bridezilla moments! You are my rock and I cannot wait to spend the rest of my life being yours.
Last but not least, thank you to each and every one of you for sharing our special day with us. A wedding can happen anywhere and at any time, but it can only be a true celebration when all the people you love are there to share it with you. You have made our day all that more special. Please raise your glasses and drink a toast … to dear friends and family.”
Formal Bridal Speech
“Guests, family and friends; I am delighted that you found the time to join (insert name of your husband/wife) and me today as we celebrate our love. Being surrounded by you all has made such a difference to us and we have been overwhelmed by your kindness and generosity.
Read more: Our guide to the groom’s speech
To my new in-laws, thank you for bringing (insert name of your husband/wife) into the world. Without you, we wouldn’t be here to day. (Insert name of your husband/wife) and I are two people now with one path before us and we are both grateful for the people and experiences that have shaped us and brought us to each other.
(Insert name of chief bridesmaid), you are my oldest and closest friend. We have been through the good, the bad and the ugly together. Your friendship has been a source of strength to me over the years and I want to say that I feel honoured to have you standing with me today. Thank you so much.
Mum and Dad, thank you for everything. You are my model for what marriage should be. Throughout my life I’ve witnessed many years of laughter, tears, compromise, understanding, dependability and above all, unconditional love. From you both I learnt that marriage is about patience and acceptance. It’s about knowing when to say ‘I’m sorry’ and when to offer forgiveness. It’s about being together through the good times and never giving up during the bad. I hope that what (insert name of your husband/wife) I have is just as special.
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And to you, love of my life, where do I start? I never thought I would be standing here today with your ring on my finger, sharing your name. But I am so glad that I am. In you, I have my best friend and my life partner. Thank you for your love, friendship and support and the joy you have brought into my life. With you by my side, I have so much hope for the future. I look forward to making our dreams reality and sharing in this incredible journey with you.
To everyone, please enjoy the rest of the day and join me in a toast … to love!”
“First of all, I’d like to thank my new set of parents. You have raised (insert name of husband/wife) to be the most kind-hearted, loving, patient and considering person I could hope to call my husband/wife, and for this, I am forever grateful. I couldn’t ask for a more thoughtful, devoted and selfless husband/wife. And as cheesy as it may sound, marrying you today has been the happiest day of my life. I only hope that over the coming years, I can live up to your expectations and continue to make you happy.
Read more: The ultimate mother of the bride checklist
I also owe a huge thank you to my own Mum and Dad for helping out in so many ways to make this day special. As much as I would threaten to call Childline, swear that I was adopted or dare you to ground me, I know that it was only because you loved me so much that you would ask me where I was going, with whom and what time I would be home. Growing up, I’m glad that you loved me enough to say ‘no’ even though you knew I would hate you for it. Between and I, those were the most difficult battles of all, but I’m glad you won. Because in the end, I did too.
Mum, you loved me enough to stand over me for two hours whilst I cleaned my room, a job that would have taken you fifteen minutes! You loved me enough to insist that I save up and buy new things for myself, and even though there were lots of tantrums, sulks and silent treatments then, I understand now the lessons you were teaching me. You have made me an independent woman and I have you to thank for that. If I am half the wife to (insert name of husband/wife) as you are to Dad, I shall consider myself lucky.
On the subject of family, I just wanted to stay how much I wish my grandparents were here to enjoy this day and to embarrass me with stories best left forgotten and impart some important piece of advice that would be simple yet desperately relevant. I know that wherever they are, they are looking down on us all and smiling and the candle burning here on our table is in memory of them.
Thank you to my husband/wife for asking/saying yes! I cannot wait to start this journey with you and start a family of our own. You are the light of my life and the best thing ever to happen to me. I am so lucky to be yours and so thankful that you chose me.
Sadly, some of our friends and family were unable to attend, so I’d like to make a toast to their honour! Please lift your glasses and drink …to absent friends!”
Funny Bridal Speech
“Those of you who know me well will not be surprised that I have something to say. Those of you who don’t know me so well will soon realise that I can’t keep quiet for more than 3 minutes at a time!
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To echo all of the fantastic speeches before me, thank you to everybody who helped with the preparations for today! You know who you are and you are very special people. I am grateful to have your help, support and friendship in my life.
Particularly, I’d like to thank the creators of Pinterest, without whom this wedding could never have taken place! I’d also like to thank my boss for pretending not to notice that I’d turned my office into a wedding stuff delivery point!
Thanks to my big brother/sister for his/her reassuring calmness, his/her strange humour and his/her good advice at time when I really, really thought I would go pop! I owe you big time.
Special thanks must also go to the hens, for making my last weekend as a singleton exceptional. The food, the fun, the forfeits… To be honest that’s all I can say about that because ‘what happens on the hen, stays on the hen!’
Read more: What does a maid of honour do?
And of course, thanks to all of you for taking the time to come here today to see (insert name of husband/wife) legally agree to keep me in the manner to which I have become accustomed until he/she is dead! In all seriousness, (insert name of husband/wife), I am so pleased and proud to be yours. You are my rock, my love, my best friend. Every moment with you is amazing and I cannot believe we get to be together forever.
And to you, our honoured guests, thank you for the contributions you have made to make our day special. Thank you also for showering and getting dressed in respectable clothing and attending our wedding. We hope that you enjoy yourselves this evening!”
Advice for Bride’s Wedding Speech
We spoke to Avery Morgan, Senior Editor and Director of Communications at wedding speech writing expert EduBridie, for her advice on giving the best bride’s speech.
What Should a Bride Include in Her Wedding Speech?
“In a bridal speech, it is a good idea to say something fun or special about your new spouse,” advises Avery.
“For example, share a favorite memory or what you’re excited about for the future in your marriage. It is also nice to recognise loved ones who aren’t with you anymore to attend your big day.”
Who Should Brides Thank in their Speech?
“In your speech, brides should thank everyone at the wedding for taking time to celebrate the special day,” says Avery.
“You should also thank your parents and bridal party for their support and for everything they have done, not only with the wedding-related events, but also throughout your life. Lastly, you should thank your partner for choosing to spend your lives together.”
Read more: How to ask ‘will you be my bridesmaid?’
How Long Should a Bridal Speech be?
“When it comes to your speech, less is more,” cautions Avery. “Try to keep the speech under five minutes, seeing as weddings usually include speeches from the best man, groom, and parents, too.”
What Advice do You have for Brides Making a Speech?
“While writing your speech, put yourself in your guests’ shoes and think about what they would want to hear,” suggests Avery.
“A bridal speech has the potential to set the tone for the rest of the reception, so try to keep it light-hearted. Originality is key when it comes to writing your speech because your guests are going to hear a lot of speeches throughout the night. It is always a good practice to reach out to other people giving a speech at your wedding to see what they are going to talk about so you know for sure that your stories won’t overlap.”
How to Calm Wedding Nerves
Making speeches in front of large groups of people is understandably nerve-wracking, even if those people are your nearest and dearest.
We spoke to wedding confidence coach Jo Hanby for her advice on how to feel cool, calm and collected when delivering your bridal speech.
What advice do you have for brides who are nervous about making a wedding speech?
“If you are nervous about making a wedding speech ask yourself what FEAR (FALSE EXPECTATION APPEARING REAL) do you have? What are you actually worried about? And is it a realistic worry? What do you need to do and how do you need to feel – to lessen that worry or fear?” says Jo.
“By getting to the heart of the issue you can take steps to overcome the worry – knowing you are taking control will also lessen any anxiety.
Ask yourself, what is the worst that could happen – and is that likely to happen?”
How can brides calm their nerves before making their wedding speech?
“In the lead up to the wedding include regular meditation, yoga and plenty of self-care to get you into a positive state of mind that will have longer-lasting effects – this will help lessen any “on-the-day” wedding nerves too,” advises Jo.
“When you stand up to make your speech – what emotions would you like to be feeling (such as confidence, happiness, etc)? Think back to a time when you felt those exact emotions and try and “feel” into them again – practice going back into that remembered state of the feelings of confidence, happiness etc., as you do practice runs of your speech. The more you practice reliving that feeling, the easier it will be to recall it as you begin your wedding day speech.”
“Think of the reasons why you want to make a speech and make that your focus – your love and passion will shine through and capture audience attention. No-one cares if you miss a word; but they will remember the emotion and feelings you bring out in them, as well as the words.”