Lighthearted Bride Speeches
Light-hearted speeches are perfect for a bride who wants to keep the humour gentle, but without making the piece syrupy sweet to compensate. The material here replaces harsh quips and weepy-eyed sentiment with gentle praise, warm feelings, and an altogether more cheerful slant on proceedings. These speeches are generally easy to deliver too, so you don't need great comic timing or Oscar-worthy acting to pull them off.
(Start as you mean to go on. If youíre going for laughs, hit them right at the beginning.)
When a speech begins youíre being judged from the off. Sorry if that worried you, but itís true! Everyoneís wondering what kind of speech this will be. Is it a crier? Is it full of gags? Are you going to tell stories that go on for ever and ever like Uncle Jim? Set your stall out early. If youíre going to have a few laughs like this speech then open early with a nice joke. Not your best one though, save that for later!
I will try to be brief. However, I do have a couple of things Iíd like to say and so many people to thank that you might think youíve walked into an Oscar ceremony by mistake, so please relax and bear with me for a few minutes. Loosen your clothing if it helps, but donít start trying to loosen anybody elseís Ė Iím afraid itís not that kind of party. Yet.
The Little Things
(People like having their efforts appreciated, so make those whoíve helped you feel good today.)
The specific things you mention about people will form the heart of your speech. It doesnít matter if you write it into a list, an anecdote, or a Riverdance style spectacular. What matters is that you remember and recognise small individual efforts people have made, and go to the trouble of mentioning them. Try and think of something to pick out for everyone you thank.
To my mother, for everything she has taught me over the last few months. That wedding invitations must be sent in a specially designed envelope. That if the groom's neck-tie doesnít match the bridesmaidís dress guests will be disappointed, and that the lemon in a G&T doesnít count as one of your five a day! Seriously, if my mother hadnít eaten, slept and drunk this wedding for the last year, we wouldnít all be having the fantastic time we are today.
Less Is More
(Everyone likes a funny speech, but jokes lose their impact if strung together like cheap pearls.)
A good wedding speech should be sincere with a liberal sprinkling of humorous remarks, not the other way round. This is a toast not a roast, even if the Best Man thinks otherwise! Too much of a good thing can spoil someone, remember that when your husband is poking you in the back with something stiff in the middle of the night. Let the audience work for a joke by listening to a nice story or a thank you to the relatives, then hit them with a zinger.
To the best man Jason Ė thanks for all youíve done. Acting as toastmaster, not losing the rings, getting Paul to the church on time and remaining sober Ö ish. To my bridesmaids, Sandy and Ruth, you did your jobs magnificently and it goes without saying that I will use you every time I get married from now on.
(I donít mean wear a really slutty dress, although that does help. We mean emotional revelations.)
Getting your audience to identify with your hopes and fears is key to creating an engaging speech. Obviously we mean the things related to your marriage, donít mention your hope that Brad Pitt turns up on horseback. By letting the audience in on your emotions and feelings your stories and jokes will have a much bigger impact.
(Itís fine to repeat your husbandís words of thanks, especially as youíll do a better job anyway!)
Even if your other half has covered the dayís thank yous, donít feel like you canít add your own words of gratitude. Letís be honest, the actual sentiment of a groom speech tends to be overshadowed by the jokes and the stag-do references. Let everyone know that youíll be thanking them in your own way, whilst adding your own sense of humour to proceedings, and donít be afraid to take a pop at yourself in doing so.
You may well be wondering what the Bride is doing making a speech. Well, I wanted to say thank you in my own words to everyone who has helped us get to this day. I didnít need anyone putting words in my mouth, or anything for that matter, as my struggle to get into the dress this morning demonstrated quite nicely.
The Knives Are Out!
(The groom and his best man are expected to be nice. Youíre not.)
There are many aspects of married life for you to joke about, but humour based on you and your husband will always get the strongest reception ahead of random quips about flowers and vicars. A good way to offset any naughty jibes at your husbandís expense is to mock yourself shortly after. It wouldnít do to have your man turned into a simpering wreck would it? Heíll have plenty of time for that when youíre hitched.
They say that it is not possible to love someone you canít laugh with. Well, Paul and I can certainly laugh together. Although I must admit Iíve been close to losing my sense of humour in the days leading up to the wedding. Iíve been worrying so much about all the plans I started to wonder what wine goes with fingernails.
(Share the reasons you fell in love with your husband, especially if people are still trying to figure them out!)
Thereís no-one else in the room who knows your husband as well as you. Sure his parents have seen him naked, but they havenít had to put up with that face he pulls at the moment of truth. Maybe leave that description out, but let everyone know the little things you love about your man. Give everyone a nice genuine aww moment, before topping it off with a joke. You donít want to fill your guests up on sweetness before the pudding.
Paulís most attractive quality is his appreciation and understanding of others. Heís like a swan in that he forms relationships for life, and occasionally attacks people in the park. There are people here he met when he was six years old, plus others from college, university and his work. This is either a testament to Paulís ability to make life-long friends, or his ability to attract freeloading boozehounds.
(Acknowledge the fact that a Bridal speech is not always traditional, but you felt compelled to speak.)
It always seemed odd to us at Wedding Speech Builder that the Bride never gets the chance to say a few words, sitting quietly while the boys make their crude jokes and half-arsed thank-yous. Weíre glad so many of you are using our Bride templates to craft your speeches, but some old crones may still think itís a little odd. Acknowledge the changing times with a few barbs that let everyone know whoís boss!
At first the idea of standing up today and delivering a speech filled me with absolute horror but, as the big day approached, I realised I couldn't let the occasion pass without saying a few words. A common trait of mine and something Paul will learn to accept quickly. To be honest Iíve always felt we should split the burden of speech duties evenly. After all, if you leave me Iíll be taking half your stuff. It only seems fair.
Itís About Time
(Has your husband taken his sweet time to get a ring on your finger? Make him squirm.)
A lot of couples take their time to get married Ė is the excuse every bloke whoís taken a decade to propose uses. This is your opportunity to get your own back and address this delay in the speech. Not only will this get a few laughs, youíll also prevent a few drunken relatives coming up to you with the inevitable clichť comments. ďItís about time you two!Ē. Itíll drive you insane. Nip this in the bud before the wittering old so and soís get the chance.
When we announced our engagement, I know a lot of you wondered if we were doing the right thing. I had my doubts too, having only got together twelve and a half years ago, that we might be rushing into things. On the other hand, many family members expressed their surprise when they received their wedding invitations. It seems that many thought that we were already married, and theyíd gotten too drunk to remember. Which is equally plausible.
(There are four occasions where you can legally be soppy. Births, funerals, when you finish a boxset, and weddings.)
A wedding day speech is a chance to get away with being as soppy and wet as you want. Whether this is about your parents, your partner, or your pet dog Mr Snaffles, today youíre allowed to be so sugary sweet you give everyone diabetes. If your parents are your role models, say so. If youíre hopelessly besotted with your beau, tell him! Itís the one day people wonít ask ďWhat are you after?Ē
As well as recognising my parentsí contribution to this wedding, I feel I also have to mention what a wonderful example they have set for me in life. Besides their loving devotion to their children, they have demonstrated an unfailing devotion to each other. The least I can do is to follow it.
Stitch Yourself Up
(Menís speeches tend to mock others. Offer some amusing introspective jokes to really prickle the audience.)
A self-deprecating Bride making light of their flaws is always refreshing, but donít take it so far you elicit too much sympathy and come across as a downtrodden wallflower. You want your relatives offering warm feelings and drinks, not a ride to the nearest womenís shelter. Even things out by letting your husband take a few punches too, after all whatís yours is his!
Ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to thank all of you for being here today, especially since many of you knew Iíd be speaking Ė itís touching you still decided to come. I would also like to thank Jason, the best man, for making sure that Paul turned up today, on time, at the right church, reasonably sober and without the dwarf.
Cover New Ground
(Youíll want to ensure you donít repeat what the boys have said.)
Itís great that the girls finally get to have their say during the wedding speeches, after all weíre pretty integral to the day! Donít try to cover what the guys will have already spoken about though. Go for some subtle, clever lines after a piece of sweet praise or thanks. Letís face it, men do subtle like a brick to the face.
Iíd like to make a special mention of Lucy, my chief bridesmaid, who is a very special person to me and our friendship goes back a long way. You never cease to amaze me with your kindness and generosity. You have listened to me through many a crisis. You give without any thought of reward. You are a super girl and a role model of a friend. And yes, I know weíve had our differencesÖbut itís never been anything that a trip to A&E and a high court judge couldnít fix.