Sentimental Bride Speeches
A speech which speaks from the heart is just as warmly received as one full of laughs. These pieces are altogether classier affairs; combining a few pearls of wisdom and the odd sparkle of wit to really charm the audience. With a more sentimental approach you'll ensure everyone feels appreciated, and who knows, you may even squeeze a few tears out of hard-nosed uncle Dave!
Tell It Like It Is
(Speaking from the heart can make the difference between a good speech and a great speech.)
In terms of emotion there is really no right or wrong answer when it comes to a speech. If you feel gratitude, enlightened, entertained or thunderously aroused by your partner then tell it like it is! Although you might want to tone down the last one for the sake of children and the elderly. Giving people a genuine insight into what you love about your partner really enhances a speech, changing it from mere words to an understanding of your relationship.
Now for the emotional bit – Paul, I love you. Having you in my life has made me so aware of how much happiness a person can feel. You have taught me how to take life less seriously. And because of you, I now appreciate how precious it is to have a special person you can share everything in life with.
Always The Bride
(Give a special mention to your bridesmaids, but choose your words carefully.)
Difficult decisions often have to be made with regards to your entourage, especially who gets the role as chief bridesmaid. If one person feels let down at not being picked over the other you can smooth things over and make them feel special with a mention in the speech.
Some decisions when it comes to arranging a wedding are hard to make, but choosing my bridesmaids was totally straightforward. Helen and Katie are my best friends, who have stuck by me through thick and thin. I knew long ago that if I ever did get married, they would be my right hand girls. Thanks for being willing to take this on.
Take Your Turn
(Alternating paragraphs between Bride and Groom brings pace to proceedings when thanking your guests.)
Some Brides like to stand with their husband and thank people together as a way of showing your unity from the off. Going back and forth between man and wife can pace a speech quite nicely, and offer a chance for both parties to remark on the words of the other.
Friends and family, my husband and I would like to start as we mean to go on and share the responsibility of thanking you all for coming today. In fact we will be sharing everything today. I’ll take a sip of whiskey, he’ll have a sip of wine. I’ll stand outside having cigars with the boys, he’ll do his lippy in the loos with my friends. And when the day finally comes when we have children…I’ll make sure we suffer together. (squeeze his hand hard).
A True Reflection
(Don’t pretend to be someone you’re not just because it sounds good in a speech.)
A speech that is true to your character and history is going to be memorable. Our structure and content guides help you to craft your own thoughts, rather than spoon-feeding you big chunks of flowery praise and emotionless guff. That’s the vicar’s job. Maybe you’ve been obsessed with marriage for years, or perhaps you’ve surprised everyone by settling down. Reflect on this through your humour and anecdotes.
I never intended to get married, I thought I’d just meet someone I liked and then buy a house and a dog with them. After all, marriage is an institution, and that’s only for crazy people. But after meeting Paul I lost my cynicism and my outlook changed completely. I can say with my hand on my heart that this is the greatest, the happiest, the most joyous day of my life.
(Speaking from the heart means less to memorise on your big day.)
If the audience see you reading carefully crafted dialogue from a ream of A4 they’ll wonder how many chapters this thing has. Learn the opening to your speech and memorise a few quips, but the rest can be freestyled by telling genuine anecdotes and simply thanking people from the heart. Speeches are like children, they require structure unless you want to end up with something you’re ashamed of.
(Review the content of the day’s speeches to determine where to place your speech.)
It is important to co-ordinate with your partner and his best-man whose speech is going where, and what you are all going to cover. Everyone looks forward to the best man ripping into everyone so he traditionally goes last, but if his speech is about as funny as a tax bill then don’t hesitate to push yours or your husband’s to the end. Usually though, as the Bride you’ll be sandwiched in between the two men, just like that hot tub in Marbella.
Good evening everybody – My husband has kindly given me the pleasure of making the second toast … and hopefully I can warm you up nicely for our star speaker, the best man. Now I’m not saying his speech is offensive, but it’s been described by Frankie Boyle as “a bit much”.
(Thank the people who genuinely helped you most, and end on the most important to you.)
If you’re lumbered with the thank-yous because the Groom wants to be a comedian then there are a couple of things to remember. Keep it short; you don’t need to thank that bloke who gave you a lift home once when you were plastered. Mention the most important people and give each a paragraph. End your speech on the most important person, and newsflash, this isn’t always hubby! If your mother or Bridesmaid has done the backbreaking labour then finish off with a heartfelt tribute to them to round it off.
As for my right hand woman! Helen’s been brilliant. I’ve dragged her through a million wedding dress shops, we’ve talked flowers and food and candles and wraps and rings and houses and hairstyles and honeymoons and … well, you get the picture. She’s vetted everything, including Paul! However just to clear up, she hasn’t sampled him first. But she has done a hundred and one other things behind the scenes. She’s been a fantastic chief bridesmaid. She deserves to be toasted, so, ladies and gentlemen, please would you raise your glasses – To Helen!
You’ll Never Guess What Happened!
(Tell some stories about wedding day mishaps and merriment to entertain those there for the evening only.)
A good way to avoid a speech full of long, alienating anecdotes is to drop in a few that relate to the day itself. Not everyone will know who Tom Dick and Harry are, and in some cases its best they don’t! Some of your guests will be evening only invites, so by laughing at some of the sillier stories of the wedding day itself you make them feel included. There are always a few people who get narky about such a snub, so make the sour sods laugh a bit.
I'd like to start by thanking my father for his kind words and toast. Mum said you’d find it hard giving away your only daughter. Although when you escorted me down the aisle I could have sworn you were running! And there was really no need to remark “no backsies” to the Vicar.
One For The Girls
(Combine some women’s wit with a few pearls of wisdom to get the ladies laughing too.)
The boys’ speeches will have a few general jokes in there to appeal to everyone, but a fair amount will be geared towards making the guys in the room laugh. Throw a few jibes their way and don’t be afraid of using a few lines that will make the girls cackle and the guys panic. It also doesn’t hurt to impart any wisdom given to you by the mother-in-law.
(A speech that references the two families coming together sets the scene for a friendly day of festivities.)
The theme of the day is one of coming together. Remind your husband of that on the wedding night. When you put two bands of people in a room who for the most part don’t know each other you’re going to need to grease the wheels. Mention how this is a chance for everyone to make new acquaintances, and you’ll ensure a pleasant and sociable time is had by all.
Weddings are a marvellous excuse for a big party, and today is no exception. We have a lot of people here today – grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends… and a handful of people I actually recognize. But there's something very special about these occasions that we often overlook … it's a unique opportunity for two families to start getting to know each other.
Quick Out The Blocks
(Bring people on-side early on with a joke at the expense of your poor other-half; it never fails.)
A good opening is essential if you want to curry favour with your audience, but don’t open with your best joke. If anyone’s going to blow their load too early it’ll be your husband to be! Start with a nice anecdote about your other half. Let it take a few twists and turns and finish on a nice laugh. Then you have enough goodwill to get a few thank-yous out of the way before the next joke.
First, a confession! I’ll admit I had an ulterior motive when I first met Paul. It wasn’t his good looks or athletic build that attracted me. Nor his witty conversation or smart sophistication. I’ll come clean, it was his workmate. His Black & Decker workmate. The thing is, I needed some shelves putting up and he looked keen, willing and able. If I’d known it would lead to all this I’d have phoned a handyman.
Thanks For Coming
(Getting your thank-yous right is more crucial than slinging in a few silly one-liners.)
Thanking a long list of people can be a little alienating to the rest of the crowd at a wedding. We’re not saying don’t bother, that’ll go down as well as a farting wasp in a lift. Nor should you thank every single person, you want to leave some time for a Gin and Tonic! By thanking everyone you’ve yet to mention in a broad yet thoughtful way at the end you ensure everyone feels part of your big day, not just those closest to you.
And finally, I would like to thank everyone else for attending our wedding today. Without you this event would not have been as memorable as it is and we appreciate you taking time to honour our union. I hope we shall all meet again soon, but I know we all have busy lives, so I’d like to propose a final toast for the day. This is my toast to you; to both our families and to all our friends old and new – I drink to your good health and happiness!
A Light Touch
(With men’s speeches every story tends to lead to a joke. Be sparse with yours to avoid losing an emotional touch.)
We’ve all heard the long rambling anecdotes in speeches, pubs and anywhere else a bloke can get away with it. They’re usually a long-winded setup to a real groaner of a punch-line. A more organic approach is to pepper genuinely thankful statements with humorous observations or quips. This ensures you don’t stuff your speech with zingers and accidentally leave out someone important!
Lucy and Megan, my bridesmaids, thank you for your love, your support, and your willingness to wear what I chose for you. You even pretended to like those horrible dresses I pretended to like that made you look like a half-eaten meringue. You are the best friends a person could have and you’ve done a wonderful job in looking after me and curing my wedding day nerves. Whatever you slipped into my vodka and coke, it’s working.
Speak Of The Dead
(Relatives and friends who have passed on always need a mention, but it shouldn’t overshadow the speech.)
It’s always difficult when the spectre of a deceased or otherwise absent person looms over a wedding day. It sounds ghoulish but unless you want a cleaning bill for a tear-strewn carpet you’re best keeping references brief and sweet. Not everyone feels comfortable with it but you may want to add a light joke afterwards to lighten things up. We’re talking a mild personal reference here, not something Frankie Boyle would open his set with!
(Not all speeches have to be riddled with jokes. After all, someone’s got to get the tears flowing!)
This speech shows you how to get in all the expected thank-yous without blubbing and rambling like a sozzled Oscar winner. If the statements are short but meaningful you can get through everyone you need to without boring the pants off everyone. Nobody’s pants need help to come off at a wedding. A few well-chosen words will be remembered more-so than a laundry list of strangers names.
I am also thankful to my parents who always promised to give me the wedding of my dreams, and my god they’ve succeeded. Whenever I needed something they were there to provide it, and don’t worry mum and dad, nothing that’s happened here today is going to change that!