Bride speech examples

If you're unsure which tone your wedding speech should take then a simple sprinkling of humour offers a nice balance. The material below offers plenty of amusing anecdotes and witty observations, but never so much that they intrude on the sentiment of the occasion. Then, if you need to upgrade or downgrade the humour, you can simply swap out a joke for a compliment and Bob's your placated uncle.

Cover Your Bases

(A longer speech which should be delivered by a confident and warm speaker.)

So you’ve given your husband-to-be’s speech a quick read…and no surprise he’s left a load of important stuff out! Point him in our direction! Often men forget to cover a few of the thank-you’s as they get too carried away trying to make the best man laugh. This is a more comprehensive piece that ticks all the boxes and thanks everyone you could ever need to thank. Practice your delivery with longer speeches, as it can sound like you’re droning on if you get it wrong.

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Our supporting cast deserves recognition as well. And they are all of Paul’s brothers, Gary, Richard and Mark – our ushers. Paul’s best man and best friend, Jason … who depending on the contents of his speech may even be allowed to stay friends. My bridesmaids, Helen and Liz – who have been a terrific help to me, not only today, but throughout the many weeks of intense wedding preparation. Not least of all this morning in convincing me I hadn’t put on twelve extra pounds overnight somehow.

Who Wears The Trousers?

(Get your audience onside early with a bonding joke and some interesting role reversal.)

This speech kicks off by identifying with the audience, referring to them as fellow drunks; a tactic that never fails to get everyone on your side…especially if everyone’s already smashed! To get some laughs try playing on your audience’s assumptions about gender roles. Not only will a few astute observations make everyone laugh, it’ll also give your man a kick up the backside and let him know what he’s in for!

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Well, Paul has already talked to me about marriage and how life is going to change. He spoke about the washing of socks, the ironing of shirts, being a babysitter, a cook, and the hours in front of the kitchen sink in a flowery pinny. Don’t worry, one day I will give him a night off.

Release The Hounds

(You’ll never get a better chance to tell it like it is, but make sure you say a few nice things too!)

Speeches should be tailored to release your personality. This one is perfect for a sassy lady who wants to lay down the law. Take aim at everyone equally though, don’t obliterate your poor husband or his legs may not be the only thing that turns to jelly come the wedding night. This also balances you out nicely so you don’t come across as a total Bridezilla, as it ends on a surprisingly lovely note.

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I know it is not traditional for the bride to speak but I thought it only appropriate to start as I mean to go on, by having the last word.

An Early Flourish

(Bridal speeches are able to get humour out of the way earlier, allowing more time for genuine sentiment.)

The structure of a Bridal speech tends to be the reverse of any Groom or Best-Man piece. Start with some funny observations about the audience and married life, but then you’re allowed to keep things pleasant and complimentary for the duration. It’s a little sexist but people generally don’t expect the ladies’ speeches to be full of jokes. If humour isn’t your forte there’s no pressure, but let’s face it, when else are you going to get the chance to stick the boot in and get away with it!

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Now that we’re official it’s time I let Paul know a few things. First, it doesn’t matter how often you change jobs, you’ll still end up answering to the same boss. Also don’t expect the first few meals of our married life to be great. It takes time to find a decent take-away. Finally, I must confess I’ve been diagnosed with a very specific condition. One that gives me crippling headaches whenever you take your pants off. Through sickness and in health I believe the words were?

A Short Story

(One anecdote is usually enough for a short speech, two at a push. Make them relevant and tasteful.)

If you’re keeping the speech short and sweet you may only have time for one anecdote. Don’t recall that time you and your girlfriends got off with those lifeguards in Magaluf, let people’s dinner settle first. If the tale of how you met your husband is a PG one then obviously use that, but if it’s likely to make Grandma pass out steer clear. A sweet tale of a happy childhood is always welcomed, so use a family anecdote as backup.

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Paul and I met by chance at the university laundrette, which I later discovered was quite remarkable because that was the only day in the four years that Paul was there that he ever washed his underpants. Then, cringe, we somehow mixed up our washing baskets. When he returned my smalls to me with a sheepish look on his face, I knew he’d end up either marrying me, or subject to a restraining order.

White Wedding Lies

(Everything on a wedding day is white, so why not include a few lies of that colour too.)

Not everyone has an enchanting tale of seduction and charm to tell when reminiscing about how you met your spouse. If your introduction story is bluer than a choking smurf then feel free to take some poetic licence. Your friends will know the truth, but at least this will keep the old folks from choking on their trifle upon hearing how you knew his inside leg measurement before you knew his name.

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Straight away we embarked on a whirlwind romance. Paul certainly knew how to impress a girl. He sent me flowers, boxes of chocolates and champagne. We went horse riding, water-skiing, and paragliding together. If I’m honest it was all a bit much for a first date.

Pass The Buck

(If you are making a speech in place of your husband, play on the reasons why if it’s appropriate.)

Many Brides make speeches in addition to their husband’s efforts, but sometimes the Groom may choose to let you do all the talking. Whatever your secret is, please let the rest of us know! It would be mean to make light of the situation if he’s genuinely too nervous, but if he simply couldn’t be bothered then you’ve free reign to take that lazy sod to the cleaners.

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In case you were wondering why I’m taking the speech it’s not that we’ve gone all modern or anything. The simple fact is that Paul’s lost his tongue. He lost it shortly after I learned how much he spent on his stag do.

Best The Best Man

(The Best Man rarely pulls any punches, so give him a few back to air your long-held grievances.)

If the Best Man knows what’s good for him he’ll steer clear from any dodgy jokes about you and your history. That doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun at his expense though. He’s the one person in the room who is considered fair game, and we all know you’ve wanted to make a few comments about him for years. Has he led your man astray? Is he eyeing up the Bridesmaids? Give him hell.

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Next on the list is Jason, Paul’s best man, who has been a tower of strength over these last couple of weeks. I should also point out that he is single and therefore in a position this evening to dance with any girl he pleases. But based on previous form he’s incapable of pleasing any.

No Gimmicks

(A few authentic words about your relationship will trump a list of jokes any day.)

Silly songs, wacky poems and a speech full of one-liners can seem rather impersonal. If you’re struggling to come up with the words to describe your feelings ask your friends for advice. Maybe they remember how you first described your other half, or what you’ve said when you miss him. Simply extract the pleasant bits from all the expletives and voila, you have some feelings!

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I know that marriage is not all fun and excitement like today, but I also know that Paul and I have the will to deal with any difficulties that may come our way. We make a good team and that’s what I love best about our relationship. We trust and support one another and we know that whatever happens the other will be there for them.

Special Delivery

(Take your time to deliver your words, as a rushed speech can seem twice as lengthy.)

Even the best speech can be ruined by poor delivery. If you’re nervous practice speaking to your friends beforehand. Slow down, be confident, and remember to pause after the important bits. Move your focus to look at different members of the crowd, and whatever you don’t ever imagine people in their underwear. Nobody needs Uncle Frank’s pasty backside flashing into their mind over trifle.

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I hope you’ll agree that it’s been an enjoyable day, but every silver lining has a cloud, and that's because you now have to listen to an extra speech. Let me first say that my husband looks dashing today. He could pass as a king in that suit ....what do you think? The similarity doesn't end there, the best man’s told me he spent most of this morning sat on the throne!

Honest Work

(Making light of each other’s flaws in a jovial way is a better approach than pretending it’s all rosy.)

Not everyone has the perfect husband, so don’t spend the whole time gushing about what a knight in shining armour he is if it’s not the case. That being said, you should probably try to find something nice to say. We all know most guys need a little tweaking to make them marriage material, so draw upon this to generate some material both sexes can identify with.

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Since Paul started seeing me he’s really started to go places. It was ‘to the bar’ when I first met him, ‘to get on his bike’ when he grew a moustache, ‘to the doghouse’ when he forgot Valentine’s day, and, of course, when he proposed… to my parents’ house to get permission.

Gifts That Keep On Giving

(It is important to avoid alienating people when joking about certain topics.)

There’s a magical zone to be found in a wedding speech where you can mention the cost of everything just enough to squeeze a few more free drinks out of your relatives. Go too far though and you’ll seem like a materialistic scrooge. Thank people for the effort they’ve made and the gifts they’ve furnished you with, but always keep a focus on the important thing. How bloody amazing you look. Oh, and the sentiment, that too I suppose.

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Ladies and gentlemen - friends and family, on behalf of my husband and I, or as I prefer to call him ‘my most recent ex-boyfriend’, welcome to our wedding breakfast! I hope you're all enjoying yourselves on this special day. It’s great to see everyone and I can honestly say it would not have been the same without you – just an awful lot cheaper!

For The Long Haul

(People travel far and wide for a good knees-up, let them know you appreciate it.)

Weddings have the power to drag relatives you’ve not seen in years halfway across the globe for the chance of a nice dinner. Nobody makes the same effort when you’re dead due to the lack of grub and the fact that you can’t be angry at people who didn’t turn up if you’re a corpse. Pay particular thanks to those who’ve travelled a long way to see you, even if you can’t stand them.

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Thank you all for coming, some of you have travelled considerable distances in order to be here and celebrate our happy day. Africa, Continental Europe, the Americas and Asia are not actually places where anyone has travelled from, but I hear that Uncle Jim and Auntie Morag had a 5 hour drive down from Newcastle.