My wife recently told me that her only regret about our wedding day was that she never gave a speech.
At the time, she figured we didn’t need yet another speech on the evening. But looking back, she felt that somehow she was maybe, dare I say it, a little subjugated. Now my wife isn’t an ardent feminist or anything, but she realised there were a lot of men speaking ‘about' her, almost as if she didn’t have a voice of her own. Between the father of the bride, the three groomsmen (yes - three!), and the groom himself, even I admit that the speeches were rather male-dominated.
Practically speaking too, there were a lot of people at that wedding she wishes she had personally thanked in front of everyone. From the friends and family who had flown in from overseas to the bridesmaids who had given so much support leading up to the wedding, she wishes she had stood up to tell them how much they meant to her.
“Tradition" dictates that the bride does not give a speech. When the groom gives his speech, he is supposed to speak on her behalf. But my advice is that every bride should do it. After all, an audience always wants to hear from the star of the show.
This is your wedding - why organise and fine-tune every aspect of the big day, but opt out of a speaking part and be relegated to an extra?
But what should the bride say?
I’m not saying that the bride needs to give a full blown 10 minute speech. There are many opportunities during the reception for the bride to say a few words. For instance, the groom’s speech already includes a long list of acknowledgements and thank you’s. These duties could easily be shared between the bride and groom.
My advice to any bride is the same as any other speech.
- Keep it simple - guests don’t want to listen to a huge list of thank you's
- Co-ordinate your speech with the groom in advance to make sure you’re not just repeating each other
- Don’t worry about getting emotional. (The crowd usually loves it!)
- Have fun!