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Should the Bride Make a Speech?

By admin on November 7th, 2006 4 comments

Bride_1 I’m trying to decide whether or not to make a speech at our wedding. Initially, I was all for it: partly because it seems strange to me that the groom, father of the bride and best man all get to make speeches but the bride traditionally doesn’t (don’t her thoughts count?), partly because, well, I always get the last word, and partly because it seems like it would be a nice thing to do.

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, my fiance, Terry, had a kidney transplant last December. What I didn’t mention is that the kidney he received was donated by his brother, John – who is also our best man. So, we thought it might be nice if, after all of the men had said their bit, I get up and propose a toast to John: after all, if he hadn’t been so brave last year, we probably wouldn’t be planning a wedding right now, anyway.

There is, however, a problem. Actually, there are two. The first is that I am absolutely terrified of public speaking, and when I say "terrified" I mean "paralysed with fear at the very thought of it". This is why I’m a writer, not a speaker. I’m worried (and yes, I know how selfish this is) that if I do decide to make a speech, I’ll be dreading it so much that it will spoil the rest of the day for me, and mean that I’ll be too nervous to relax and enjoy myself.

The other reason? Well, I’m a pretty emotional person. Every time I start practising this speech of mine in my head, it makes my cry. I can only imagine how much worse it might be on the day, and I keep having this image of me standing there sobbing incoherently as all our guests look on in horror. Not, perhaps, the best way to wind up our meal.

Alcohol will help, of course, as will the thought that it would be a lovely thing to do – if I can pluck up the courage, that is. Looks like I need to get practising.

Are any other Bridalwave brides going to be making a speech?

  • Hi Amber,

    I do feel for you on this one, and many of your fears are the exact same I have encountered with other brides.

    A year ago I wrote 15 tips that hopefully will help you. I do believe you can make the speech you want, though like you said it might take some practice. You may even want to break with tradition and go first so as you can relax whilst listening to the others.

    The thing to remember is that everyone will be in a brilliant mood and really rooting for you. No one is being judgemental and whatever you say will sound great.

    This is a perfect time to say a big thank you to John. I really think you should go for it.

    I know for my wedding I made a speech and it felt fantastic.

    One tip I swear by is that if the reception is local and you can get to the room on the morning and basically stand where you will make the speech, it can really relax you. You can visual making the speech and take a lot of the dread out of the situation. I know this isn’t possible for a lot of brides, but along with imagining everyone is nude , this can really help with nerves!

    Good luck, I’m sure you will be great.


  • Alexx

    Hi there
    Like you I am planning to make a speech, and like you I think it’s an emotional one; I want to thank/mention my fiance’s parents who sadly have both died, his father’s death was particularly recent. I know both of us think it’s really important to mention them but I suspect I will have a bit of a sniffle….as may he!
    I think I’m going to try and keep that bit of my speech really short and make sure I finish on a happy or jokey note to lift me and our guests. Good luck with your speech 🙂

  • Caroline

    Well like you I would love to make a speech – for slightly similar but also different reasons. a)I like to get my two pennies worth in – in any situation b)I love an audience and c) I am a control freak and am desperate to make sure that every thing is said when it should be said. d) I am misguided that I would be supremely funny.

    Instead I have gone for the best option and asked my eloquent, beautiful, funny little sis to do the father of the bride speech (Dad isn’t really much of a public speaker and has a dicky ticker, and a speech could push him over the edge)

    What I have seen done before at another friend’s wedding which was really lovely, was to get a good friend/friend of the family/relative who isn’t necessarily part of the top table posse to stand up say something short and propose a toast – a good way to get what you want to say across and not have the trauma of worrying about it all year/month/week/day.

    Also because I do always have something to say about everything I think it is quite nice to act demure and bride like and keep my gob shut pretending that I could if I wanted but I didn’t fancy it in the end.

  • Lots of good ideas here, thanks everyone! At the moment I’m leaning towards *not* doing it, because I’m thinking I’d quite like to just have a nice, fun day without feeling obliged to do anything, but I will keep you posted!

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