As you guys probably know, I consider myself something of a feminist. Actually, perhaps feminist is the wrong word – more an advocate of equality. As such, despite having a huge aversion to speaking in front of big crowds (I say “um” and “know what I mean?” a lot!) I feel it’s my duty to give myself a bride’s speech.
You see, I’m determined to prove people who say marriage is a sexist institution wrong. Both my parents are walking my down the aisle, nobody’s going to be presenting me to get married or giving me away and damnit, I’m going to have a speech.
The problem, however, with breaking tradition is there’s very little to go on. I know a bride’s speech is hardly revolutionary, but it’s certainly not an established part of proceedings. The Internet is full of advice and templates for grooms, best men and bride’s fathers, but what about us women? What are we supposed to say on the biggest day of our lives?
Well, the advice websites I have found on the subject suggest we keep it “short but heartfelt” as not to bore everyone after all the more important (read male) speeches. Another website launched into a flimsy series of thank yous to the “supporting cast” of bridesmaids etc. the final insult, we’re apparently supposed to make jokes about how our fathers are paying for everything. Oh, and of course we need to avoid being crude or funny in any way, lest we shock people.
So, as I start to contemplate what I might say on my big day, I’ve decided to put together the following advice for you lovely brides out there planning to have your say. It’s your day after all!
The Bride’s Speech
♥ The first rule is that there are no rules. Isn’t that a beautiful thing? It’s not been established or set in stone – in fact, it’s still sadly so uncommon that people will have no expectations – and isn’t that just liberating? We get to start from scratch, no boundaries or constraints, and show everyone how it’s done.
♥ Be yourself. I have a horrible habit of turning into some bizarre parody of myself when presented with an audience. A bit like in Friends where Chandler has his photo face. Practice talking to an imaginary room in your own, normal voice. You’ll feel a lot more comfortable.
♥ Along similar lines, don’t make contrived jokes about things you don’t really mean. Speak from the heart – and joke from the heart. You’ll get more laughs.
♥ Why not subvert the old tradition of the groom starting with “on behalf of my wife and I” and start your speech “on behalf of my groom and I”?
♥ In fact, why not throw tradition out of the window completely and go first? No chance of boring anyone with yet another speech if yours is the first one! Or you could make a speech together as your first act as a married couple – it’s all about sharing right?
♥ If you really want to make a statement, why not have the mother of the bride, the bride and the maids of honour doing speeches instead of the men?
♥ Most importantly, enjoy yourself. You’re there to thank, to entertain and to say what it is you want to say. Remember everyone is (hopefully) there because you love them, they love you and they’re happy to share in your happiness. So no need to be scared of them.
Brides – are you planning to make a speech? What sort of thing are you going to say? Leave me a comment!