Giving the bride’s speech is no easy task. After a long and emotional day, you’ll be ready to drink some champagne, enjoy your dinner, and dance. But before you can do this, you must contribute to one of the most anticipated parts of the whole reception: you must deliver the bride’s speech.
Now, you can choose to “wing it” if you want. You can spend a few minutes thinking about what you’re going to say, put nothing down on paper, and then let it all come out during the speech. But I don’t recommend this. The bride’s speech is simply too important and too big a part of the ceremony to wing.
After your father and the best man speak, your friends and family members will have already heard charming anecdotes, funny stories, and tear-filled memories. If you want your speech to add anything at all to the reception, you’ll have to be thoughtful, careful, and you’ll have to spend time planning it.
Not only will you want to write your speech down, but you will want to spend some time reciting it before you deliver it. Remember: this is your big day. And the more you contribute to the positive atmosphere and the shared joy that your family members and friends will experience, the more you will take away from it; and the more you and your husband will be able to cherish for the rest of your married life.
So what’s the best way to write a compelling and emotional bride’s speech? In short, there is no “best way.” However, there are many good ways. The remainder of this guide, I’ll give you exactly templates for 10 of those ways. All you’ll have to do is fill in the blanks and modify the template where needed.
Sentimental Speech I
Before you speak, the best man and your father will probably speak. If the best man speaks right before you, there’s a good chance he’ll spend his time making jokes at the expense of your husband. For this reason, you may want to consider changing the tone with a sentimental speech, rather than going with another funny one. The two templates below are possible speeches that you could use.
Before I say anything else, I just want to thank everyone for making it here tonight to share this special evening with me and my husband, [husband’s name]. <Look at husband and smile>.
I know some of you, like [name], [name], and [name] came all the way from [place the came from].
And some of you like [name] also took time off from work just to be here.
It means so much to us to have all of the important people in our lives here today to share this experience with us. We love you all and we’ll never forget how supportive, loving, and caring you’ve been.
Now, where should I start? It’s hard to decide. I want to say something to all of you, but I know I can’t.
So, Dad, let me start with you: Thank you for guiding me and looking out for me. I always felt like no matter what happened to me, you would swoop in and save the day. And maybe that’s why you were so skeptical of [husband’s name] at first, but over time, you realized he was a great guy and you two became close. And I can’t even express
And Mom, I can’t thank you enough for everything you have done. At times, you made my life difficult, but you did it because you loved me and you wanted me to move in the right direction. Even though I was too shorted sighted at the time, I see it now. And I can never tell you how much it all means to me. Without you, this day would not have even been possible. And not just because you planned it all.
And to [name of your husband’s mom], thank you for accepting me into your family. I can’t tell you how much it means to me. You’ve always been kind, loving, and caring. Please know that I will try my best to take care of your son as well as you did when he was in your home.
To my bridesmaids and to everyone in the wedding party, you all look great tonight. I’ve heard at least a dozen people say that, and I just want to make sure you hear it, too. You’ve done a great job, and we couldn’t have had such a wonderful ceremony without you all.
To my Maid of Honor, thank you for being my best friend and for sticking with me throughout the entire process. I’m sure I was a horror to deal with, but your calmness and your helpful ideas and encouragement got me through it all.
Finally to my new husband, [husband’s name]. <Turn to face husband.> I love you so much and I can’t imagine my life without you. From the day I met you, I always knew that this is where we’d end up. I knew that we would get married and spend the rest of our lives together.
Thank you again everyone for coming out here tonight. We love you all and hope you enjoy the reception!
Sentimental/Funny Speech II
Thank you, everyone, for coming tonight and for sharing this wonderful experience with us. I know it’s not customary for brides to give a speech, but it’s [year], and I just can’t resist. I have too many nice things to say about you all.
To [caterer or company in charge of reception], I’m paying you, so I don’t have to thank you, but I going to, anyway. You’ve done an amazing job with the reception. And you’ve really transformed all of my plans to a beautiful party. So, thank you, [name of person in charge]. My perfect wedding day wouldn’t be a reality without you.
To my Mom, I can’t say enough. Words simply cannot describe what you mean to me and what you have done for me. When I went through rough patches as a teenager and as a young adult, you were there for me. You were my guidepost when I had no others. You were my strength when I was weak. You were my conscious when I was tempted. I could always rely on you and I can always rely on you. Thank you, Mom.
To my Dad, what can I say? You’re [Dad quality 1], [Dad quality 2], and [Dad quality 3]. Everyone who knows you loves you and tries to be more like you. And it’s no surprise that they do. You’re a wonderful father, a kind person, and wise advisor.
I’m incredibly thankful that I have you in my life and I love you.
To my Maid of Honor, [Name of MoH], you’re the best. <Turn to Maid of Honor>. For those of you who know our history, you know that we’ve always stuck by each others’ sides. And when it came time to plan my wedding, run the rehearsals, and deal with the vendors, you came through for me once again. I love you and I couldn’t have done this without you.
To all the groomsmen and bridesmaids, I love you all. You’re some of our closest friends, and we’re honored to have you be a part of our wedding. You all look great tonight and didn’t mess anything up during the ceremony, so thank you!
To everyone I didn’t mention, I’m sorry. I wish I could thank each person here individually, since you’re all an important part of our lives, since many of you traveled from far away and even missed work to be here. I love you all and I am grateful that you were able to make it here.
Now enjoy the party!
Funny Speech I
Often, the bride’s speech will be sentimental. However, there is absolutely no reason why this must be the case. If you want to deliver a funny speech, it’s your wedding and you should certainly feel free to do so. Below, we’ll look at some templates for funny speeches.
For those of you in the audience who are rolling your eyes, I’m sorry, but it’s my wedding, and I’m going to do whatever I want. And right now, I want to give a speech, so I’m going to do that.
But before I do that, let me say thank you to everyone for coming out here. I know that many of you drove long distances tonight just to have access to an open bar—I mean come to our wedding. We truly appreciate that you made it and hope that you don’t plan to drive home.
But in all seriousness, there are a lot of people I want to thank, so that’s what I’m going to do.
Dad, thank you for paying for the wedding. Without your generous funding, there’s no way this day could have been possible. Seriously. Without you, we couldn’t have paid for this lavish event, and you know I wouldn’t get married under any other circumstances. Sorry, [husband’s name].
Mom, thank you for keeping the barbarians at bay. If I had to deal with everyone myself, I would have been in even worse shape than I am now. But you keep everyone in line and helped me to create a truly beautiful ceremony and reception. I love you and I cannot thank you enough.
To my siblings, I love you. We spent most of our teenage life—and, well, let’s face it, adult life—making each other’s lives difficult. I propose that we make a truce for one day. But that’s it. After today, everything is back to normal—even when you all get married.
To [name of your husband’s mom], you’re amazing. You did a wonderful job raising my husband, and I’ll be happy to take him off of your hands, even without the large sum of cash you originally offered for it.
To my husband. <Turn to husband>. I love you and look forward to spending the rest of my life with you. You are amazing. You’ve given me everything I wanted and thought I could never have. Without you, I’m not sure where my life would be.
To all of my groomsmen and bridesmaids, don’t listen to what everyone else says. I think you all look great. And I can’t thank you enjoy for agreeing to be a part of our wedding. In all seriousness, it means a lot to have our friends and family members by our sides today.
Thanks again for coming out here tonight. I love you all. Enjoy the evening!
Funny/Sentimental Speech II
Does anyone else feel weighed down by a lifelong commitment or is it just me? Oh, it’s just me. Well then.
In all seriousness, though, I’m going to try to deliver a speech here. You’ve heard from the best man, [name of best man], and from my Dad. You probably don’t want to hear another, but here goes.
Mom, thank you for everything. You not only did an excellent job raising me, but you even stuck around to plan my wedding. I admit it: as a teenager, I was horrible and made your life a nightmare. But you stuck with me and you guided me. And for that, I am truly grateful. I love you, Mom.
Dad, thank you for always believing in me and pushing me to try harder. Throughout my entire life, you have always taught me never to settle—that I should keep trying until I get what I want. Well, today, I’m happy to tell you that I got what I wanted: a beautiful wedding with the perfect husband. Thank you, Dad. I love you.
To my Maid of Honor, [name], you’re the best friend I could ever hope to have. I can tell you anything. Anything at all. And you never get mad at me or judge me. You’re there to listen and to help me, and for that reason, I love you.
To [a relative who drove from far away], I can’t believe you made it. I mean, really, I don’t know why you would drive that far just to come to my wedding. There must have been some ulterior motive. Was it the open bar? Was it my beautiful bridesmaids? In all seriousness—I love you. Thanks for being here on this special day.
To [your husband’s mother], thanks for raising your boy to be suitable for marriage. I still can’t believe that I found someone who is kind, chivalrous, intelligent, loving, and thoughtful. And I can’t believe that someone else didn’t scoop him up first. Anyway, I love you and I promise I’ll take good care of your son.
To everyone else, thank you again for coming. We love you all and we’re grateful that you made it here to share this special day with us. Now stop staring at me and hit the dance floor!
Funny/Sentimental Speech III
I know it isn’t customary for the bride to give a speech, but I don’t really care. This is my big day. Mine. It only makes sense that I get to give a speech, too.
For those of you headed to the bathroom or the exits, seriously, just give me a minute. I promise I won’t keep you all night.
So, let’s see. Where should I start? Who should be my first victim? <Look around the room>. I know, [name of your Maid of Honor].
[Name of your Maid of Honor], don’t look scared. I’m not going to say anything bad. I just want to thank you for everything you have done for me. Remember that one time when you [story about how the MoH helped you out in a tough time]? I feel like we relived that day the entire time we were preparing for this wedding. I can’t thank you enough for everything you have done for me. But I’ll try: Thank you. A lot. You’re the best friend I could hope for.
Mom, you’re next. You’ve raised me to be the person I am today: loud, obnoxious, and constantly meddling in things that aren’t my business. And I’ve done my best to overcome it, but it remains a struggle to this day. In all seriousness, I love you. You’ve always been there for me and you’re one of the kindest and most thoughtful people I know. Thank you and I love you.
Dad, you paid for our wedding. And for that, I almost forgive you for everything else you have done. Don’t think I’ve forgot about all the times you coached from the bleachers at my [sport you played] games. And don’t think I’ll forget about [anecdote about how Dad embarrassed you]. I won’t. But if you’re willing to pay for our honeymoon, I may consider it.
To my brothers and sisters, I love you. Thank you for being you. No matter how difficult my life is, I know that I’ll always have you guys there... just waiting to say “I told you so.” Well, guess what? I’m getting married, so you can’t call me an old maid anymore.
To everyone else, thank you for being here. I know many of you drive long distances. In particular, [name], [name], and [name] drove from out of state just to be here. I love you and I’m so happy you can share this day with us.
Funny/Sentimental Speech IV
If you know me—and I hope you do if you’re here tonight—then you know why I’m giving a speech right now. It’s not because I’m a rebel and want to give a speech, even though it isn’t customary for the bride. It’s because I never shut-up. And today is certainly not the time to start.
With that said, I want to thank you all for coming here tonight for this wonderful celebration of our marriage. Without you, I would have no audience for this speech. I’d probably have to round up some of my friends and force them to listen. So, on behalf of them, I thank you, too.
Now, let’s get to all of the thank yous. There are a lot to go around. And even though I can’t thank everyone, I want to thank a lot of you.
To my Mom, thank you for always being there, and for always loving me. As a child, a teenager, and an adult, I benefitted from your endless wisdom, your thoughtful discipline, and your sagely guidance. I know that I can always come to you for help and for advice. And I know that when I do, it will always be good. Thank you for being here and for helping me plan everything that went into today. I love you.
To my Dad, thanks for being who you are. Throughout all of the difficult times in my life, you have always been there to tell me everything will be okay. Everything will work out. I just have to stick with it; and things will get better. Well, today, you couldn’t be more right. I’m marrying the man of my dreams and you’re footing the bill. Thank you, Dad. I love you.
To [name of husband’s mother], you’re an amazing woman and you have raised a loving, caring, and intelligent son, who I am honored to marry today. Don’t worry. I will take good care of him.
To my bridesmaids and groomsmen, you guys are great. And you look great, too. At least that’s what I’ve heard everyone else saying all evening. Thanks for being here for us and for doing such a great job.
To my Maid of Honor, I couldn’t be luckier to have you as a friend. Planning a wedding is a trying process. There’s so much to see, so much to organize, and so many decisions to make. You kept me from going insane and I’ll forever be thankful for that.
Finally, to all of my aunts, uncles, relatives, and to all of my friends who came here today, I love you. And thanks. I hope to see each and every one of you tonight before the reception is over!
Ice-Breaker Speech I (Dad Introduction)
In some situations, you won’t actually give an extended bride’s speech. Instead, you will give a short, “ice-breaker” speech, which you will use to introduce either your Dad or the best man, who will then give a complete speech. The following four short speeches are ice-breakers.
If you know me—and you’d better—then you know that I can’t resist picking up a microphone. It doesn’t matter whether it’s karaoke night at [local karaoke place] or whether I’m simply grabbing a microphone that someone stupidly left near me. I’m going to pick it up, and I’m going to give my two cents.
Well, tonight, I have a good reason to have the microphone. I’m going to introduce someone who has been an important part of my life for my entire life. This person has been there for me through the ups-and-downs, through the hard times and the prosperous times.
Without this person, I wouldn’t be who I am today. And I mean that. Literally. Dad, come on up here.
<Hug Dad and hand him microphone>.
Ice-Breaker Speech II (Dad Introduction)
Hello, everyone. Thanks for making it here tonight. I can’t tell you how amazing it is to see almost every person you love and care about in a single room. My parents, my siblings, my husband’s family, my friends from school, my friends from work, my relatives—close and distant. It’s breath-taking to have you all in one place.
Now, you might be wondering “why does the bride have the microphone?” Especially for those of you from an older generation, the bride is supposed to keep quiet and let her Dad and the best man speak. Well, don’t worry. We’ll get to that in a minute.
So why am I up here? I’m here to introduce someone who has influenced my life so many ways that it is impossible to do him justice with words. He is an amazing person, a faithful and loving husband, a successful professional, a thinker, a kind soul, and, most importantly for me, the perfect father.
No matter what challenges I faced as a child, a teenager, and now as an adult, he has been there for me. As [husband’s name] will remember, he was there to screen my boyfriends. And, thankfully for us both, he picked you.
So, without further ado, Dad, can you come up here? Let’s hear some applause for my Dad.
<Hug Dad and hand him the microphone>.
Ice-Breaker Speech III (Best Man Introduction)
When I first started dating [husband’s name], I was so worried about what he thought of me. Was I pretty enough? Was I smart enough? Did he think I was marriage material? What I didn’t realize, however, is that he wasn’t actually making that decision.
In fact, all along, I should have been trying to impress [best man’s name]. As it’s become clear to me now, he cares as much about [husband’s name] as I do. He looks out for him like an older brother, and that even included screening his dates for him. At least it did until he met me.
In retrospect, I suppose I should be glad that [best man’s name] picked me. Without his blessing, we might not be here today, celebrating this wonderful, life- long commitment that I’m making to the two of them.
Well, without further ado, come up here, [best man’s name]. Let’s here what you have to say about my new husband.
<Pause as best man walks up>.
In all seriousness, you have been a great friend to both of us. We love you and cannot thank you enough for always being there for us.
<Hug best man and hand him microphone>.
Ice-Breaker Speech IV (Best Man Introduction)
When I first met [husband’s name], I knew that we would one day get married. What I didn’t know is that I would also get another best friend out of the deal.
Now, if you know my husband, then you can probably guess who this best friend is. Yes, it’s [best man’s name]. And if you haven’t met him already, you should go and say hi. He’s a great guy and he has been an important influence on both my life and my husband’s.
Of course, it wasn’t always like it is now. Before I met him, I had my preconceptions about what his “best friend” might be. In the past, my boyfriend’s best friends were idiots who encouraged them to be lazy and to dump me.
But not [best man]. After I got to know him, I realized that he was a rare find— almost as rare as my husband. He was kind and considerate; and he actually wanted my husband to find the right woman and to settle down.
Well, here I am today. I’m getting married and he’s the best man; and I couldn’t be happier. [Best man], you are truly a great friend. Please come up here and say a few words.
<Hug best man and hand him the microphone>.
There you have it: 10 full speeches you can deliver on your wedding day. It’s now up to you to pick the one that best suits the occasion. For instance, if you’re just planning to “break the ice” for another speaker, then you may want to deliver one of the short speech templates above, modified to fit the situation.
To the contrary, if you’re prepared to deliver a full-blown speech, then you should use one of the funny or sentimental templates. If the best man is planning to speak after you or if he spoke directly before, then you may want to avoid the funny speech, since his is also likely to be funny.
On the other hand, if you’re speaking before your Dad, then you may want to consider using the funny speech, since his will likely be very sentimental and focus on some charming anecdotes about you.
Whatever you do, make sure that you customize the template, so that it fits your situation well. After you do that, rehearse your speech; and you should be ready to go when the time comes.