Mother of the Bride Speech Tips

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mother of the bride speechAlthough a mother of the bride speech is not traditionally given at a wedding reception, there are some situations where this is warranted.  For example, if the bride’s father is unavailable or has passed away, or is simply too shy for public speaking, then the speech-giving burden will logically fall on the mother of the bride.  No matter what the reason, there are certain protocols that must be followed.

One of the first things that any good mother of the bride speech will touch upon is an expression of gratitude toward the guests.  It’s likely that at least a few of the guests had to travel relatively far, take off from work, or jump through a few logistical hoops to make it to your daughter’s big day.  So make sure that you lead with a bit of a ‘thank you’ to all those folks who had to put forth some effort to attend.  And, don’t forget to thank the groom and the new in-laws as well (whether you really mean it or not!).

Second, avoid gushing or bragging about your daughter’s wonderful life.  Remember, this is not a job interview or one of those annoying Christmas letters you get from relatives you haven’t seen in a decade; the purpose of the speech is to communicate positive thoughts and feelings about your daughter, but do not go overboard.  For example, instead of mentioning that great promotion your daughter just got, focus instead on her preparations and excitement leading up to the big day.

Third, avoid being monotonous.  What does this mean exactly?  Well, it means that you should not talk in monotone; add some voice inflections to communicate excitement and emphasize key points.  Also, interject some humor; just make sure you don’t inadvertently offend anyone.   Also, focus your speech around stories, not lists of accomplishments (for example).  Stories can enhance any type of communication, so use them generously.  A good way to do this is to use not only your own stories, but also funny or interesting stories from the in-laws, bridesmaids, longtime friends, and even the groom – so ask around!  And of course, do not go on and on (and on…and on…and on…).  Remember this is not a dissertation, so keep it under 5 minutes.  Time yourself in advance as you rehearse if necessary.

Fourth, ask the other speech-givers to shed some light on the content of their speeches.  This way, you all can work together to avoid duplicating elements of each others’ wedding speeches.  There is nothing more embarrassing for a speech-giver than rehashing what a previous speech-giver has already said.  So be proactive to avoid this scenario.

Finally, do not forget to end with a toast.  Like saying ‘goodbye’ when leaving, your toast is the capper of the speech.  Give this part a lot of thought, as you want to end on a high note.  Be sincere, heartfelt, and lighthearted – trust me, you’ll quickly win over the room.

The bottom line is that although a mother of the bride speech is less common than other types, it can still be done in a creative and amazing way.  Follow the 5 tips in this post, and you’ll be well on your way.  For more info, check out this great post for more wedding speech tips.  Good luck!

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