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Mother of the bride giving speech at wedding

Mother of the Bride Speech - Officially a 'Thing'!

Nikita Thorne Guides for Brides
Nikita Thorne Updated:
4th of September 2023

She’s been your biggest cheerleader through each stage of your journey, from lisping toddler, to door slamming teen, to grown up(ish) woman suddenly picking out table linen. And seeing as your mum knows you so well, who better to give a speech at your wedding?  

We asked the Speechy wordsmiths why mothers deserve more time on the wedding mic – and how they can make the most of it when they do! 

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Mum taking the mic at a wedding

Image courtesy of Speechy

Reasons To Ask Your Mother To Give A Speech

She'll love it

It’s an honour to be asked to give a speech and your mum will be excited she has the opportunity to add an extra special moment to your day. 

Your wedding day is not only an incredibly emotional day for you, it is for her too. Let her express it! 

We guarantee it will be one of those lifelong memories you’ll both cherish. 

Mums know best!

A great speech relies on great stories and mothers have a lifetime of material up their selves! 

Who else can recall with comic clarity the time you bluffed that you were the only one in your year group whose parents didn’t allow her to wear platform heels and electric blue mascara, and so she capitulated… until your sensible-shoed, barefaced friends came round for tea and breathlessly told her what a cool mum she was (clearly she’d been had!).

Mother of the Bride giving Speech

Image by Mark Chivers Photography

Shun convention

Most couples have a best man giving a speech, but a best-mum? Well, that’s adding something really memorable to the day. 

Of course, there may be practical reasons you might ask your mum to give a speech but if you haven’t considered deviating from the traditional speech line up as yet, why not? 

Families are wonderfully diverse and weddings can be a great celebration of that. Perhaps you come from a household with two mums, or it could just be that your dad is desperately shy and your mum’s the natural entertainer in the family. Whatever the case, at least consider giving your mum some time on that mic. 

Guaranteed tears

She’s given you countless lifts, heaps of money, endless advice, and likely put up with plenty of cheek along the way. She was there with a hug after your first heartbreak, a hawk-eye when you had lipstick on your teeth before your dream job interview, and a cuppa when you had wedding planning to offload!

Let her remind you and everyone else in the room that she’ll continue to be there when you need her, with as much heart and humour as she can muster.

Mother of the Bride giving her speech

Image by Mark Chivers Photography

Tips for mums taking the mic

Keep it short and sweet

A bit like your beloved daughter before she outgrew you. The adage that good things come in small packages is certainly true of speeches. We suggest writing a first draft and then editing it to no longer than 1000 words – we guarantee it’ll be better for it.

Observe etiquette

If your speech is replacing the father of the bride’s, you might be expected to say a few thank yous as per parent of the bride tradition. This needn’t be a daunting task – simply thank everyone for coming, making sure to give special acknowledgement to your daughter's new parents-in-law and warmly welcoming your new son or daughter-in-law to the family.

Keep this part light – no need to namecheck half the guest list. Allow the newlyweds to offer any special and bespoke thank yous. You don’t want to steal the groom’s thunder. 

Mums at children's weddings

Image courtesy of Speechy

Inspire some laughs

As the official more ‘grown-up’ grown-up in the room, yours is traditionally a speech that’s a bit more sentimental than funny. That said, you’ve probably been witness to more hilarity than most over the years so by no means allow the best man to hog all the humour.

If you don’t think you’re naturally funny, there are plenty of ways of inspiring comedy, from asking friends and other family members to dish the dirt ahead of the day, to including props – you probably have a funny school report stuffed into a drawer somewhere?

As you’ll find, as soon as you get your first laugh, you and your audience will relax and enjoy the speech more. 

Tell the truth

Guests don’t want to hear about a perfect generic bride. All mums are proud of their daughters – be precise about what’s special about yours, whether it’s her easy affinity with all four-legged creatures or her photographic memory of the Domino’s menu.

Illustrating the bride’s quirkiness with anecdotes will win smiling nods from your audience, who’ll likely recognise some of her unique traits. And your daughter will be touched at the affectionate detail you describe her with. 

Mum giving speech. Image courtesy of Speechy

Image courtesy of Speechy

Adopt a theme

Anecdotes work better when they’re threaded together in a narrative. Have a beginning, middle and end in mind as you craft your speech. Tell a story with your daughter as the protagonist and your new son- or daughter-in-law as the hero (or vice versa).

A theme is a great way to tie it all in. Choose something relevant to the bride’s personality. If she works as a chef, you might describe a ‘recipe for a [daughter’s name]’ – two cups creativity, a tablespoon of stubbornness, a dash of determination and a pinch of something cheeky. Mix together over several decades and allow to blend and mature. 

Prepare to deliver

The work’s not over once you’ve written a smashing narrative. Many a wonderful speech has nosedived because of a bad delivery. No undue pressure but… chances are someone will be filming this so make sure your delivery is camera ready!

Stay hydrated, speak slower than usual, make eye-contact with your audience and pause for laughter – you’ve earned it.

Finally, smile and enjoy your moment in the spotlight. This isn’t supposed to be an overly daunting task. After all, you delivered your daughter into the world – this is one hundred times easier than that.

Speechy are a team of expert wordsmiths who work with people all over the world, helping them create and deliver their dream speech. Their mother of the bride speech template is available to purchase online now.

Looking for your mother of the bride or groom outfit? Check out some incredible boutiques on Guides for Brides.

Nikita Thorne Guides for Brides

About the author

Nikita Thorne

Nikita is a wedding planning expert and newlywed having tied the knot in 2023. She is the host of Guides for Brides - The Wedding Podcast and regularly speaks at wedding industry conferences and national wedding shows to inform and inspire couples who are planning their big days. She keeps on top of the latest wedding trends in design and fashion and loves to see the new innovative ideas from wedding professionals across the country. If you need practical planning advice, Nikita has been through the entire wedding planning process, so is your best contact!

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