Moms are impervious to all kinds of challenges. Birthing children, dealing with bodily functions, taming toddlers – the list is infinite really. But if public speaking is your kryptonite, giving a mother-of-the-bride speech may just be the one thing on Earth that could make you flinch.
Well, there’s no way we’re gonna let that happen. One of our mottos here (not going to lie, we have a few of them) is “no mom left behind.”
So, for all you fabulous mothers out there, we’ve put together this handy guide. It’s filled with fantastic mother-of-the-bride speech ideas and tips on delivering it like a pro. Give it a read and we’re pretty confident that you’ll start looking forward to your moment in the spotlight on your daughter’s wedding day!
Prepare Well and You’ll be Golden
Writing your speech will be easier if you keep in mind a few loose rules that can help anyone make a great wedding speech. Most of these are pretty common sense, so we won’t spend a lot of time on this part. Just keep the Girl Guides’ motto “Be Prepared’ in mind and you’ll be good to go!
Watch your time
Any good wedding speech should be six minutes or less. Seven minutes if you’re super confident, but no more than that or you’ll lose your audience.
Be as unique as possible
It probably won’t be too hard to find unique things to say about your daughter. After all, not too many people know her as well as you do. Think about the things that set her apart, particularly if she has talents or qualities that may not be commonly known.
Mother-of-the-bride speeches are an appropriate time to give a quick nod to her accomplishments, too. It doesn’t need to be a resume, just a couple of things you may be proud of her for. For instance, if she’s the third-generation doctor in the family or is well-traveled, etc.
Do your homework
If guests have been invited that you don’t know very well, find out who they are and how they know her. Ask siblings, the maid of honor, whoever is close with her as well. This will help you craft your introductions and certain portions of your speech to accommodate others if necessary.
Aim for funny
Funny is always best when giving speeches, no matter what the circumstances, but particularly at a wedding. Speeches can go one way or another: funny and engaging, or you can bomb. It doesn’t have to be a standup routine, but some humor obviously helps.
Emotional is lovely, but don’t get too heavy
Most likely, it’ll be impossible for you to keep your emotions entirely in check, and that’s great. Allowing yourself that vulnerability when giving your speech is beneficial, but be careful not to go so far that you make the rest of the party uncomfortable.
Keep it clean
Well yeah, no one’s gonna tell dirty jokes during the toast at their daughter’s wedding, right? Sure, but when there’s alcohol involved…
Just keep it in mind. We’ve seen a thing or two.
No politics, money, religion, or (especially) family drama
This is another tip that seems pretty straightforward and easy. Still, it’s amazing how many people get carried away without thinking.
Jokes about the cost of the wedding or related things can easily fall sideways with the crowd, and this is clearly not the place for politics.
Religion is obviously relevant if your daughter is marrying in a church in a religious ceremony and/or you’re a spiritual family. But keep in mind, not everyone shares the same faith, so try to be sensitive about that.
And please, please, please don’t evoke any “Springer moments”. Every family has drama, and it could quite possibly find its way to the wedding in some form or another by the end of the night, but it’s up to you to kick it to the curb.
If you and her father are separated, and you hate his new girlfriend, now’s not the time to take jabs. If his sister’s kid acted a fool and hit on the groom’s mother during the last family wedding, now isn’t the time to make fun. No matter how satisfying it may be.
Make An Outline
With the above considerations top of mind, it’s time to move on to the fun stuff!
Start by making an outline of what you’d like to say. This will help you organize your thoughts and avoid getting sidetracked due to nerves, which is one of the biggest challenges when speaking publicly. Here’s a brief guide for what you should include in your speech. Use your judgment and switch around the order if needed.
Introduce yourself and welcome the guests
Probably most of the guests are going to know who you are. Still, it doesn’t hurt to use a little introduction and a warm welcome to everyone for coming to celebrate such a special day with you and your family as an opener.
Thank everyone for coming, particularly bridesmaids and wedding party
It often falls to the mother-of-the-bride and the groom to do the official thanking of the wedding party, but if it seems a little droll, pare it down as you see fit. A quick thanks, and a roll call is just fine. If there’s someone you’d like to single out and thank in particular, now is a good time to do so.
Speak about her achievements
Often, it’s left up to the father-of-the-bride to tell the hilarious, embarrassing stories, but if you’ve got some, by all means feel free to share. If you’d rather leave the showmanship to him, it’s quite poignant to listen to the mother-of-the-bride talk about all of the things her daughter’s achieved. Make it relatively brief, but there’s nothing wrong with bragging on your baby.
Talk about the soon-to-be significant other
It’s always touching to hear the mother-of-the-bride address her new son-in-law with love and warmth. Toast the things you like about him, maybe tell a quick story about the first time you met him and what your thoughts were. It’ll definitely bring some tears.
Impart some motherly advice
Any words of wisdom for the happy couple are appropriate now. You’re the wise mama, so school ‘em on what to expect. (With optimism, of course.)
Raise a toast
Now’s your time to soak it all in. Invite everyone to raise a toast to the happy newlyweds and the new family unit you’re forming together, and enjoy the congratulations.
Mother-of-the-Bride Speech Examples
OK, so you’ve got a pretty solid idea of what you’re going to say during your time at the mic, but you still need a little inspiration to finish it off. No problem, we’ve got the goods — erm speech examples — to help you put the polish on your own masterpiece of a speech.
Get the Kleenex Out, You’re Gonna Need It
OK, this one’s a tearjerker. The mama giving this speech did such a good job keeping it together. Wish I could say the same for myself while watching it. Those hot things running down my checks couldn’t have been wedding water. No way.
Some Lighthearted Zingers Make This Speech Especially Memorable
This mother did such a good job punching up her speech with some teasing and comedy. She obviously knows the room well enough to deliver a couple of well-meaning zingers.
A Heartfelt Speech with Wonderful Words for the Groom
The love this mom shows to the groom is so heartfelt you can tell she’s really sincere about what she has to say about him.
So much of motherhood is based on intuition, a wing, and a prayer. We know what we’re doing until we don’t, then we use the incredible superpowers we acquired when we gave birth to figure out the rest.
Mother-of-the-bride speeches are the same, we like to think. It might get a little messy, there will be tears, and there will definitely be laughter and joy. In the end, we’ll use our superpowers to pull off something special. Enjoy the moment, mama (and the whole evening, for that matter), because you’ve earned it.