From helping their daughter get ready all the way through to offering her unconditional love and emotional support. Being the Mother of the Bride is an integral role in any wedding. Without that support, a bride can feel very overwhelmed and feel the pressures of responsibility for her big day. But, what about the speeches? For sure, there is always a Best Man speech and sometimes even a Father of the Bride speech, but what about the Mother of the Bride?
So, does the Mother of the Bride have to give a speech? The Mother of the Bride does not have to give a speech, although it can be nice, and fitting for her to stand up and say a few words – or even a toast. Ultimately, it depends on a combination of the Mother of the Bride’s preferences, the context, and the desires/requests of her daughter, the bride.
Some wedding couples expect all of their important people to step up to the podium and spill all their funny and loving memories with the rest of the wedding guests, but it’s not always a given.
What if the bride expects you, as her mother, to give a speech? What if even the idea of it has you melting into a sweaty mess?
That’s totally ok; there are not many of us who thrive on being the center of attention.
In fact, many speeches are scrapped entirely because the intended speech givers just can’t face the bright lights and glaring eyes.
If this sounds a little bit like you, keep reading.
I’m going to cover some other things you can do instead of a speech and even some tips to make that all-important speech a little less nerve-wracking if you can’t avoid it at all.
Do You Have To Give A Speech As The Mother Of The Bride?
You do not technically have to give a speech as the Mother of the Bride, but you may want to – even if it is just a few words or a toast.
The rise in alternative speech-giving activities has given birth to some really fun wedding moments, like slideshows, videos, and even performances.
We give speeches at a wedding as a way of thanking guests, sharing special moments with everyone attending, and even as a way to add a little fun to the wedding reception, but there are so many other ways this can be done that don’t involve a stand-alone speech.
When Does The Mother Of The Bride Typically Give Their Speech?
The Mother of the Bride will typically give her speech towards the end of the wedding breakfast or just after. She will typically, however, give her speech just after the Father of the Bride speech, just before, or instead of. It depends on the couple and the order they set.
When the Mother of the Bride specifically has to give her speech can alter a little depending on who is speaking – think best man, father of the bride, the married couple, and anyone else who wants to stand up and speak – the Mother of the Bride speech can be at any stage during the speech giving time.
It will all depend on how the wedding couple wants to arrange the speeches.
What Can The Mother of the Bride Do Instead Of A Speech?
If you can already feel the nervous shakes rising just thinking about having to give a speech, it may be time to consider an alternative.
If speech giving really isn’t your thing, there are actually loads of different things you can do instead that are just as thoughtful and personal – with a little less speaking anxiety in tow.
Give A Performance
Ok, so this one seems a bit ridiculous if you are experiencing performance anxiety.
Hear me out.
Sometimes it’s just the act of speaking, for those of us with some beautiful talents such as playing a musical instrument or even poetry reading.
You may find yourself far more comfortable within these performance mediums.
Just make sure your performance will be happily appreciated by the wedding couple.
The slideshow, or edited video, is becoming a really popular alternative to giving a speech.
You can share photos and videos and edit them to overlay meaningful songs or poetry readings.
If you still want to speak during a slideshow, the great thing is that everyone will be focused on the screen and not you.
Slideshows can be so beautifully personal and meaningful that they are never a bad idea.
Read Notes From Loved Ones
Although you will have to discuss this one with the bride beforehand, you could have a table set up for the guests as they enter the reception venue where they can write loving notes, hopes, wishes, and even advice to the wedding couple.
Once the speech time rolls around, the Mother of the Bride can read these aloud instead of a speech.
This alternative can pull in a real mixed bag of emotions, considering you’ll have no idea what people have written until you are standing on the stage and reading them aloud.
On Your Behalf Speech
If you really don’t want to be involved in the speeches in any way, which is totally ok, you could always ask somebody else to give your speech on your behalf.
Perhaps someone else from the bridal party would quite happily stand up in front of the entire wedding party and give a speech, like the Maid of Honor.
Just because you aren’t an extrovert doesn’t mean someone else won’t be more than happy to step up to the speech-giving plate.
Suggestions For The Mother Of The Bride Speech
Although speech alternatives can be incredible, sometimes there’s just no escaping a traditional speech.
So here are so Do’s and Don’t’s that can help you get through the speech giving in one piece.
DON’T Waffle On
When the nerves kick in, it can be incredibly difficult to keep yourself from waffling on about a million things that may not even relate to what you initially intended to say.
Especially if you have a real knack for diverting very far from your original point.
Keep it short and sweet. Less is more. 5 minutes is ideal.
DO Keep It Short
When writing your speech, keep it short, sweet, and simple.
Make sure you include a thank you to the guests and anyone else important, perhaps a lovely memory you have with the bride, a sweet celebration of the couple, and then a toast which will end your speech.
Don’t fall prey to the expectation of a speech that will bring tears or raucous laughter. Your goal is to just get through it without forgetting where you are and what you are doing.
DON’T Drink Too Much
This is a biggie.
So many of us turn to liquid courage when our nerves get the better of us, but there’s nothing worse than being remembered as the Mother of the Bride who fell over, forgot her words, or couldn’t even be understood because she drank so much.
One or two glasses are more than enough, then once the speeches are over, you can go as mad as you like on the booze – but keep it healthy.
DO Prepare And Practice
Preparation is key here.
Take the time to really go over your speech. It doesn’t have to be memorized word for word but as long as you are comfortable with the words you are saying.
Another tip is to read your speech aloud to other people before the big night.
This helps you get a little more comfortable with reading to others, and they can also give you input into whether you’ve missed anything or added too much.
DON’T Have Empty Hands
Shaking hands are a speech giver’s biggest enemy.
Those shaky hands or those hands that just don’t seem to know what to do can not only make you look more nervous but also feel even more nervous.
You” have the mic in one hand, so make sure you’re holding a glass of champagne in the other.
Not only does this keep your hands occupied, but you’ll also be ready for the toast at the end of your speech.
DO Take It Slow
Reading at the speed of the roadrunner will make your speech so hard to understand, but it can also ramp up your anxiety levels.
If you are feeling panicked, speaking fast will only inflate a sense of anxiousness within you.
So take your time, read slowly and clearly, and make sure everyone can understand what you are saying.
What Should A Mother Of The Bride Speech Include?
If you are going to go ahead and give a speech, then knowing what to say and when is essential.
Below you will find a simple structure to use to write and plan it from start to end:
- Welcome the guests, thanking them for coming and being there on her daughter’s big day. Focus on those guests who have traveled a long way or who have made special efforts to be in attendance.
- Introduce yourself, and perhaps why you are speaking, to begin with (such as if the father of the bride has deceased or couldn’t be in attendance)
- Share important memories; birthdays, milestones, achievements, etc.
- Discuss your daughter’s best qualities; what makes her special, and what sets her apart (all positive, of course).
- Talk about the groom/couple, why they are so good for one another etc.
- Toast the couple, raise a glass with the guests to wish the new wedded couple the best for the future.
If you are a Mother of the Bride for an upcoming wedding, then despite all the joy it can bring, there is no denying the anxiety that the thought of a speech may bring.
Thankfully you may not have to give one, but asking your daughter if she truly wants you to speak is a first place to start.
Besides, there may be several speeches planned already.
Otherwise, if she does express to you she would like you to speak, there are some techniques you can implement to help make the experience more comfortable and to help you feel more confident.
And usually, you should find that once you start talking and the first sentences are said, you’ll start to get into it.
Your speech will go by in a flash, and you’ll soon be wondering what you were so nervous about at all.
Wondering who else may have to give a speech? Then my following articles may be of interest:
- Does The Father Of The Bride Give A Speech?
- Does The Father Of The Groom Give A Speech?
- Does The Mother Of The Groom Give A Speech?
- Does The Groom Have To Give A Speech?
- Does The Bride Give A Speech?
- Does The Maid Of Honor Give A Speech?
Hey, I’m Allison – a recent bride, an expectant mother and the chief editor here at Everlasting Occasion. Here I document all the knowledge and experience I accumulated while researching and planning my dream wedding and ahead of our new baby. Here, I try to answer those many questions couples have when planning their dream wedding, while equally, helping expectant parents ahead of their new arrival!