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How to Write an Amazing Mother of the Bride Speech

Microphones at the ready, it's the year of mother of the bride speeches and if you're about to get writing, here's everything you need to know

a mother of the bride sitting and having a moment after the mother of the bride speech

More and more mums are choosing to take the mic and deliver a mother of the bride speech at their daughter’s wedding, and we're here for this movement! It’s a moving moment in the day which will mean so much to both you and her.

Whether you're giving mother of the bride speeches because you've always been the main parent, the bride's other parent has passed away, or you just have plenty to say, you'll find everything you could possibly need to nail it, right here! 

father of the bride speech is more traditional, but tradition isn't for everyone! From offering marriage advice to revealing your daughter’s embarrassing first celebrity crush, mother of the bride speeches are a wonderful opportunity to laugh, honour her and raise a toast to the couple’s future.

Your Guide to Nailing a Mother of the Bride Speech

To help you write and deliver the mother of the bride speech to top all other speeches (not that it's a competition or anything!), we have a complete guide that will support you every step of the way, with along with advice from industry expert Heidi Ellert-McDermott, founder of Speechy and author of The Modern Couple's Guide to Wedding Speeches. 

No matter what you need advice on, whether it's what to include, how to write it or tips on delivering it well, this guide can help!

Does the Mother of the Bride Make a Speech? 

Traditionally, there is not a mother of the bride speech in the wedding speech line-up, but the real question here is, does that actually matter? Today's couples are more include to veer away from tradition than ever before. 

Heidi explains that in her experience, she is working with more and more mothers of the bride.

"We're collaborating with more mothers of the bride than ever before - we love it! And why not? Mothers generally have more insider intel on their daughter’s childhood, teenage years, and love life than dads do. While a lot of the fathers we work with need help recalling childhood moments and details, the mothers never do!

"Ten years ago, the mums we worked with still thought the idea of them giving a speech was a bit of an oddity and felt a bit nervous at the prospect. But that’s no longer the case. Over the last decade, we’ve worked with hundreds of mums, and they’ve all loved the opportunity to pay a tribute to their daughter and sum up a lifetime of love."

What to Include in a Mother of the Bride Speech

a bride being kissed on the cheek by the mother of the bride after her speech

The main point of the mother of the bride speech is to welcome all your guests and tell your daughter how much you love her and how proud you are of her. It’s a truly heart warming, memorable moment in the wedding day.

If you are having a mother of the bride speech in place of the male equivalent, then the basic structure will be the same.

A mother of the bride speech should:

  • Welcome and thank everyone for coming
  • Pay a short tribute to the bride’s other parent (optional)
  • Pay tribute to the bride and share stories and memories of her from childhood and today
  • Talk about meeting their new partner for the first time, getting to know them and welcoming them into the family
  • Offer wise and funny advice to the couple
  • Finish with a toast to the newlyweds

Ideas for Mother of the Bride Speeches

The minute you need to write a speech, it’s like every memory drains from your brain! Here are some questions that’ll hopefully point you in the right direction for some great stories to tell about your daughter. Anecdotes really bring a speech to life and you’ve got a whole lifetime’s worth.

  • What was she like as a child? Did she ever have any funny school reports? Did she have an odd nickname? How does she compare now?
  • Who was her first celebrity crush? How do they compare to her partner?
  • What job did she want as a child? What does she do now?
  • Did she start planning her wedding as a child?
  • What does she do that always makes you laugh?
  • What’s her worst/weirdest habit?
  • Any memorable moments in your first holiday abroad/school play/day of university? Are there any arguments with siblings that have gone in history in your household?
  • How did the couple meet? When and how did she tell you about them?
  • Do the couple share any unusual hobbies together?
  • How do they tolerate each other’s quirks?
  • Did her partner ask for permission? What did you immediately think? What did you first say?
  • If they’ve got a child or children together, how did you feel when she became a mother? What advice have you given her?

Mother of the Bride Speeches & Examples

everyone raising a toast to the happy couple after a mother of the bride speech

These mother of the bride speech examples will give you some inspiration if you're struggling to put pen to paper and get started with writing. 

1. Wedding Planning & Celebrity Crushes

  • Your wedding day is said to be the happiest of your life, and while it was very happy indeed, it couldn’t compare to the moment our daughter came into the world. You have brought me such joy and happiness (and a few sleepless nights!) but I couldn’t be more proud of the beautiful, smart, strong woman you’ve grown into today.
  • Simon may not know this, but Sarah started planning this wedding at the age of 9. I’ll never forget walking in on her sister Jodie playing vicar at a wedding ceremony between Sarah – dressed up in my red lipstick and heels with a toilet paper veil – and a poster of Gareth Gates!

2. A Tribute to Dad

  • Thank you so much for joining us today on Hannah and James’s big day, I hope you’ll all agree with me that it has been absolutely beautiful. It’s an honour to welcome you here today and see so many of you having travelled from far and wide to celebrate with us.
  • Traditionally this speech would be given by Hannah’s dad, but although Matthew can’t be with us here in person, he has never left our side today in spirit. I know he’d be as proud of you as I am standing here, so let us raise our first glass to Matthew and all absent family and friends.
  • Instead of champagne, we decided it would be more fitting to have a dram of his favourite whiskey for everyone. To Matthew!

3. On Behalf of us Both

  • Hi everyone, I’m Louise, Kat’s older sister. I’m just joking! Kat and I have always been so much more than mother and daughter, we’re best friends, so I couldn’t let this moment pass without saying something – and as her dad will tell you, I always have to have the last word!
  • It’s with love, pride and joy I stand here today. Kat has been lucky enough to find true love with Anna and that will forever make me so grateful. The two of you are perfect for each other and I couldn’t imagine anyone better – or as patient! – as Anna to start this new adventure with.
  • Your dad and I have always tried to be an example to you to show that through ups and down and across the years love can grow and last. Seeing you two together, I know we’ve taught you all the lessons we can and all we can do is wish you a lifetime of happiness as you start your own family. Don’t worry, I’ll always be here to show you how to change a nappy!

4. A Sentimental Speech

  • I wish to raise a toast to my daughter and her new husband. Although she’s too old to hold my hand, she’ll always hold my heart. Watching you grow from my little girl into the beautiful bride standing before me has filled me with such joy. Everyone you meet is touched by your kindness, generosity, love for life and cheeky humour.
  • I am incredibly lucky to have you as a daughter and as a treasured friend too. I feel blessed to welcome Sam into our lives and thank her for the laughter and happiness she brings my daughter. I couldn’t wish for a better wife for Alice than Sam; may the two of you have a long, happy and healthy life together. To Alice and Sam.

Tips for Writing & Delivering a Mother of the Bride Speech

a mother of the bride speech with the mum standing at the mic

To advise you on how to nail your mother of the bride speech, industry expert Heidi has shared some of her best tips.

"Mother of the bride speeches follow the same etiquette and basic structure as the male equivalent," Heidi explains, "The mum’s job is to drop a love-bomb on their daughter and give the guests an insight into what makes the bride so goddam wonderful. Rather than resort to boring old adjectives – ‘kind’, ‘funny’, ‘thoughtful’ – use stories to bring your daughter’s characteristics to life.

1. Keep Things Personal

You want to ensure that the speech you give about your daughter could only have been written about her. 

Heidi advises, "Don’t resort to ‘wedding waffle’. No need to mention the gorgeous venue. No need to thank individual people for coming (that’s the newlyweds' job). Instead, if you’re the first speaker on the line up, welcome all the guests for coming and then jump into storytelling and entertaining everyone.

"Start by sharing some tales from your daughter’s childhood. Hunt down those anecdotes that reflect the woman she would later become, whether it’s an insatiable appetite, an intimidating death-stare, or a naughty sense of humour.

"And try not to resort to mother/daughter clichés and instead, recognise the individual human she is and cherish the unique relationship you have. Do you still encourage her to wear warmer clothes? Does she add an extra inch to your waistline by continuing to bake wonderful homemade cakes?"

2. It's Not a CV

Whilst the details in mother of the bride speeches should be persona, not everything about her life should make the cut, as Heidi explains: "Sure, feel free to add some of your daughter’s achievements to your speech, but don’t let your speech turn into a CV. No one needs to know she was a grade eight pianist, unless of course, she accompanied all her performances with terrible singing that made your ears bleed."

3. Embrace Your Funny Bone

"Humour is important in any wedding speech," says Heidi. "No one expects you to be a comedian and you don’t need to be writing punchlines but find the stories that will make people chuckle and bring smiles to their faces.

"Overall, the speech should be a mix of humorous, poignant, and sentimental content and your daughter should be left with no doubt about just how much you love her.

"Having said that, when it comes to adding humour to your speech, don’t resort to any googled-gags or sexist platitudes. Stick to strong stories, insightful observations, and surprising facts instead."

4. Don't Forget the Partner & In-Laws

mother of the bride and groom hugging the bride after the speeches

As in any wedding, there are two people getting married here and it's important to address them both as a parent.

Heidi adds: "Of course, as well as paying a tribute to your child, you need to pay a loving tribute to her partner too. Sure, you can give a ‘friendly warning’ about looking after your girl, but whether it’s an LGBTQ+ or heterosexual union, it’s always good to say more than the usual platitudes.

"Give a sense of, not only why they’re a good partner for your daughter, but why you personally like them too (fingers crossed, you do?!). Have you bonded over a mutual appreciation of a good Merlot? Do you both recognise your daughter’s quirkiest habits and tolerate her inability to load the dishwasher without assistance?

"One other point of etiquette that’s worth remembering is to acknowledge your new in-laws (the parents of your daughter’s partner) and welcome them to the family."

5. End it With Meaning & a Toast

"The conclusion of the speech should reiterate your love for your daughter and your hopes for the couple’s marriage. It’s no longer necessary to offer the newlyweds ‘marriage advice’ but sometimes it can be an opportunity to add a bit of naughty fun. 

"Finally, a mother of the bride speech should end with a call for everyone to join you in a toast. The toast should be directed at the newlyweds and sum up your hopes for their future life together. Extra points if you can reference something earlier in the speech, for example. ‘Here’s to a life full of laughter and love… and very few death-stares!’"

6. Be Mindful of Length

When it comes to  the length of mother of the bride speeches, Heidi advises that "Anything between five and eight minutes is ideal. Around 900-1,200 is generally our standard as t’s long enough to say everything you need to say, whilst being short enough to keep everyone entertained without boring them.

"If you feel you feel you have a lot more you’d like to say, one idea is to write a letter for your daughter to read on the night before the wedding."

7. Give Yourself Plenty of Time

As well as considering the length of the speech, it's also important to give yourself enough time to actually write and perfect the speech. Heidi advises mums that, "When it comes to writing your speech, don’t put it off. Try to start writing your speech at least a couple of months before the wedding date. It’s much easier to improve a first draft, than it is to look at a blank page.

8. Edit, Cut & Practise

Offering her words of wisdom on editing, Heidi says, "Once you’ve written your first draft, try to edit it down by a third and we guarantee it will feel punchier as a result. When you’re happy with your speech, read it back and check to see how many lines of your speech could be delivered by another mother of the bride. If it’s more than a dozen, then you’ve done something wrong!

"Allow yourself a couple of weeks to rehearse the speech and feel confident about your delivery. Try to memorise the speech but use notes on the day. It’s not a sign of weakness! And when you’re delivering the speech, remember to smile; it’s literally infectious. Even if you’re feeling nervous, a smile (even a fake one) will trick you and your audience into relaxing."

If you’re looking for that perfect mother of the bride outfit, check out our selection of gorgeous mother of the bride dresses.