What to Say in a Mother of the Bride Speech: Ideas and Examples

Whether it's instead of or together with the father of the bride speech, here's what to do if it's mum's turn to speak up!

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More and more mums are choosing to deliver a mother of the bride speech at their daughter’s wedding. It's a moving moment in the day which will mean so much to both you and her.

It’s traditional to have a father of the bride speech, but that certainly doesn't mean that mums can't give speeches too!

Mother of the Bride Speech

Image: Leo DJ Photography

From offering marriage advice to revealing your daughter’s embarrassing first celebrity crush, it’s a wonderful opportunity to laugh, honour her and raise a toast to the couple’s future.

Read on to discover what you need to include in a mother of the bride speech, along with some examples and ideas.

What to Say in a Mother of the Bride Speech?

Mother of the Bride Speech

Image: Archibald Photography

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 a father of the bride speech, then the basic structure will be the same.

READ MORE: Mother of the Bride Duties Explained

A mother of the bride speech should:

  • Welcome and thank everyone for coming
  • Pay a short tribute to the bride’s father (optional)
  • Pay tribute to the bride and share stories and memories of her from childhood and today
  • Talk about meeting their new husband or wife 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

Should the bride’s father have passed away, you’ll want to pay tribute to him. This could be a very emotional moment for you and your daughter so be prepared for a few tears with a hanky handy. It can be a tricky balancing act between keeping the speech joyful and remembering those you've lost.

READ MORE: Stylish Mother of the Bride Dresses

Mother of the Bride Speech

Image: Chris + Lynn Photographers

If you are giving a speech in addition to the father of the bride speech, you can give a condensed version of this. The guests will have already been welcomed and thanked, so offer a concise one line on this and focus on your daughter instead.

A shorter mother of the bride speech should:

  • Thank everyone for coming very briefly
  • Pay tribute to the bride and share stories and memories of her
  • Welcome their new husband or wife into the family
  • Offer marriage advice and wisdom
  • Finish with a toast to the newlyweds

Be wary not to steal thunder from other people’s speeches. You may feel like there’s lots of people you want to thank but this is usually traditionally the groom’s job. He will raise a glass to the guests who’ve travelled from far and wide, and to the bridesmaids and groomsmen. Leave the thank yous to his speech and focus on your daughter and new son or daughter-in-law. However, if both sets of parents have helped a lot in the wedding preparations or financially contributed, you should definitely offer them a few words of gratitude.

Inspiration For Your Mother of the Bride Speech

Mother of the Bride Speech

Image: SCV Imagery

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 Speech Examples

Mother of the Bride Speech

Image: YouTube

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!

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!

READ MORE: Brilliant Wedding Speech Introductions

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. I knew she was the right person for you when …. 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!

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 him for the laughter and happiness he brings my daughter. I couldn’t wish for a better man for Alice than Sam; may the two of you have a long, happy and healthy life together. To Alice and Sam.

When is the Mother of the Bride Speech Given?

Mother of the Bride Speech

Image: Florido Weddings

If the mother of the bride speech is in place of a father of the bride speech, then it will follow the traditional wedding speech order and go first. It’s followed by the groom’s speech and best man’s speech.

READ MORE: Mother of the Bride Make-Up Advice

However, if the mother of the bride speech is an additional speech, then it’s a complement to the father of the bride speech and will come just after. If you’d both like to say a few words, then a joint speech is a lovely idea, but if you’re divorced, for example, and would both like to speak, then keep both speeches short. They’re both lovely for your daughter to listen to, but most guests will be wishing for their cake after 10 minutes!

Stick to a rule of 6-8 minutes for a mother of the bride speech, and 3-5 minutes maximum if the father is speaking too.

Tips for Giving a Mother of the Bride Speech

Mother of the Bride Speech

Image: Pinterest

Prepare to get emotional. It’s a rare mother who won’t tear up at some point during her daughter’s wedding day. Combine all that emotion with speech nerves and perhaps a glass of champagne and you’re likely to shed a few tears during your speech. Have a tissue on hand and take a second to compose yourself if it gets too much.

Be funny. You will definitely have some funny tales to tell about your daughter - know that everyone’s on your side and just go for it.

Be wary not to steal thunder from other people’s speeches. You may feel like there’s lots of people you want to thank but this is usually the groom’s job. He will raise a glass to the guests who’ve travelled from far and wide, and to the bridesmaids and groomsmen. If there isn't a groom, then decide between yourself and anyone else giving a speech who would like to do the thank yous! 

READ MORE: How to Choose a Flattering Mother of the Bride Hat

Don’t forget the new in-laws. That said, if both sets of parents have helped a lot in the wedding preparations or financially contributed, you should definitely offer them a few words of gratitude and welcome to your family. You’re likely to have lots of shared grandparent duties together in the future.

Remember it’s not a CV. You’re proud, we know, but no guest really wants to hear you listing off everything from your daughter’s swimming badges and exam results.

Relax into it. A mother of the bride speech should be warm and witty. Don’t go too formal or you’ll sound stilted. Speak from the heart instead.

Ask her friends. They’re a fantastic source of background information. Ever wondering what really happened when they were 16 and you returned from a dinner out to find a flower pot in the fridge and all the toilet roll gone? You’re all old enough now to laugh together at the true story.

If you're looking for that perfect mother of the bride outfit, check out our selection of gorgeous mother of the bride dress designs.



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