When I first started attending weddings a few things surprised me. Firstly, the fact that all churches maintained a temperature of just below freezing whatever time of year it was. Secondly, something with the texture of confetti is pretty much impossible to throw in a straight line, and thirdly for some bizarre reason women seemed to be absent from any speech given on the day.
I grew up with very strong women and was confused by the fact that even the most confident amongst my female friends and family were reduced to the role of silent observers when it came to weddings.The father of the bride passing the microphone to the groom and then the best man had been the accepted route of speeches and it seemed that no one ever questioned it. I am delighted to see that over the last few years this rule book has been ripped up and we are now seeing brides, their mothers and maids of honours and bridesmaids playing an equal part in speech proceedings.
One of the saddest things I ever saw at a wedding was a speech given by a brides father who had been absent most of her life. He had nothing much to say as he hadn’t been there for anything. Sat to his left in silence was the brides mum who had raised her, clothed her, supported her through everything and was so, so proud of the way she had turned out. I know who I would have rather have heard from.
I have had several requests for maid of honour speeches and I must admit that before I wrote the first one I wondered if it was going to be a different process to the many I have written for best men. As soon as I started to communicate with the client I realised that I wouldn’t have to change a thing. Male or female, old or young one of the things that is always consistent is how much people care about getting the speech just right. They want their friend to enjoy it but they want them to be watching from between their fingers for most of it!
Yes it means wedding speeches will go on a little longer and yes it means that people will have to wait a while to soak up all that prosecco. That doesn’t seem too much to ask to be able to hear from everybody involved in the day. I for one hope that within a few years we wont even know who is going to speak at weddings and that it will just be a surprise on the day. As long as people still need help with writing them of course!