“A very close friend has just asked me to ‘give her away’ at her wedding as she does not have a father. Any tips on speeches and what I should say?”
As for the wedding, you won’t need any speech tips. This isn’t where speeches take place. That happens at the wedding reception. Your role will be to walk her down the aisle and give her away to her husband to be.
At the reception, if you choose to give a speech, it doesn’t have to be long or overly scripted. A suggestion would be to include how you came to be in her life, what she means to you and wish her and her new husband well.
Other Expert Answers
I agree, keep it simple. Your reception speech won’t be anything like a Father of the Bride speech, but rather a Friends Speech, or if you are close like a brother and sister you could look to examples of Brother of the Bride speeches.
You could include what the bride means to you and how she has influenced your life, a few nice things you’ve come to know about the groom, why you think they are so well suited for one another, and what you wish for their future. Here are some examples
Giving my (friend, sister) away was one of the proudest moments of my life. My name is (insert name) and I am the (insert relationship). It is my privilege to make the first speech of the day. I would like to welcome and thank everyone for joining us in celebrating <bride> and <groom> wedding day.
I would also like to say a massive thank you to everyone involved in making today so special. I know that (bride) and (groom) have put a lot of effort and planning to make today a relaxed and enjoyable celebration, and I’m sure that you will all agree with me that it has been a brilliant day so far.
As I have the pleasure of the first speech, I get to be the first to officially congratulate (bride) on how beautiful she looks today. And just so there is no favouritism, (groom)…… you’re looking pretty good too mate.
Normally giving a bride away on her wedding day is the responsibility of the bride’s father, but unfortunately (bride’s father) passed away several years ago. However, I know he would have felt so honored and, in his words, ‘chuffed’ to have walked you down the aisle today. I feel so proud that you gave me the privilege of being a part of you and <groom> exchanging your vows.
As I look at this beautiful woman before me in the lovely wedding gown, I can’t help but reflect on the girl she was and the woman she has become. She became her daddy’s girl on the day she was born. I know <girls dad> is looking down today and sees his beautiful princess with pride in his eyes. All through her life, she has brought joy to her family and friends, and while not every day has been perfect, the love they feel for her has been.
And today, she has joined hands with a wonderful young man, and in addition to the sparkle I have always seen in her eyes, today I see a love and joy there beyond anything I have seen thus far. She and [Groom] today have completed each other as they become a new family unit.
Please join me today in wishing [Bride] and [Groom] every happiness possible and a long and joyful life together as husband and wife.
I have been waiting for this moment for over twenty years now. Not that I have always looked forward to it, because for most of those years I worked hard to protect my daughter from making this decision too young in her life. But I can truthfully say that I knew that this day would come and have been thinking about what I would say in terms of counsel and wishes for my little girl and her new husband.
“The tradition of giving away the bride comes from a time when women were viewed a little differently to now, though the tradition has evolved with the rest of civilization and is still a prominent and important part of some ceremonies.
It is an optional part of your ceremony, so let your celebrant know if you would like to partake in the tradition or forgo it…
- A feminine version could have the celebrant asking “Who gives this woman to be married to this man?” with the bride answering “She gives herself, but with her family’s blessing.”
Huffington Post by Author Anita Stevens
Stevens offers the following tips [when writing a wedding speech]:
- Always introduce yourself. People need context. If you’re the bride’s best friend, explain that.
- Don’t go crazy with anecdotes. Share one or two well-chosen stories about your experiences together to bring your friendship/relationship to life.
- Heartfelt is good, but avoid being overly sappy and emotional. The maid of honor speech can be just as entertaining, heartwarming and funny as the best man’s.
- Focus on your purpose. Ultimately you are there to do two things: celebrate your friendship/relationship with the bride and toast to her marriage.
- Remember it’s not about you. A good check is to write a draft and then count the number of “I’s” in there and circle them with a red pen. If you end up with a sea of red, see the previous point and start editing.
- Always find something positive to say about the groom. Always.