How to Write a Great Mother of the Bride Speech for Your Daughter's Big Day

Say cheers to the happy couple with a great mother of the bride speech.
Lauren Dana Ellman - The Knot Contributor.
by
Lauren Dana
Lauren Dana Ellman - The Knot Contributor.
Lauren Dana
The Knot Contributor
  • Lauren is a contributor for The Knot covering topics such as music, cakes, venues and speeches.
  • She has been published in a wide array of lifetsyle-oriented publications including SELF and Allure.
  • Lauren is a proud graduate of Syracuse University's SI Newhouse School of Public Communication.
Updated Aug 01, 2021

Your daughter's wedding day is arguably one of the most special events you'll get to experience as a mom. And, what better way to welcome your daughter's new spouse — into the family than with an eloquent toast at the wedding ceremony?

While father of the bride speeches have gained a reputation as being more "traditional," who's to say the mothers can't have some fun by making their own memorable wedding toast in honor of their daughter's big day?

Besides, we all know moms are the best — they are practically superheroes, after all. That being said, it's no surprise that when it comes time to win over in-laws, loved ones, family members, and all other wedding guests with a great speech on the wedding day, mothers certainly deliver by exceeding all expectations.

"Typically, the mother of the bride speaks at the wedding reception after cocktail hour and before dinner is served," says Katelyn Peterson of Wedding Words, a wedding vow, and speech writing service.

However, if you struggle with public speaking or have trouble crafting the perfect mother of the bride wedding speech, know that you're not alone. To help alleviate some stress, we've reached out to several wedding planners and experts to get the scoop on everything you need to know about crafting an amazing mother of the bride wedding speech so you can happily toast to your little girl (turned beautiful bride!) and your new in-law on their special day. (Make sure you're wearing waterproof makeup — happy tears are bound to be shed!)

How Long Should a Mother of the Bride Speech Be?

According to wedding planner Fátima Falcon of Momentos Weddings and Events in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico: "There is no doubt that listening to the speech of the bride's mother is one of the most anticipated moments of the wedding."

However, short and sweet speeches are ideal. "Brevity and preparation are the keys to success," says Karen Riley Love of Ami Beach Weddings in Anna Maria Island, Florida. She adds that 2 to 3 minutes is the "perfect" amount of time for the mother of the bride speech.

How to Write a Mother of the Bride Speech

When it comes to writing your mother of the bride speech, remember to stay true to yourself, advised Betsy Dawn of The Wedding Planning Guide.
Additionally, to help you organize your thoughts, wedding and event planner Jesse Reing recommends writing down "a maximum of five points" you want to make throughout your speech. What's more, she says, "These can include feelings about the couple, childhood stories, anecdotes from when you first met your now-in-law, comments on the wedding itself, or well-wishes for the future." What's more, Ring explains: "Having an outline of points to refer to will help fill in the gaps and create transitions, while also having a sense of preparedness in case nerves take over."

A Mother of the Bride Speech Template

Still feeling stuck? Stick to this simple, six-step template, courtesy of Hester Parks of Park Avenue Events. Fill in the blanks by adding your own personal details, and you'll be good to go:

Introduce yourself. It's pretty clear that most people will know who you are. But, you'll still want to start your speech by introducing yourself.

Thank the guests for coming. Mind your manners and remember to thank everyone for coming out to celebrate this joyous occasion.

Brag about your daughter. "Talk about how proud you are of her and how amazing she has turned out to be," Lauren Smith of EventSmith Planning and Productions in Houston, Texas says.

Talk about your in-law. Now is the perfect time to officially welcome your new son-in-law or daughter-in-law into the family. Share what you love about them, why they're the perfect match for your daughter, and how happy you are that they're in your life.

Talk about the couple. "Explain why their marriage makes you happy and/or heartfelt wish for your daughter's marriage," Parks says.

Close with a toast. "At weddings, it's customary to end with a toast," Reing says. "But, remember to toast the couple, not just your child."

Who Does the Mother of the Bride Thank in Her Speech?

While you should certainly thank everyone for coming at the beginning of your speech, you won't need to individually name-drop every single attendee (phew!). However, Peterson says, "A special mention of the new in-laws is nice."

How to Give a Mother of the Bride Speech

When it doubt, speak from the heart, says wedding planner Stephanie Teague of Stephanie Teague Events in Davis, California. "A speech shouldn't feel like you drafted and revised it 10 times and then practiced it over and over."

Mother of the Bride Speech Jokes

Many wedding planners we spoke to warned that wedding speech jokes could be hit or miss depending on the context of the joke, as well as the delivery. However, Elyse Dawn of The Wedding Planning Guide says: "We think jokes in a mother of the bride speech can be a great touch, as long as it's tasteful! And of course — it helps if it's funny!"

Mother of the Bride Speech Example

Here's an example of a mother of the bride speech to get your creative juices flowing:

As Casey's slightly older sister — just kidding! — I want to thank you all so much for coming out to celebrate Casey and Rory's wedding day. On behalf of our entire new extended family, we're incredibly thrilled and eternally grateful to ring in this joyous occasion with you. My heart is full of love, gratitude, and appreciation for our friends, family members, and loved ones who came from all over to attend the wedding.

While Casey's father and I raised her to be strong and independent, we couldn't be more thrilled for her that she's found her real-life fairytale with Rory. Rory: You are kind, gentle, empathetic, and comforting, and I couldn't have wished for anything more. More importantly, you embody everything and more I could have hoped for in a husband for my daughter.

I've been dreaming of this day Casey was a little girl when she'd dress up in her favorite princess ballgowns, reminisce about her very own Prince Charming, and watch Cinderella on loop for hours on end. Looking back, I can't help but smile at these precious memories. However, I wish I knew then how quickly time flies by — and if I could offer you and Rory one piece of advice, it would be to cherish every moment by living life to the fullest. Don't sweat the small stuff. Don't go to bed mad or sad or angry. Don't waste one second worrying about something that's not important. The reason is simple: Life is too damn short.

Casey, I'm so proud of the beautiful young woman you've grown into. I'm not sure what I did to deserve you — or how you ended up turning out so wonderful (by all means, I'm no perfect parent, as you can attest to!), but, hey, I won't question it.

I can't wait to celebrate many more happy occasions with you and Rory. Everyone, please join me in raising a glass to the handsome couple. Here's to a lifetime of love, health, and happiness!

How to End the Mother of the Bride Speech

Congrats! You've officially written your mother of the bride speech — but now it's time to end it. Teague advises closing your speech with a few words signifying your hopes and dreams for the couple as they begin this exciting new chapter.

Alternatively, "When in doubt, end with a callback," Peterson says.

"Callbacks reference something that you mentioned earlier in the speech," she explains.

What NOT to Say in a Mother of the Bride Speech

First thing's first: Peterson recommends avoiding cliche phrases. (For example, "And always remember to say these three little words...I am sorry.") She also advises steering clear of any mention of future grandchildren. For all you know, the couple could experience fertility challenges. Or, perhaps they don't want to have children.

Additionally, Peterson advises leaving out any mention of challenges or stressful times during the wedding planning phase. "No bride wants to be reminded of the frustration she felt while planning her big day."

You'll also want to avoid inside jokes, says Elyse Dawn. "Most of the guests won't get it and will feel left out and probably won't think it's funny."

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