CASE STUDY – Mother of the Bride

I know so much about my daughter but I just don’t know where to start.”

PROCESS

The mother and I had a twenty minute conversation and I got to know some key facts about the bride – age, education, work, likes/dislikes all help introduce the bride to someone who might not know her that well.

I learnt that the bride is a very energetic person who likes to make every second of every hour count for something, she even liked to recite a line by a poet which expressed that thought. The quotation went in -it illustrated a point and added character to the speech.

The bride was a real ‘people person’ and wanted to express her gratitude to lots of people who had helped her from school, through university as well as give her advice and assistance in building her business. That went in to the speech and made it more personal.

I did manage to get her to pare down the original lengthy list of ‘thank-yous’ because long lists of names are never ‘listener friendly.’

FIRST DRAFT

The outline of the speech was drafted within 24 hours.

Within minutes of the initial conversation the speech was taking shape. The speaker would introduce herself and the bride and reassure people that it was not going to be a long speech – that always helps get the audience on the speaker’s side.

Guests who had travelled a long way would be singled out and thanked – this added to the personal element.

The speakers would then tell some anecdotes that illustrated the bride’s character. I hate embarrassing stories – it is the bride’s big day and nothing critical or ‘off colour’ should be part of the celebration.

The personal anecdotes worked in well in mentioning the people who needed to be thanked.

Now there was an opportunity to add some stories about the groom, with a view to bolstering the argument that he was a thoroughly nice person who is a great life partner.

So far so good, but there was a need to add ‘something special’ which would me the speech memorable.

We thought it would be fun to buy a cup for the groom and his golfing pals to play for in the coming years around the same time as the wedding. The bride’s mum announced the ‘Sophie and Mike’ trophy whilst pulling an egg cup out of her handbag. That brought the house down

The last sentences came easily, along the lines of. “Please join me in wishing Sophie and Mike all the very best for the future. They are great people and deserve the best.”

CENTRAL POINT

A speech of this type should get to the point that the bride is a special person who deserves future happiness. The fact finding interview helps build that case.. In the above case it was not just because the bride was energetic and clever that was the point, the key thing is that she was a great friend to a lot of people. The audience were shown examples of her generosity of spirit.

The bride as delighted with the final version and she was the key member of the audience but everyone else liked the speech as it was interesting, witty, had a good gizmo with the eggcup and not a word was wasted. If there had not been any interruptions it would have lasted five minutes, but the laughter and occasional good-natured heckling added a bit.