Later this month my two best friends are getting married. The bride I have known since I was four, the groom since I started university. As I know them both so well, I have the honour of being chief bridesmaid. Now obviously I am delighted by this. I’ve never been a bridesmaid, I like wearing dresses and I get a little slither of the spotlight. However this privilege comes with one condition - that I give a speech at the reception.
While I admire the bride for asking that the voice of a female cohort is heard in amongst men telling bawdy stories, as it is me that will be speaking, I’m finding it all a little stressful.
Maid of honour speeches, if Google is correct, appear to be pretty common in America. Here in the UK, not so. Unlike a best man, I don’t have lots of friends who have also been in the same position and can tell me what did and did not work for them. And as I’m not expecting my audience to be expecting a bridesmaid to speak will they think that I’m just a very pushy lady who loves the sound of her own voice?
The actual writing, while tricky to know what to include, I am capable enough to do. I’m sure I’ll be able to get a few laughs, I’ve always made up for my lack of faith in my face with my ability to make jokes. What I’m struggling to imagine is the public speaking whilst trying to emote.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a very emotional person. I cry regularly, primarily at terribly trashy television shows and sad adverts (the one for lottery funding where the mother watches her daughter live her dream is making me well up just at the memory). My family are touchy feely in the very best sense of the term and we all tell each other we love one another every time we speak. Yet the idea of standing in front of a room of people that I know well and telling them how I feel about the occasion is impossible for me to fathom. This is probably a sign I’ve been in England too long and my ability to express my feelings is being repressed by association.
So while I use this blog as a distraction from writing the actual speech I can’t imagine giving, I think there is one important lesson for us all to learn. The only couple I have ever played a part in the setting up of are getting married. If you want a match made I will charge a very competitive fee to find you a partner for life – I do have a 100% success rate.