The Bride’s Speech : Moment By Moment
If I were to ask you what’s unusual about this photograph I don’t think anything would spring immediately to mind.
I work mainly in the UK and the structure of wedding days remains pretty much the same blue print that it has been for the past 50 years. The thing that is most notable about this photograph I think is that a woman is standing to speak on her own wedding day. Traditionally the bride is spoken about by the important men in her life – her father and her new husband – but I love it when a bride addresses her assembled family and friends on her wedding day.
An emphasis on fun and not formality
It’s an individual choice. Most of the couples I work with have a very bespoke and relaxed approach to their wedding days – not too high on formality, a big emphasis on celebration and fun, a focus on making people feel comfortable and well looked after. Regardless of where the wedding is that tends to be the vibe of the days that I’m asked to photograph. But still I would say that only 10-15% of brides step up for the speeches.
I don’t think it’s because they feel they can’t or it’s ‘not the done thing’, most of the time I think it’s because they don’t have to. Why put yourself through that added stress? It’s been enough bringing the day together without having to spend the whole of it knowing you also have to stand up in front of 200 people and speak.
The Bride’s Speech gets to the heart of the day
However more often than not the bride’s speech gets to the heart of the day. I hear bride’s talk about love, I hear them talk genuinely about the joy of everyone being together and mostly I hear them speak from the heart in their own voice. That’s probably because there are no places to go on the internet where you can cut and paste a ‘Bride’s Speech’ from.
When I talk to couples before the wedding day I do ask if the bride is planning to speak. Not to suggest she should but partly to plant the notion that she can. I’ve photographed over 400 weddings and I know that couples can sometimes get too focused on the traditional structure of the day rather than thinking about what they would like the day to be. I want every couple I work with to feel they had the day that they wanted and to be able to reflect that in the photography I give to them.