The common misconception is when delivering your wedding speech, especially your first, it is similar to leaping from an aeroplane with an umbrella for a parachute! The fact is writing and delivering your speech doesn't have to be that bad. Honest!
Firstly, the traditional can change. The speeches are an opportunity to share with loved ones your happiness on the most celebrated day in any couples life. It's an honor and privilege and it should be a pleasure. So you don't have to stick to those time honoured traditions any longer! Ask whoever you want to speak and whomever is comfortable speaking to share their thoughts about the day.
It is not uncommon nowadays for the bride to give a speech. Unlike the traditional speakers, the brides speech has no huge expectation attached to it, therefore, the contents of your speech can be exactly as you want them to be! It's your special day too so why not give a speech if you feel you would like to?. Do keep in mind however, that it can be quite daunting to stand up in a room and give a speech, let alone to your family, friends and relations!
It is an opportunity however, to respond to your husband's speech, to speak about what your husband means to you and to extend your personal and public thanks to those who have made your day possible. The day itself is quite emotional so for your own sake if you're too emotional – dont do it! You don’t want to end up in floods of tears. Sometimes, the bride may wish to give a speech if the father of the bride is not present so perhaps use the opportunity as he would have.
Perhaps the mother of the bride would feel comfortable filling in here? Take the opportunity to say 'that something special' about your daughter and your new son-in-law. As the grooms new mother-in-law why not use the opportunity to crack that infamous joke? Threaten him (not seriously) by promising to visit every second day and that his mother will be visiting every other day! This motherly conspiracy can be a very funny addition to the speeches.
The maid of honour may also like to speak. Although it may not be traditional there’s no rule to say that she can't!. While the best man gets to have a bit of fun at the Groom's expense, the maid of honor can have fun at the brides! My best advice here is to keep it light-hearted but meaningful. Try giving a humorous description of your relationship with the bride. If you have any funny stories about the bride or the bride and groom together, dish it out! Finish by telling her what she means to you and wish them both a happy future together.
It would also be a nice gesture to invite a close friend or relative to make a short speech. They are essentially free to say what they feel about them, who they are and what this day means to them as a result. Perfect opportunity to wear your heart on your sleeve. Also an opportunity to give somelight hearted marital advice.
Your wedding day is special and unique to you and this is especially true in relation to the speeches so don't be afraid to deviate from the norm and invite those guests that you are particularly close to share in your day!