The part of the day that’s often a roller coaster of emotions from nerves and laughter to tears of joy. The anticipation can be terrifying for those in the hot seat. Whether you like delivering speeches or not, talking about your nearest and dearest can prove to be extremely emotional.
When planning your wedding day, you’ll want to ensure that this part runs like clockwork. Not only for the speakers but also for your guests. To help, here’s our guide to everything you need to know about wedding day speeches…
Who is expected to give a speech?
Traditionally, it’s just male members of the bridal party who speak. So, the father of the bride, groom and best man. However, this is not gospel and you can change things around depending on your preferences.
Nowadays, to add a modern twist, more brides are taking to the mic along with their bridesmaids. However, it’s important to remember that although additional toasts can add a sentimental flair, your audience’s attention span may not be able to keep up. To ensure that your speeches are memorable and punchy, avoid having too many and try to keep everyone to a set time limit (without being too strict!…)
What is the order of speeches at a wedding?
The traditional order is an opening speech by the father of the bride who thanks the guests, shares sentimental stories about the bride, welcomes the groom to the family and finishes with a toast to the bride and groom.
Then, the groom usually takes to the mic. His speech centres on his relationship with the bride, how she looks and a toast to the bridesmaids.
Finally, it’s time for the best man. This is often the most eagerly anticipated speech as it’s usually chance for a good old laugh. The pressure is on with this one though as expectations are often high. After embarrassing the groom with a few stories from the closet, the best man finishes with a toast to the happy couple.
Although this is the traditional order of speeches, this is not set in stone and can be changed up to suit your preferences.
How do you start a wedding speech?
Knowing where to begin is often the trickiest and most nerve-wracking part, so getting this nailed will help to ensure the rest of the speech follows nicely. It’s always polite for the person speaking to start by introducing themselves. This doesn’t need to be lengthy, just a quick line or two about who they are and what their role is on the day. It’s not uncommon for best men to start with a joke to set the tone for the rest of the speech.
Should the bride make a speech during the wedding reception?
It’s not customary for brides to deliver a speech. However, recent surveys have shown that one in five brides plan to make one. So what do they plan on saying? Well, a speech offers the perfect opportunity for brides to thank the groom’s family for welcoming her and to thank her family, bridesmaids and friends for support. As the groom traditionally lavishes her with compliments, it’s only fair that she is complimentary back. Here’s a handy guide on giving a bridal speech.
When do the speeches take place?
This is something that couples are increasingly deciding on according to personal preference. However, if tradition is followed, then speeches take place after dinner. Nowadays, some couples opt to do them before, so the meal is more relaxed and enjoyable. Others decide on having a speech between each course which can help to break proceedings up a little. Whatever you decide, just be sure to make your venue aware so everything runs smoothly.
How long should wedding speeches be?
5 minutes is around about the sweet spot. When speeches go on for longer than ten minutes, attention spans tend to dwindle. Speeches that are kept around the 5-7 mark are far more likely to be memorable and punchy.
Need some further help?
If you’re in the midst of writing a speech or just planning the order for your big day, here’s a handy guide with tips for all speakers.