Wedding Speeches & Toasts: Who Says What And When?
Gone are the days of structure and expectations!
There is no right or wrong way of doing speeches and toasts at a wedding reception however, if you are seeking guidance, let me break down when each speech usually occurs and what is included.
Order Of Speeches: the traditional wedding speech order does from father of the bride to groom to best man, followed by other toasts. Does this seem outdated? Hell yes!! You can have any parent speak, bride(s) and/or groom(s), maid of honour – anyone you want! By choosing your speakers in a similar order, you can keep loosely with tradition whilst still moving with the times and shaking up your choice of who you want to say a few words.
Who Says What? Again, another outdated concept! Traditionally, the father of the bride welcomes guests and thanks them for their attendance, welcomes their new son in law to the family, toasts family and friends who couldn’t attend, compliments the bride and tells a couple of warm and fuzzy stories about her, says a few words about what a great match the couple are and finally toasts the newlyweds.
The groom then follows by responding to the bride’s fathers toast, thanks guests for attending, thanks both sets of parents, thanks and says a few words about each member of the wedding party and compliments the bridesmaids.
Next, the best man is up. He should echo the groom’s thanks to the bridesmaids, compliment the couple, tell a couple of stories about the groom, read messages from absent family and friends and finally leads a toast to the couple.
Man, this all sounds archaic! If it is was me, I would throw tradition out the window and include the most engaging speakers to add some fun! You could start with either of the mothers or fathers of the couple, followed by either (or both!) of the married couple, then whomever you want from the bridal part to finish up.
My only suggestion would be to stick with a similar structure to what is said and PLEASE give everyone a limit on how long to speak!! We all know dad is proud and wants to talk for hours about his “little girl”, but short, sweet (and a little funny) is always a winner!
When Should The Speeches Be Done? Again, up to you! Traditionally, they take place after dinner, but there are so many options: you could start them during the main meal, between courses or even break them up and have one as the entrée is served, another as the main comes out and so on.
My Top 5 Recommendations For Speeches And Toasts:
1. Choose engaging speakers – you want your guests to enjoy this
2. Set time limits – short and sweet is the key!
3. Don’t have too many speakers
4. Consider your audience when choosing your speakers – Nanna may not appreciated a story with intimate details
5. Consider hiring an MC – a trained professional has great tactics for wrapping things up and progressing the evening perfectly.