Order of Wedding Speeches

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Making a speech can be the most nerve-wrecking part of a wedding for everyone – from the Best Man whose previous public speaking experience has been chanting at a football match to the celebrated bride and groom, Chief Bridesmaid who is suddenly asked to make a toast.

We’ve got all you need to guide each individual through all she or he has to say, and inspiration for more. We’ve also got a round up of the best ways to make your speech interactive!

Introduction

Few people are practised in the art of public speaking so the thought of getting up in front of a wedding reception and sounding good is pretty intimidating. Don’t panic, we have all the advice you need to prepare for making your speech.

Who Speaks and When

Traditionally, the toastmaster or master of ceremonies will introduce the speeches at the end of the meal. The formal order of speakers is:

  • Father of the Bride or a close family friend
  • The Groom
  • The Best Man

But if the bride, chief bridesmaid or guests want to speak then that’s great, too!

Another good idea is to have the speeches BEFORE the dinner so that everyone can enjoy their meals without nervously waiting to speak, and you also limit the chance of too much alcohol being drunk by terrified best men.

Step One

  • Firstly, don’t panic. A little careful planning will help you deliver a speech to be proud of.
  • If you can, visit the reception venue to get an idea of where you will be standing and the size of the room.
  • You will need to project your voice so practice speaking out loud.
  • How formal is the wedding? Are you expected to say a few words and then propose a toast or speak for a long time?
  • Is the reception going to have a theme that you could refer to or even incorporate into your speech?
  • Are you responsible for presenting gifts to members of the party?
  • Find out a little about the guests and if there are any subjects you should avoid.
  • How many guests are there? As a general rule, the more people present, the more formal the speech.

Who Says What

Here is a brief outline of who says what. For more details and for sample speeches, check out the links to individual articles:

Father of the Bride or Friend of the Family

  • Thanks the guests for coming and sharing in the special day.
  • Thanks everyone who contributed to the cost of the wedding.
  • Compliments and praises his daughter and welcomes her new husband into the family.
  • Toasts the bride and groom.

Bridegroom

  • Thanks the father of the bride for his toast.
  • Thanks the guests for attending and for their gifts.
  • Thanks both sets of parents.
  • Compliments his bride.
  • Thanks his best man.
  • Thanks and toasts the bridesmaids.

Best Man

  • Thanks the groom for his toast to the bridesmaids.
  • Comments on the bride and particularly the groom.
  • Reads any messages from absent friends.
  • Toasts the bride and groom.

Bride

  • Thanks the guests for coming.
  • Thanks her parents and bridesmaids.
  • Compliments the groom.
  • Proposes a toast.

Chief Bridesmaid

  • Thanks the bride
  • Compliments the ushers
  • Proposes a toast

Continue to planning your speech

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