Planning 101 22nd October 2013

Wedding Speeches - Who Says What?

Wedding speeches, a part of the wedding that many people stress about. The key to a good wedding speech is to research your subjects! Do your research, follow this advice and you’ll have a great speech in no time.

Who, traditionally, says what?

Bride’s father:

Welcomes his new son-in-law into the family and offers any timely advice to the newly-weds. Toasts the health and happiness of the bride and groom.

Groom, bride or both:

Thanks everyone for coming and for their good wishes and gifts. Thanks both parents and all those who helped with preparations. Toasts the bridesmaids and wedding party. Calls the wedding party up to present them with their gifts.

Best man:

Responds on behalf of the bridesmaids and reads any messages. Often makes a speech about how they all met and his relationship with the groom. Lets the guests know any more information that they may need for the rest of the day.


It is best if these are arranged with the bride and the groom first.

The best man usually calls for the first speech, or the toastmaster calls for each. There are no set rules on how many people can make a speech; it’s entirely up to you!

Where should you start?

Wedding speeches should come from the heart, this way they will be true and interesting to listen too. To gather the information for your speech, there are a few places you could start.

Ask friends, family, colleagues, instructors and teachers for memories and stories. Either meet up with them for drinks or ask them to email you. Everyone’s got an archive of memories; look through old photo albums, Facebook, letters and even dig out old school reports!

Find out about their interests, if you don’t know them already. Who was their childhood hero? Who they admire or aspire to now? Who are their favourite sports or movie stars? What star sign are they and do they fit the mould? How do the associated characteristics compare?

More importantly… how did the both of you become friends, where did you meet? What does your friendship mean to you?

The speech itself

Jot down ideas. It should have a beginning, middle and an end. Write it out in full and practise it in front of a friend. Ask for an honest opinion and, once it’s perfect, complete the following.

To do list

Write your speech on easy-to-read cue cards.

Maybe prepare a slide- show to accompany it. Photos can look great and it could even be amusing!

Check beforehand to see if the venue has a microphone.

Make arrangements for supervision of any children for during the speeches.

On the day

Breathe deeply beforehand to calm your nerves.

Don’t drink too much before your speech, afterwards is fine!

Keep it short, no more than 10 minutes.

Leave the audience smiling!

Other Timeless Advice you might like to read:
‘Roles and Responsibilities of the Wedding Party.’