Traditional Wedding Speech Order Explained
Now that the rest of the planning has been arranged, it’s time to sort out the speeches. Understandably, the speeches are nerve-wracking, particularly for those who are giving them. You want to ensure that as well as the speeches themselves, the transition into the next is a smooth one. If you’re in a panic about which order the speeches should go in, don’t worry, take a look at this guide to help you out.
Traditionally speeches are given after the dinner, but many couples are mixing it up and putting their own spin on it. You may choose to split the meal up and have the speeches between main course and desert. Others may choose to have the speeches before. You can also choose to have your speeches at the beginning of the evening reception so that all your guests can watch.
The running order will all be dependent on your desire to either stick to tradition or to stray from the rules. Remember that you don’t have to stay with the order we suggest, they are only guidelines and if you want to throw the rule book out the window and choose your mother to make the speech first, then so be it. It’s your wedding day.
Important family members may be absent and you might want someone to stand up and raise a glass to those who cannot be present first. Use our guide as a template and jumble it around to your hearts content.
Father of the Bride
It’s all about tradition here as originally a bride’s family would either pay for or contribute a large amount to the wedding. It was here that it seemed only right for the father of the bride to stand up and thank all the guests for celebrating the day with them. Tradition has of course passed on to modern days and still appears throughout weddings. Although a lot of couples pay for weddings themselves these days, the father of the bride will still be the first to stand up and make a toast. Once he has thanked the guests, he should welcome the groom into his family and say something lovely about the bride. Depending on the length of the speech, the father should take this opportunity to say something funny about his daughter (the bride). For fantastic tips on writing the Father of the Bride speech click here.
After the father of the bride has welcomed the groom to the family, this is now time for the groom to stand up and say his part. Usually thanking the bride’s family first, the key members of the wedding party, the bridesmaids and of course his own parents. The rest of the speech should be about his relationship to his partner, perhaps reminiscing on when you met.
Writing a groom’s speech can be difficult and trying to get words onto paper can be tricky. Take a look at our guide on how to write the perfect grooms speech here; it might just save your skin!
In this day and age, it’s highly unfair that it’s only the men who propose a toast and speech. It shouldn’t just be the men. The women of the wedding party are just as important! Brides (if you’re feeling up to it) this is when you should stand and say your speech. Although it’s not traditional, we believe if the bride wants to, she should be able to make a toast as well! The bride should thank the groom and his parents first and then perhaps her bridesmaids and parents. The rest of the speech should then be about her relationship to her partner and possibly some funny stories added in.
The Best Man
Ah, the long- awaited best man’s speech which can either create lots of laughs or lots of tension! If you want to stick with tradition and skip the bride’s speech, the best man will be toasted by the groom. He will then stand up and say his part, normally talking about the groom and stories from their friendship. He must always mention the bride and congratulate the happy couple. Remember, not all best man speeches have to be funny! For our best tips on writing the ultimate best man speech, take a look at this article.
Maid of Honour
If the best man can make a speech, so can the maid of honour! It might even turn out to be much funnier. Dependent on who goes first, the best man should toast to the maid of honour after his speech. The maid of honour should comment on the newlyweds and their relationship. She should also describe her relationship to the bride and perhaps tell a funny story or two (maybe even add a joke).
As it’s 2017 and same sex marriages are finally legal in the UK, the order of the speeches will definitely change. There could be two father-of-the-bride speeches or there could also be two father-of-the-groom speeches or perhaps their mothers instead.
Use our list as a guideline and make your own order that will work out better for you. It might just be that your father is terrible at speeches so best to leave him last rather than first! You might even choose to leave the best man’s speech out and only have your sensible maid of honour.
Other people can make a speech too, they don’t necessarily have to be part of the wedding party. Perhaps a friend who set you both up all those years ago will want to say a word or two, or you might choose your granny to say a few words. It’s your wedding and entirely up to you. Just remember that these speeches should stay short and reasonable, you don’t want your guests to end up bored and frustrated!
This blog post is written by the team at TheWeddingSecret.co.uk. Their website helps couples find the ideal wedding venues and suppliers in their local area along with lots of other helpful tricks and tips. You can check them out here.