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Wedding Speeches

Back in the day, wedding speeches were reserved for the father of the bride and, most likely, the best man.  Maybe the groom might speak, but that was pretty much it. However, nowadays, everyone wants to get up and give a toast to the happy couple. With everyone wanting to have a word, what is the proper manner for them to do so or does it even matter?

Traditionally, the best man gives the first wedding speech.  As a general rule, he will toast the couple and sometimes acts as a master of ceremonies for the entire evening. The groom will usually rise to respond to the best man's speech and toast his bride, thank the parents and so on.  Others may make a wedding speech at this point followed at the end by the father of the bride.  He will give his speech, most likely toast the bride and groom and thank everyone for coming.  

Now, if you do not choose to go the traditional route, pretty much all the rules are out the window.  Spontaneity would be the way to go and many people will get up to toast the bride and groom.  However, there are still guidelines that most will want to follow.  If you are not adhering to tradition, the order of speeches will usually be as follows:

  • Best Man
  • Maid of Honor
  • Father of the Bride
  • Parents of the Groom
  • Groom
  • Bride
  • Any Special Guests or Honored Speakers

If you are not following tradition, almost anyone can get up and give a speech or toast the bride and groom.  However, there is one guideline that should always be followed. Anyone that is allowed to speak should not be drunk or mean spirited.  Nothing will ruin a beautiful wedding day quicker than someone slurring their words and making a spectacle of themselves or someone that is just plain nasty.  Anyone that speaks should be prearranged and announced by the person acting as master of ceremonies (ex. best man, DJ or bandleader).  

wedding speech

What does one say during a wedding speech?  Most people have mixed feelings if they are asked to give a wedding speech.  They are very happy to have been asked to participate in the special occasion.  However, at the same time, they feel as if they are under quite a bit of pressure to perform  well and not spoil it for everyone.  The key to making a good wedding speech is preparation.  The best thing to do is to write your speech ahead of time or at least have a general idea what you want to say.  A wedding speech is usually only as good as the time spent to prepare for it.

If the bride and groom will be making speeches, this would be a proper time to give the bridal party gifts.  Then, along with thanking parents to making the day possible and guests for attending the affair, they can thank their bridal party as well and present their gifts.  The bride might thank her maid of honor for throwing her the best bridal shower ever or she might thank her entire wedding party and then present them with the bridesmaid gifts.  The groom may do the same for his groomsmen.  


Tags: wedding speeches, best man speeches, mother of the bride, father of the bride, bridesmaids, maid of honor