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When it comes to speeches at a wedding, there is a specific order that they should be delivered in if you want to follow a traditional wedding speech order.

This can vary depending on the culture or religion of the couple getting married, but there are some general guidelines that apply to most weddings.

Who Should Give the First Speech at a Wedding?

The most important thing to remember is this is your wedding day – whatever the traditions may be, there are no hard and fast rules to the order of wedding speeches.

Ultimately, you can choose the order of speeches and, most importantly, which key members from your wedding party you choose to speak to celebrate the happy couple at the wedding reception.

The traditional order for wedding speeches is as follows:

1. The Father of the Bride or Parents of the Bride speech

2. The Groom speech

3. The Best Man speech

Traditionally in the UK the father of the bride, or parents of the bride, opens the speeches by welcoming the guests and thanking them for coming. The father of the bride’s speech traditionally welcomes the bride’s partner into their family and may also include a few words reflecting on the bride and groom with some heartfelt stories.

The father of the bride speech may also include a toast to absent friends and family members, before raising a toast to the newly married couple. Some people also use the father the bride speech as an opportunity to thank everyone who has contributed to the cost of the wedding.

Following the traditional wedding speech order, the groom’s speech comes after the father of the bride’s speech. The groom’s speech may include a few words thanking the guests for attending and their gifts. The groom’s speech should also include a thank you to the bride’s parents as well as the groom’s parents.

The groom also often gives out any thank you gifts to the wedding party as well as toasting and complimenting the maid of honour and bridesmaids. If the bride’s parents are hosting the wedding, a groom’s toast should also be raised to them to acknowledge their contribution to the wedding.

The final person to speak following a traditional wedding speech order is the best man. The best man speech is often one of the most awaited moment of the wedding day so the best man may often feel under pressure to make his speech memorable! And the groom may well be feeling the pressure wondering what funny stories the best man’s speech is going to reveal!

Along with the funny stories and anecdotes, the best man often echoes the groom’s speech by complimenting the maid of honour and bridesmaids. The best man’s speech traditionally ends with the final toast to the bride and groom.

Do You Have to Follow a Wedding Speech Order?

Absolutely not! Whilst there may be a traditional order, you can choose your speech givers – be it wedding party members or a close family friend. It’s your wedding celebration and the speeches should be a time to celebrate you and your bride or groom in the way you want to – regardless of the traditional wedding speech order.

Just as the choice of food at a wedding breakfast is a personal choice, wedding speeches are a personal choice too. Choose whomever you would most like to tell your wedding guests funny stories from your past or a few words from the heart. The speeches are a memorable part of your day and you should take some time when wedding planning to think about what would work best for your wedding reception.

How Many Toasts Are Customary at a Wedding?

Most speeches will have one toast, at the end of the speech. Some speeches may include two or three toasts – such as the groom’s speech when toasting the maid of honour and bridesmaids as well as the bride’s parents – but ideally stick to one wedding toast per speech if possible. Too many toasts and your speech is toast!

Are speeches given before or after the meal at weddings?

Traditionally the speeches are given at the end of the meal – the wedding breakfast. However a bride and groom may often decide during the wedding planning stage to hold the wedding speeches before the wedding breakfast is served so the speech givers can relax and enjoy the meal without worrying about delivering their wedding speech.

Again the timing of the speeches are a matter of personal choice. If you have a wedding planner, ask for their advice as depending on the timings of the day, you may choose to serve the meal before the speeches so that guests are comfortable and not staving off hunger pangs!

Think of weddings you’ve been to for wedding inspiration – could their wedding reception, from the perspective of a wedding guest, have been improved if wedding speeches had been before or after the meal? Or perhaps even in between courses to keep people interested? Remember this is your wedding reception – you know your guests and your wedding ideas are unique to you to make the day your own.

Conclusion: the order of speeches at wedding

Your wedding reception is exactly that – YOUR wedding reception is up to you. Don’t feel pressure to stick to a traditional wedding speech order if that is not what you want to do.

Choose the people from your wedding party who you think would be happy to give a wedding speech and who would add the most to your wedding celebration.

Speeches are personal – and can come from anyone in your wedding party. From the bride’s family, the groom’s family, bridesmaids, the maid of honour, the best man, family friends, mother of the bride, father of the bride, and indeed the groom or the bride – anyone can give a wedding speech.

Choose what is best for your wedding day and don’t feel pressured to follow the tradition of most weddings. If the traditional wedding speech order works for you that’s great! If not then mix up the wedding speech order, who gives a wedding speech or a simple wedding toast.

A great speech can make a wedding – so the most important thing to remember when wedding planning and choosing who will give a speech is to choose people in your wedding party who are happy and comfortable to give a speech.

Not every best man wants to stand up and address the room with anecdotes about the groom – they may feel more comfortable to give a brief best man speech and let the maid of honour regale the room with tales of their friendship with the bride!

Equally, it may be you find the mother of the bride, rather than the father of the bride would be more suited to giving a wedding speech.

It’s your day – follow the traditional wedding speech order or do it in your own unique style.

Above all, relax and have the most wonderful wedding reception that’s perfect for you and your wedding party!

We hope this article helps answer your questions about the Top Table at a wedding and helps with your own plans!

And don’t forget, if you’re looking for the perfect barn wedding venue with stunning onsite accommodation, then look no further than Bredenbury Court Barns!

We have everything you need to make your barn wedding dreams a reality.

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