Who says what at the wedding.

All you need is love and … a run down on wedding speeches.

 

Wedding speeches can scare the beejezus out of even the most confident person, and it can be the part of the wedding day that stresses people out the most.

There is a list of who traditionally performs speeches at a wedding, but this is really just a guideline and many couples choose to add extra people to the list, or lots of couples do away with the speeches altogether, knowing that sometimes people just want to get into their dinner and dessert and then the dancing part of the wedding. Fair enough I say.

Here’s a brief description of the traditional list of wedding speeches.

It is your Master of Ceremonies role (among others, see that list here The role of a Master of Ceremony) to seemlessly introduce the speech section of the evening, and to introduce each speaker, and then thank them afterwards.

 

Father of the bride – (or whoever gave the bride away, not always the father)

  • Welcomes and thanks the guests for coming.
  • Expresses how proud he and his wife, are of their daughter.
  • Welcomes the groom into the family.
  • Possibly shares one or two stories about the bride.
  • Shares words of wisdom and good wishes for the couple.
  • Proposes a toast to the couple.

Groom

  • Thanks his father-in-law for his kind words and the toast.
  • Thanks the brides parents for all their work raising the woman of his dreams (his new wife) and all their help with the wedding
  • Thanks the guests for coming and for the wedding gifts.
  • Acknowledges his best man for all his help, and any other helpers.
  • Acknowledges the bridesmaids, and thanks them for all their help with the wedding, and proposes a toast to them.

Best Man

  • Adds to the comments about the bridesmaid, lamenting how great they look today.
  • Congratulates the groom, on his good fortune, in marrying his new wife.
  • Possibly shares a story about the bride and groom, maybe about how they met.
  • Reads any messages to the bride and groom, from guests that couldn’t make it. Traditionally this was in the form of telegrams, and letters, these days it’s most likely to be texts and/or emails.

Invited guests

  • There may be other guests that have asked before hand to speak, or who you would like to include. Make sure that you have a general idea of the content of their speech, and that you communicate to them how long they have to speak. I would not recommend the Master of Ceremony, ask if anyone else would like to speak, on the fly, it opens you up to Great Uncle Barry, who’s had one too many beersies ramble on, or say something inappropriate.

This is by no way an exhaustive list, and it is very common for couples to include mother of the bride/groom, the bride herself, and a bridesmaid/maid of honour.

Make sure all your speakers know their time limit, say 5 mins, so they can tailor their speech accordingly.

I would not recommend forcing any-one to speak if they absolutely loath public speaking, it will either cause stress for the person, possibly stress your relationship with the person and probably lead to a bad speech, better to address everyone before hand, asking them if they are comfortable doing so (don’t assume, they may not have even thought they had to speak)and if they are not comfortable, then ask someone else or not have them speak at all.

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