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Raise Your Glass | Navigating the Order and Timing of Wedding Speeches

Ah, weddings – the perfect time to celebrate love, togetherness, and...speeches? That's right?!

Well, while traditional guidelines exist, it's ultimately up to the newlyweds to determine how many speeches at a wedding and who should deliver them. After all, it's their big day, and they deserve to make it as personalized and memorable as possible.

So, let's break it down – who traditionally speaks at a wedding? We have the father of the bride, the groom, and the best man. However, modern weddings have opened up opportunities for more people to speak, including the maid of honour, close friends, and even the bride herself. Same-sex couples may also choose to have both grooms or brides speak.

Running away from speeches!
Run for your wife! The speeches are next!

Father of the Bride

The father of the bride's job is to welcome everyone to the wedding and officially invite the groom into the family. He'll often share some heartwarming stories about the bride growing up, but be careful dad, don't embarrass her too much! And of course, no father of the bride speech is complete without a toast to the happy couple.


Next up, we have the groom who typically takes the mic after the father of the bride. His speech is all about showing his gratitude to those who helped make the wedding happen. This includes the father of the bride if he didn't already speak, the guests, both sets of parents, the wedding party, and anyone else who played a part in making the big day a success. Don't forget to throw in a sweet compliment about your new partner to really seal the deal.

For same-sex or LGBTQ+ weddings, it can be a bit tricky if both grooms want to give a speech. You could do a joint speech or split it up, but either way, make sure you don't repeat each other too much. You'll want to thank your guests and new parents, but also keep things fresh and unique.

Best Man

Last but not least, we have the best man who's there to inject some humour into the proceedings. While it's important not to embarrass the newlyweds in front of their parents, a few funny stories and jokes can really liven up the evening. And if there are any important people who couldn't make it to the wedding, the best man can read out any messages they wrote down.

So there you have it, the key players in any wedding speech lineup. Just remember, keep it heartfelt, keep it funny, and keep it memorable.

Anyone else?

Alright, let's talk about the other speeches! The father of the groom may take the mic, and the maid of honour could be asked to give an opening or closing speech. And hey, if the groom's brother wants to say a few words, why not let him have a turn too? Now, traditionally, the bride doesn't give a speech, but that doesn't mean she can't. In fact, she could take the opportunity to thank her new spouse or even crack a few jokes. And if there are any other important people in your life that you want to hear from, don't be afraid to ask them to give a speech too!

Now, we know public speaking isn't for everyone, so if one of your chosen speakers is feeling a little nervous, no problem! Just have someone else step in. Maybe the mother of the bride could take the spotlight if the father of the bride isn't up for it.

How long?

And remember, when it comes to the speeches, shorter is sweeter sometimes! Keep them between 5 minutes and no longer than 10 minutes. If you're having multiple speakers, try to keep each one around two to three minutes to avoid losing the audience's interest. And if you're having a rehearsal dinner, that's another chance for some toasts and speeches. It's a great opportunity to share some stories and get everyone excited for the big day!

And when?

Alright, it's time for the moment we've all been waiting for: the speeches! Do you want them after dinner, between courses, or right smack in the middle of your meal? Just make sure everyone knows to keep chowing down and the servers keep clearing plates.

But why stop at dinner? Have your speeches during dessert, because who doesn't love a sweet treat with some heartwarming words? And if you have a wedding MC, they can announce who's up next. If not, just make sure everyone knows the order beforehand, so it doesn't turn into a game of "who's on first?"

Speech-me-do summary

Remember, it's your big day and the speeches should reflect your unique love story. So choose your speakers carefully and provide them with guidance, whether you're sticking to tradition or creating your own order. With the right approach, your wedding speeches will be a heartwarming and unforgettable experience for everyone involved.

And if you're still stumped for ideas then contact Richard who will craft and coach you on an amazing speech at or simply go to look for yourself at Life is a Speech, has got your back!


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