Celebrants and Ceremonies
Andi WillisBride Online Columnist

Wedding Speech Running Order

The typical running order for wedding speeches can vary depending on religion or culture, or even personal preference. The main objective in this portion of the wedding is to make sure that the guests are in a position to properly pay attention to, and actually enjoy the speeches. So, generally speaking, the speeches are held toward the end of the meal.

Running Order

The running order of wedding speeches is usually as follows:

  • Guests arrive for drinks
  • Guests are seated
  • MC introduces the bridal party and welcomes the guests
  • Meal is served
  • Speeches are held
  • Cutting of the cake
  • Bridal waltz
  • Guests invited to dance
  • The farewell

It's important to remember, however, that this order is flexible and can be changed. If another order happens to suit your needs better, feel free to switch it up. It helps to think out loud and discuss your options through with your wedding planner/ coordinater or family and friends to work out the best logistical option. 

Speech Order

The order of the speeches themselves is similarly dependent on your personal preference. But for the sake of making sure they all run smoothly, decide on an order before the speeches are begun. Traditionally, speeches are made in the following order:

  • Father of the Bride
  • Father of the Groom
  • The Groom
  • The Bride
  • The Best Man

Individual Speeches
Each individual's role and speech generally covers these basics: 

Master of Ceremonies:

Controls the order of speeches. He calls for the guests' attention and either introduces each speaker in turn or just the first speaker.

The Bride’s Father

(Or close friend or relative of the bride’s family) speaks first.The bride's father will propose a toast to the newlywed couple. What he will speak about will depend on each situation, but he might include:

  • Welcoming the guests and thanking them for joining both his  and the groom's family 
  • How proud he is of his daughter/family member/friend, often including stories of her growing up and their family life
  • Welcoming his new son-in-law and the groom’s parents to his family
  • Advice and well wishes to the couple
  • Thanking everyone who helped to organise the wedding, including all paid employees
  • Proposing a toast to the couple at the end of his speech

The Groom

Traditionally speaks next. His speech could include:

  • Thanking the guests for their attendance
  • Thanking the bride’s parents for allowing him to marry their daughter, welcoming him into the family
  • Thanking everyone who contributed to the wedding
  • Thanking and complimenting the bride, emphasising how lucky he is to have married her
  • Paying tribute to his own parents- refering to his upbringing, moral guidance, and opportunities given to him through his family
  • Thanking the page boys, flower girls, ring bearers, and bridesmaids
  • Thanking his best man, a brief discussion of how important his friendship is to the groom
  • Thanking his groomsmen for their help in preparing him for the wedding, as well as helping the day to run smoothly
  • Thank everyone for coming, for their kind wishes and gifts

The Bride

Though not mandatory, the bride may choose to make her own speech. This can vary from a few short words thanking her guests for attending, and how lucky she feels on this day, to her own full-blown version of the groom's own speech.

The Best Man

Officially, his duty is to reply on behalf of both the groomsmen and the bridesmaids. His speech is traditionally the most casual and fun, and generally includes:

  • Complimenting the bride and groom and wishing them a lifetime of happiness together
  • Thanking the groom for asking him to be best man at his wedding
  • Describe any funny stories about the groom (without mentioning anything too raunchy or any past relationships)
  • An informal speech or story about the bride and groom, and why they're well- fitted for one another
  • Reading out any words from relatives/ particularly good friends who were unable to attend

If there are to be other toasts or additional speeches to be made, they are done so now. These are generally much shorter, and are ordinarily given in the following order:

  • Toast to the parents by the MC or groomsmen not the best man
  • Father of the bride
  • Father of the groom
  • Groom or Groom and Bride together
  • Best man

The Master of Ceremonies will then finalise the wedding speeches by encouraging the guests to enjoy the rest of the evening. We suggest you do the same!

 

     

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