It’s your reception, the main course has been cleared, champagne topped up, then the Master of Ceremonies comes on the microphone, “Ladies and Gentlemen please take your seat the speeches are about to begin.” Those butterflies in your stomach start flapping like crazy, it’s the moment of truth, are the speeches going to be a tragic lowlight or a successful highlight?
As a Brisbane Wedding MC and DJ, over the years I have seen hundreds of speeches. Ranging from the ‘hide your head in the sand’ embarrassing to the ‘laugh till you cry’ and the emotional tear jerker. So what follows are some tips and information about making the speeches at your Wedding a hit.
The traditional speech order is rarely done as Weddings become more modernized and new entertainment concepts are created. The traditional order is:
Best man: Toasts the newlyweds.
Groom: Responds on behalf of his wife and himself, thanks both Bride’s and his parents and toasts the Bridesmaids.
Best man or Maid of Honor: Responds on behalf of Bridesmaids, thanks close friends and toasts the Groom’s parents.
Father of the Groom: Responds on behalf of Groom’s mother and himself and toasts the Bride’s parents.
Father of the Bride: Responds on behalf of Bride’s mother and himself.
If you want a more formal and traditional atmosphere, this order is a great starting point.
As many of the out-dated wedding traditions (some which date back to medieval times) are being revamped for the modern age, so too are the order of speeches. When it comes to the order of your speeches there is no right or wrong way. A number of reasons exist why you may want to move your order around, such as the strength of the speakers, how long a speech may be, and placement in the night. This is where the advice of a Wedding Professional such as an MC, DJ, or Venue Coordinator will be helpful. The most common order of speeches I see is:
- Father of the Bride
- Father of the Groom
- Maid of Honor
Timing of Speeches
Below are some of the different times to have the speeches and their advantages:
Cocktail Hour: Creates more of a casual, informal environment. As people are standing it may cause the speeches to be shorter and it gets the formalities out of the way so the fun can begin.
After Main Course: This is the more traditional time and creates a formal atmosphere. It allows the meals to settle before dancing kicks off.
Split before and after main course: Splitting up the speeches is a good option if you have a large number of them. It gives your guests a break and some time to top up their drinks or visit the rest room. Also fills in the gaps between the courses if your MC has nothing planned.
End of the night: Great option if dancing is not a part of your night, having your speeches at the end is a wonderful way to officially close out the celebration.
A speech involving the Bride is becoming more common at wedding receptions. Here are some of the options:
Welcome: Once you enter the room, take a short moment to say some words, thank everyone for coming and highlight anyone special to you.
Joint Speech: Do a speech as husband and wife. Write and present it together. There is fun to be had if you both get creative.
Bride only: If the bride is the stronger speaker why not do the speech instead of the Groom.
With the Speeches, like many things in planning a wedding, there is no right or wrong way. The best way is the one which suits your day and expresses the newlywed couple’s personalities.
Top Speech Tips
Share the Love: Talk about everyone evenly. So many times I have seen a Groom speak only about his parents not the Bride’s, the Best man only saying things about the Groom and not the Bride. Share it all around
Big Script: When you type up your speech (because you did prepare) print it in a large size font so you can see it in the dim light of a function room. An added bonus is you’ll trick everyone that your speech is really long by having 5 pages.
Heartfelt or Hilarious: A good wedding speech does not have to be hilarious. From my experience it will have a greater impact if you speak from the heart.
This is article is written by leading Brisbane Wedding Mc and Dj Brian Davis.