Who Should Speak and When at a Wedding?

Your wedding day is a celebration of love, commitment, and community. One of the ways you can honor your community is by having speeches at your wedding. Speeches can be a heartfelt way for people to express their love and gratitude to you, your partner, your family, and your friends. It also can be the most memorable part of the wedding. Below you'll find who should give a toast at a wedding, when those people should give their toasts at your wedding, and how they can get started crafting those wedding speeches.

The Order of Wedding Speeches

First things first: let's talk about the order in which speeches should be given. There's no one-size-fits-all formula, and you can mix things up depending on your preferences. Here are some options:

  1. Parents of the couple (e.g. Father(s) of the bride, Mother(s) of the bride, Father(s) of the groom, mother(s), of the groom)
  2. Best person (e.g. Best Man, Maid of honor)
  3. Other Speakers (e.g. if desired, additional people from the bridal party or family members in the immediate family or those who feel like immediate family)*
  4. The couple

Ultimately, it's up to you to decide what works best for your wedding.

*People sometimes opt to keep the wedding day speakers to the parents on both sides, best person on both sides, and the couple, and open it up to more people at the rehearsal dinner or any event the night before (sometimes couples opt for an open mic for their wedding where whoever wants to give a toast can give one).

Who Should Speak at Your Wedding?

Now let's talk about who should speak at your wedding. Here are some roles to consider:

  1. Parents of the couple - The parents of each partner may give a wedding toast together, individually, or have someone speak on their behalf. This speech can include memories, blessings, and expressions of gratitude.
  2. Best person - The best person (or people) can be anyone who is meaningful to the couple. Traditionally, a wedding toast is given by the Maid of Honor or a Best Man. That said, the title can be anything, and the person can be a best friend, a sibling, or even a parent. This speech can include humor, personal anecdotes, and expressions of love and support.
  3. Other Speakers - In addition to the traditional speakers, you may also choose to have other people give speeches at your wedding. For example, you might have a sibling, close friend or family member give a speech, or even ask your officiant to say a few words. However, it's important to keep in mind that too many speeches can make the reception drag on, so it's best to limit the number of speakers to four or five on the wedding day itself (and opt for an open mic the day before if possible!).
  4. The couple - The couple may choose to give a speech, or they may opt to share the stage with their partner. This speech can include personal reflections, declarations of love, and expressions of gratitude for their partner and their community.

When Should Speeches Be Given?

The speeches outlined above are typically given during the reception, after the meal has been served. This is usually the time when guests are most relaxed and receptive to speeches. Other speeches can happen during the ceremony, at the rehearsal dinner (most common), or even during the cocktail hour. It's up to you to decide when and where speeches will take place.

In conclusion, modern and inclusive wedding speeches are a great way to honor your community so you all can express your love and appreciation. By choosing speakers who are meaningful to you and allowing them to speak from the heart, you can create a ceremony that's both authentic and memorable.

How to Write a Wedding Speech

If you or your guests need support with that first draft of the toast to make sure it's personal and meaningful, learn how to write a wedding speech, and what not to say in a wedding speech.

Your wedding day is a celebration of love, commitment, and community. One of the ways you can honor your community is by having speeches at your wedding. Speeches can be a heartfelt way for people to express their love and gratitude to you, your partner, your family, and your friends. It also can be the most memorable part of the wedding.
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