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About Wedding Speeches

Are you worried about your wedding speech? Need assistance or advice on what say and who to thank? As a professional MC host, Tim has vast experience in coordinating the speeches at your Wedding Reception. The following is some information from the perspective of an MC, that may assist you in organising how and what you will say.

The Importance of Speeches

Speeches are an age old tradition at Wedding Receptions. They can be either strict, formal, creative, interesting or amusing.

The most important part about the speeches at your Wedding Reception, is to keep them short and interesting, as there are many other formalities that need to be addressed as the Reception progresses.
The Speeches should follow either the Entrees (earlier in the Reception), or follow directly after the Main Meal. The latter is definitely recommended by Magnet, however, each Wedding Reception agenda is different, so feel free to be flexible.
Keeping in mind cultural differences and today's flexibility, the following is a more traditional approach to the order and length of the speeches. Feel free to be creative with the information provided here, this is simply Magnet's recommended format.

The Toast

This is generally a very brief formality, where an MC, guest, relative, or member of the Bridal Party asks the guests to "Charge their glasses and please be upstanding", followed by a "To the Bride & Groom". The audience will echo "To the Bride & Groom", and may even break into a traditional song.

"For they are jolly good fellows, For they are jolly good fellows, For they are jolly good fellows, and so say all of us".
The versions of this tune vary considerably depending on the cultural and moral backgrounds of the guests.

Speech by the parents of the bride & groom

Traditionally the Father of the Bride will speak first, followed by the Mother of the Bride, Father of the Groom, and finally the Mother of the Groom.

It has become traditional at Weddings for the parents of the Bride & Groom to speak first, the choice of which parents will be speaking at the Reception varies.
The parents of the Bride & Groom speech should consist of thank-you's to certain relatives, acknowledgement of events that have been specifically organised by the parents of the Bride & Groom, and a toast to the newly wed couple.
It is also a good idea to include some interesting and amusing stories of the Bride & Groom's childhood and courtship, as well as some interesting domestic tales and habits. Most of all, it is important to keep the mood light hearted and witty if possible.
Speeches by the parents of the Bride & Groom should be not exceed 10 minutes

Response by the Best Man

The Best Man has two roles to play during the speeches.

The first is to relay interesting and amusing stories about the Wedding Couple, and the second is to propose a Toast to the Brides Maids, followed by the traditional "For they are jolly good lassies, For they are jolly good lassies, For they are jolly good lassies, and so say all of us".
The Best Man's speech normally includes snippets about the Bucks Night, and also some tales of his/her friendship with the Bride & Groom.
The speech by the Best Man should be not exceed 10 minutes.
Note: It is not tradition that the Groomsman to give a speech, nor is it tradition that the Brides Maids or Matron of Honour give a speech. However, the modern Wedding Reception has introduced many changes, so feel free to be creative with your speeches, as long as you keep them to 30 - 45 minutes maximum.

Response by the Bride & Groom

The moment everyone has been waiting for is the response by the Bride & Groom. It is worth saving the Wedding Couple until last, in order to create a suspense during the speeches.

The Bride & Groom may elect to talk together or individually.
Once again, there is no strict tradition with this, except that it is tradition for the Bride / Groom's speech to include expressions of thank-you's to all who participated in the organisation of the Wedding Day, and also to the guests, friends, relatives, bridal party, caterers, hair and makeup artists, band, MC etc...
Speeches by the Bride & Groom should be not exceed 10 minutes.

Reading of the telegrams

The modern version of the Telegram at Weddings, seems to be somewhere between the traditional "guests that couldn't make it to the special occasion", and people that want to try out their favourite jokes and humour.

However, this is always a tense moment at any Wedding Reception, and the Telegrams are normally read by the Best Man and Groomsman. There should be great care taken to edit the Telegrams prior to reading, as there may be some that will offend certain guests, friends and relatives.
The job of editing, normally falls to the Best Man and Groomsman, but feel free to select a more reliable source of editing.
The reading of the telegrams should not exceed 10 minutes.

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