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Wedding Speeches

Couples often ask me about wedding speeches.  Who should make a speech?  What order should the speeches be in?  Wedding SpeechesWhat should we say in a speech?  Who should we thank?  When should the speeches happen? 

So today I’ll try to answer all these questions and offer some suggestions about how to approach the wedding speeches for same sex weddings. 


What Is The Order For The Speeches?

The traditional order for the speeches is:

·     Father of the Bride
·     Groom
·     Best Man

However, lots of brides are choosing to say a few words now so in that case the order should be

·     Father of the Bride
·     Groom
·     Bride
·     Best Man

I always advise caution with the number and length of speeches.  It’s really easy for them to go on and on and your guests will drift off and quite frankly be bored!  Remember, your family jokes might be great fun for close family but your friends may have no idea what you’re talking about 🙂 


Father Of The Bride Speech

Typically the father of the bride will speak first.  In his speech he should welcome the guests to the wedding and thank them all for coming. 

He also should welcome the groom into the family.  It’s also customary for the father of the bride to toast absent family and friends. 

The father of the bride should then talk about how lovely the bride looks, share a few stories about her and tell everyone how proud he is of her.  Finally he should praise the groom, talk about what a great couple they are and raise a toast to the newly weds. 

Father of the Bride Speech

Image Credit: Shutter Go Click


The Groom’s Speech

The father’s speech leads into the groom’s speech who should start by responding to the toast made by the bride’s father. 

Typically the groom’s main focus is ‘thank you.’  So he needs to thank the guests for coming, for the gifts they have provided and also thank both sets of parents. 

The groom compliments his new bride, making comments about beautiful she looks. 

At this point, it’s customary to hand out any thank you gifts you have bought.  These would usually be for parents, bridal party and anyone else who has been a big help in your planning journey. 

The groom then raises two toasts.  One to the bridesmaids and the second one to the bride’s parents if they are hosting (funding) the wedding. 

Shocked face during wedding speech

Image Credit: Katie Dervin


The Bride’s Speech 

If the bride is making a speech, it usually happens after the groom’s speech. 

Typically the bride will again thank everyone for coming and if her parents have paid for the wedding, she will thank them.  Even if they haven’t paid for the day, I think it’s nice for the bride to thank both sets of parents for their help and support. 

The bride will thank her bridesmaids and she could give them her gifts rather than the groom doing this. 

Finally she will thank her groom and maybe tell a few stories about him.  She will then raise a toast to everyone. 


Best Man’s Speech

Now the best man’s speech comes at the end to finish off the speeches.  Everyone expects the best man to be funny so there’s a lot of pressure on him to deliver. 

The best man should thank the bridesmaids and congratulate the couple, saying a few nice words about them as a couple. 

The best man then shares a few funny stories about the groom.  I always advise the best man to think carefully about the stories he’s going to share.  Yes it’s fine to share a few drunken antics to raise a laugh but be sensitive and don’t share anything that’s going to offend anyone and watch your language. Remember you probably have a broad age range in the room.  

Finally the best man should read out any messages from friends or family who haven’t been able to attend the wedding.  And then lead a final toast to the happy couple. 

Best Man's Speech

Image Credit: Katie Dervin Photography


Speeches for Same Sex Weddings

Obviously the usual wedding speech traditions don’t work for same sex weddings.  The good news is that you can choose who you would like to speak and therefore you design your own day. 

So for example, you could ask one parent on each side to make a speech.  This enables you to choose the parents who will feel most comfortable doing this. 

You can ask your best man, best woman, maid of honour to make a speech or more than one of them.  You can ask another family member or a close friend who knows you really well to say a few words. 

I still think it’s nice for at least one of you to make a speech, to thank your guests and anyone who’s helped you with the wedding and supported you. 

But basically, it’s your choice – there are no traditions here for you to break so go with what feels right for your day. 

A Toast During Wedding Speeches

Image Credit: Shutter Go Click


When to have your speeches

Traditionally, the speeches take place after the wedding breakfast.  But you can easily change this if you prefer. 

I think it’s quite nice to do the speeches before your wedding breakfast.  It helps to keep them more focussed and shorter as everyone is hungry!!

Or you could space them out a little, so maybe do one before the food, one between courses and the rest after the meal?  The choice is yours and you can choose how you do this to make it fit the schedule of your day. 

There are lots of online resources where you can get help in actually writing a speech.  I can’t profess to be an expert in this so I won’t try! But from personal experience, my key points would be keep it light, keep it fun and keep it short.

If you’re struggling with any aspect of your wedding planning, I have plenty of other features on my blog, from getting started to finding your venue to designing your seating plan

And if you’re looking for some personal 1-1 support, then get in touch to see how I can help you. I have a range of planning services which can be tailored to your needs.  I’d love to hear from you.  


Louise Wearmouth, Founder of Your Fabulous Wedding