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Wedding Speeches

The tradition is for three speeches to be made through the evening;
Traditionally, the father of the bride opens speeches. He is followed by the groom and speeches finish with that of the best man. Along with the best man, the bride may want her maid of honour to make a speech.

The father of the bride’s speech should welcome everyone and thank them for their attendance. He should talk about his daughter and about how he is handing over care of her to her new partner.  The father of the bride should also officially welcome the groom into his own family.  Weddings are all about the bringing together of two families so the father of the bride should welcome the extension of family.

The groom’s speech needs to slightly more formal, respectful and romantic toward his new wife. His comments should be orientated toward the bride first and foremost and to her family, who traditionally pay for the wedding, just behind. It should include all the requisite thank you’s, to both families, the bridesmaids and friends.

The best man’s speech should then lighten up proceedings and bring the humor element. It should be full of anecdotes about the groom and about the bride and groom’s meeting or early dating times. Principally meant to humiliate the groom, the best man should also be charming toward the families involved and offer joy and good humor to the newlyweds.

  • Proceedings usually start after the main meal of the wedding at the reception.
  • To attract everyone’s attention, rise to a standing position and tap lightly on a glass with a spoon.  
  • Speak loudly and clearly.
  • Avoid looking at your feet or focusing on just one section of the audience.
  • Have the speech prepared well in advance to save you fumbling over frantically scribbled notes on table napkins
  • Practise the speech in front of friends beforehand and try it in front of the mirror until you are comfortable and confident with your delivery and can ward of the nervous blank that can hit at a time like this.
  • Always introduce yourself first, and state your relationship to the bride and groom.
  • Keep it brief!
  • Keep it sweet; avoid being sarcastic, crude or too cheeky, especially if there are older or much younger guests at the wedding.

See also:
The Groom's Speech
The Father of the Bride's Speech
The Best Man's Speech