Love them or hate them, wedding speeches are a key part of a wedding reception. Speeches are a chance for the happy couple to speak to their guests, to thank everyone for attending as well as for those apart of the wedding party to share heartfelt messages with meaningful memories.
What is the correct order for the speeches?
Traditionally the Father of the Bride speaks first, followed by the Groom and finally the Best Man. However, with weddings becoming more and more personal you may wish to put your own twist on this.
Brides are now wishing to have a moment to speak or have a bridesmaid who wants to say a few words on the bride’s behalf.
When should we hold the speeches?
Tradition states that the wedding speeches should be conducted after the meal and they essentially bring an end to the day’s formalities at which point the party side of the day can begin!
However, I am seeing more and more couples wishing to opt for something different. Some prefer to hold their speeches first, giving those that are speaking the chance to enjoy the wedding breakfast without the nerves of the speech looming.
Others are opting for the speeches to be between each course. Father of the Bride prior to starter. Groom prior to the main course and finally the Best Man after the dessert has been cleared.
Now there are a couple of things to consider when looking at these last two options.
1. Ensure that you have informed the caterer of your decision. Food can only be cooked and kept hot for a certain amount of time before starting to be over cooked & dry! Also ensure that the champagne is poured and ready at the right time.
2. Be strict with those that are speaking as to the time you have allocated for their speech.
3. Inform your guests when the speeches will be.
Notes or Full Speech?
Whether you make simple key points and notes or write out your speech word for word. Either are fine. Whatever works for the individual speaking and makes them more relaxed is good. 
Will you require a microphone?
Simply, yes. Always have the option of a microphone available. And preferably wireless or lapel style.
Speeches can be nerve wracking and for some the thought of having your voice projected makes it seem even worse. However, it is worse if the guests at the back cannot hear you and heckle you to speak up or start to whisper that they can’t hear.
Take advice from whoever is supplying the microphone as to the best way to hold this. But there is no point holding it close to your chest or even look as though you are about to eat it. The best position is usually it around chin height.
Writing your wedding speech
Take time to write your speech. Don’t leave it to the last minute. Practice makes perfect.
Jot down notes in the lead up to the special day. Things you think of that you would like to include. Above all remember who your audience are. Wedding guests from the very young to the older generation, family & friends of the bride & groom. So, keep it heartfelt and humorous. Don’t go full out to completely embarrass the Groom as you may end up not only embarrassing him but also upsetting parents or, worse of all, the bride. Keep it clean but light-hearted and entertaining.
Who should toast who?
There are many guides and variations as to who should toast whom at the end of the speeches which traditionally are:
• Father of the bride toasts the newlyweds and the groom’s parents
• Groom thanks & toasts the bridesmaids & ushers
• Best Man thanks the Groom on behalf of the bridesmaids & ushers
However, it is your wedding, feel free to add your own twist to the proceedings. It is your wedding day after all.

Whatever you decide, just remember to ensure that all the relevant and important parties are told of your decisions and everyone sticks to their speech length time.

For more information about my wedding photography click here.

Thank you!