Guide on Wedding Speeches: Who Does What?


Weddings are not only about the union of two souls but also a celebration of love filled with laughter, tears, and memorable moments. One of the highlights of this celebration is the wedding speeches, which add a personal touch to the event. However, knowing who does what in terms of delivering these speeches can be a bit tricky. Let’s dive into the details and understand the traditional and modern ways of arranging wedding speeches.

Traditional Order of Wedding Speeches

Traditionally, there is a specific order in which speeches are delivered at weddings. The customary sequence is as follows:

  1. Parents of the Bride/Groom
  2. Groom/Bride
  3. Maid of Honor/Best Man

In more recent times, this order has been adjusted to accommodate the changing dynamics of weddings. An expanded version of this sequence might include speeches from both sets of parents, the couple themselves, and their respective best man and maid of honor.

Modern Approach to Wedding Speeches

In the present day, the order of wedding speeches has become more flexible, allowing for a more customizable approach. The sequence can be altered based on the couple’s preferences, the number of speakers, and the nature of the relationships among the wedding party members.

Understanding the Role of Each Speaker

Let’s delve into the specifics of each speaker’s role and what they should ideally include in their speeches.

The Parents

Traditionally, the parents (or a close family member) of the bride and the groom kick off the speeches. Their speech is a combination of a toast to the newlyweds and a welcome message to the guests. They may share anecdotes about their child’s upbringing, express their joy about the union, and extend warm wishes for the couple’s future.

The Bride and the Groom

Next, the bride and the groom take the stage. They express their gratitude to their parents, friends, and guests for their presence and their contributions to the wedding. They might also seize this opportunity to share their love story, talk about their journey so far, and express their excitement about their future together.

The Maid of Honor and the Best Man

Following the couple’s speech, the maid of honor and the best man deliver their speeches. They usually share personal anecdotes about their relationship with the bride or the groom, recount funny stories, and offer encouraging words. They conclude their speech with a toast to the newlyweds and their future together.

Timing the Wedding Speeches

The timing of the wedding speeches is crucial in maintaining the flow of the event. Traditionally, speeches are delivered after dinner, serving as the perfect segue into the more relaxed part of the evening. However, speeches can also be integrated into the dinner, with each speech delivered between courses. This way, the audience remains engaged, and the speakers can relax and enjoy the meal afterward.

Tips for Planning the Perfect Wedding Speeches

Planning the order of wedding speeches can be a daunting task. Here are some tips that can help streamline the process:

  1. Ask Speakers in Advance: Give your speakers plenty of time to prepare their speeches. This will ensure that they can deliver a well-thought-out and heartfelt speech.
  2. Set a Time Limit: Ideally, each speech should be around three to five minutes long. This duration allows the speaker to share a story and express their sentiments without causing the audience to lose interest.
  3. Coordinate the Speeches: Coordinate with your speakers about the order and content of their speeches. This will ensure a smooth transition between speakers and prevent any awkward moments.
  4. Consider Hiring a Master of Ceremonies: A master of ceremonies can introduce each speaker, manage the timing of the speeches, and keep the event flowing smoothly.
  5. Offer Guidance to Speakers: Provide your speakers with an idea of what they should include in their speeches. This will ensure that all speeches are aligned with the tone and theme of the wedding.

In conclusion, while there is a traditional order of speeches at weddings, what matters most is that the speeches reflect the personalities of the speakers and resonate with the couple’s journey. It’s about making the event memorable, filled with love, laughter, and heartfelt wishes for the newlyweds.