Wedding speeches have provided some of the most poignant moments at weddings and sometimes the most embarrassing, particularly if the best man has had one too many as is regaling the guests with sagas of hell-raising adventures. Love them or hate them, it’s nearly impossible to have a wedding without any speeches. There is a traditional order for wedding speeches that many choose to follow.
- The Father of the Bride has the honour of giving the first speech. In the past it was also traditional for the parents of the bride to pay for the wedding, so it was expected that the Father of the Bride would speak first and welcome the guests. After welcoming remarks, it is traditional for the Father of the Bride to share some of his favourite memories of his daughter – this is the place where the bride and some of the guests grab for their hankies – welcome his new son-in-law into the family and propose a toast to the couple.
- The Bridegroom is next to speak. He will thank the guests for attending on behalf of himself and his wife after which he will thank everyone who helped with the wedding. It is traditional for the Bridegroom to say a few words about his new wife.
- The Bride now has the opportunity to welcome the guests, thank her parents and say a few words about her new husband. In days gone by the Bride did not speak. The bridegroom spoke for the “little woman”, something a modern bride would never tolerate.
- The Best Man is expected to make an amusing speech. Unfortunately it usually ends up being more of a roast than a speech with insider jokes that very few guests are privy to. If you are lucky the Best Man will take the podium reasonably sober and tell some amusing and appropriate stories about the groom after which he will say something flattering about the bride and offer a toast to the couple.
Of course traditions are meant to be broken and there are no rules that say that the Mother of the Bride, Maid of Honour or anyone else that you choose can’t make a speech. The traditional order of speeches is just a guideline.