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After the thrill of the first moments as a married couple, guests nestle down in the reception hall for cake, dancing and an evening of fun. Before you begin, tradition calls for toasts and speeches in honor of the newly wedded couple. But who gives speeches at weddings, and where do you start when tasked with writing one?
With a dash of humor, a dollop of advice and a whole lot of love, you can give the perfect wedding speech to the special couple in your life.
Who Gives Speeches at Weddings?
Ultimately, the bride and groom can choose whoever they wish to give speeches and toasts at their wedding. Though a lot of weddings rely on tradition, personalized and modernized ceremonies offer a lot of special moments as well.
If the wedding party opts for a traditional reception, the maid of honor, the best man and the parents may give a speech.
How Long Should Wedding Speeches Last?
Try to keep wedding speeches brief. As toasts usually take place right before the meal, guests may become restless and hungry if you extend your words of wisdom.
After the wedding planners and the couple decide who they would like to speak, craft a schedule and time limit for each speaker. This way, dances and reception plans stay on track. There will also be no confusion about who stepping up to the microphone next.
Speeches should be in 3-5 minutes long. Of course, there is the tendency to include a binder’s-worth of memorable memories, but stick to the pertinent pearls of wisdom and nostalgia. Your card can always dive deeper into your well-wishes!
The Parent Speech
The first speakers are traditionally the parents of the couple. This can be a joint effort between the two families or headed by one side. As parents, they were the first people to meet the bride and groom, so it makes sense to have them introduce family stories and lifelong connections.
Parents should start by introducing themselves while welcoming the guests. A good parent speech will include:
- Childhood memories and anecdotes
- Well wishes to the happy couple
- Mention of a union between families
- Welcome of a new child-in-law into the family
If the family is religious, this is a perfect time to cast a prayer of blessing over the couple, guests and meal.
The Maid of Honor Speech
The Maid of Honor speech is an opportunity for a trusted friend or sister to shine a light on the bride. They can share their unique relationship with the bride and memories of meeting their significant other. These speeches are a great chance to offer sparkles of humor as well.
However, remember to keep the tone overall positive and sincere. If the speech feels too much like teasing, you risk embarrassing the bride on her big day. Share pearls of wisdom and congratulations by relying on that enduring connection and emotion with the bride.
The Best Man Speech
Similar to the Maid of Honor speech, the Best Man speech offers a brother or friend the chance to honor the groom. Again, rely on lifelong connections, memories and moments to build a clear picture of the groom for the bride’s family and friends.
Don’t be afraid to show emotion and heart in these moments, either. Humor is important to keep the crowd’s attention, but those tear-jerking lines always leave the biggest impression.
The Newlywed Speech
Round out the speech schedule with a moment of gratitude with the newlyweds themselves. They should thank the speakers and the guests for sharing this pivotal moment of love together.
Remember to keep this moment brief as guests have already heard vows and moments of connection between the couple. Now is the chance to shine a light on those celebrating and introduce the meal and cake-cutting.
Who Shouldn’t Give Speeches?
It’s best to keep the list of speakers short, but is there anyone who shouldn’t be invited to share a moment with the mic?
It is not advisable to invite people who may tell inappropriate stories and jokes, either. These are fun to share privately, but not considerate of family, children and elders in the audience.
Finally, children should probably stay off the speaking list. Kids do not have the experience to make a succinct and meaningful speech yet, and they add an element of unpredictability to the event. However, some couples may find these moments with their children or other youths heart-warming. Ultimately, a wedding is a completely personalized experience!
If you’re slated to be a toaster at an upcoming wedding, you can rely on these tips to deliver the most heartwarming and engaging speech.
- Remember to relax. Luckily, this is a short speech and you are surrounded by friends or family.
- Practice in front of a mirror to get your inflection and timing right.
- Keep stories appropriate and flattering to the newlyweds.
- Tie everything around a theme like fate or a specific metaphor.
- Focus on the couple and their union.
- Share lots of well wishes for a happy marriage!
Take the Mic
Wedding speeches offer a moment to celebrate and share fun memories. Whether you are sticking with tradition or trying something new, these toasts are an important part of a wedding celebration.
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