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A Toast to Great Wedding Speeches

For the Bestman the thought of the wedding speeches might leave him anxious all day. For the Groom, he might fear just what will be said and what stories will be told. While most guests look forward to the speeches, there could be a few that hope they don't drag on forever. From time to time a wedding speech may fall flat but thankfully the vast majority of them serve up some of the most memorable moments of the day and can be a treasured memory, especially if captured on video. In this blog, we look at ways in which you can ensure your wedding speeches are a success and fill the room full of laughter.

Before or After the Meal?

There is an increasing trend at weddings to have the speeches before the meal and there are pros & cons to either. Having them before the meal might be welcome news to the Bestman, who is nervous and just wants to get it over with so that he can enjoy his meal. A downside to having the speeches before the meal is that you run the risk of them going on too long, and you're guests are already hungry. Also, consider the Chef in the kitchen who's trying to keep your meal warm while the speeches seem never-ending. If you do decide to have your speeches before the meal consult with your wedding coordinator well in advance. From their point of view, timing is everything, as they not only have to let the chefs know when to be ready but also coordinate with all the staff so that your guests get served a delicious meal in a timely and efficient manner. It's not often thought about, but the speeches have a big impact on how your food is presented.

What Should the Format Be?

There are no hard and fast rules about who gives a speech. In Ireland traditionally the father of the bride, the groom, and the best man would be the most likely, but a new trend is to see the Bride also standing up to give a speech which is a great thing to see at a wedding, and the guests love it! The Banqueting Manager would usually kick-start the proceedings by calling everyone's attention and introducing the Bestman who in turn becomes the 'MC' for the duration of the speeches.

What Length Should the Speeches Be?

Ideally between 30-40 minutes in length, any longer than that you run the risk of your guests' attention span beginning to fade. Typically allocate 10 minutes to each speaker however, this is not a hard or fast rule. The Father of the Bride would probably be content with 5 minutes and this would allow the Bestman a few more minutes for his speech. As a general rule simply tell them not to go over 10 minutes each and it should be fine.

Have Some Fun

Speeches can be very emotional, but they can also be a lot of fun. Have a look at this Bestman speech from a wedding at Ballymagarvey Village last year.

And don't forget to thank...

The Father of the Bride - should welcome all the guests, especially the Grooms parents. He would also welcome the Celebrant if in attendance. Then he would welcome the Groom into the family.

The Father of the Groom - would respond by thanking the Brides parents and welcoming his new daughter-in-law into the family. He would usually make a toast to the new Bride & Groom.

The Groom's Speech - Will thank the guests for traveling and for the gifts. Will thank his Bestman, other groomsmen, both sets of parents and usually present flowers to them. But most importantly for a Groom, don't forget to thank your new partner for being the best thing that ever happened to you.

The Best Man's Speech - Allow a bit more time for this one, and it can often be the funniest speech of the day. The secret to a great Bestman speech is don't try to be funny, just be yourself.

The Bride's Speech - It's always lovely to see a Bride stand up and say a few words. She'll especially thank her Bridesmaids and both sets of parents and will finish off by saying a few words about her new husband.

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