Speeches - Groom, Best Man, Father of the Bride - Who Says What?

Atmosphere Productions - Who Says What

Speeches – Groom, Best Man, Father of the Bride – Who Says What? By Andrew West.   


The Wedding Reception, originally called the Wedding Breakfast, was originally a way of celebrating the marriage and the joining of the two families. The usual format is a greeting and drinks on arrival, then a meal, several speeches (but who says what?), and the cutting of the cake. There may then be a less-formal celebration such as a dance or disco.


But wait! What did I mean by “several speeches”? Who says what? What should you say? And in what order should the speeches be? Giving a speech is high on many peoples’ “must avoid” lists, but because the speeches are such a central part of the wedding reception you have to make sure you get it right!


The first point to make here is that the order of speeches at a wedding reception is tradition, and not the law! Use the order I describe here as guidance for what often happens, but you do not have to stick to it.


What you do have to do is decide well in advance who says what, who is going to make a speech, and what order they are going to be in. And make sure they all know what that order is!


Traditionally, the order of speeches at a wedding reception is:

Father of the Bride

The Groom

The Best Man


If you have any other speeches they will normally follow these — but there don’t have to be any other speeches.


The order of speeches is normally as follows:


Father Of The Bride’s Wedding Speech

The Father of the Bride is normally the first to speak — but if the father of the bride is not present, this speech is usually given by the person who escorted the bride down the aisle. In his speech the Father of the Bride should thank the guests for attending, and thank anyone who contributed financially to the wedding. He should compliment his daughter on how she looks on this her special day, congratulate her on her choice of husband, and welcome his new son-in-law to the family. He should normally finish his speech with a toast to the bride and groom.


Groom’s Wedding Speech

The groom then responds to the Father of the Bride’s speech on behalf of his new wife and himself. He will thank the bride’s father for his toast. He will then thank the guests for coming (making special mention of those who have travelled far) and for their wedding gifts, and he will thank both sets of parents. He should make sure he compliments his bride, thanks his best man, and then he thanks and toasts the bridesmaids.


Best Man’s Wedding Speech

The best man will then respond to the Groom’s speech. He will thank the groom for his toast to the bridesmaids. In his speech the best man should also congratulate the bride and groom, and read any messages (cards, letters, telegrams) from those unable to attend the wedding. His speech finishes with a toast to the bride and groom.


Other Speeches

Usually the wedding reception speeches finish with that of the best man. Sometimes other members of the bridal party may wish to make a speech; if this is the case, their speeches should follow the best man’s speech.


If the bride wants to make a speech, she will normally follow the best man, and she will thank the guests for coming, thank her parents and bridesmaids, compliment her groom, and she will propose a toast (to whom would be a matter of the bride’s own choice).


The chief bridesmaid can then respond to the bride’s toast and thank the bride, compliment the ushers and propose her own a toast (again, to whom would be up to them). Any other speakers would follow these.


If the bride is not making a speech, then any other speeches, for example the Father of the Groom, follows the best man’s speech. Each speech should finish with a toast and be responded to by the following speaker.


Finally, if there are further speeches after the best man’s then it is usual for the final response to be made in a short speech from the Chief Bridesmaid, concluding with a toast to the bride and groom.



Final Tips

Make sure everyone has a drink before starting the speeches

When making your speech, make eye contact with the bride and groom

Relax and stand still — don’t sway or make any other movements that distract from your speech

Make your speaking slow and deliberate — much more so than your normal speaking speed

Prepare your speech well in advance, and use notes — but don’t spend your whole time looking down at pieces of paper during your speech



So: follow these tips, practice until you feel comfortable, and your speech will be a fantastic success! Good luck!

Article Source: Speeches – Groom, Best Man, Father of the Bride – Who Says What?


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Speeches - Groom, Best Man, Father of the Bride - Who Says What?

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