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Traditional Wedding Toasts

Speeches given at wedding receptions have become a standard facet of modern weddings. Whether you are the bride, groom, part of the wedding party, or  honoured guest, if you find yourself tasked with giving a speech it is important to prepare well in advance.

Typically, the speeches take place during the dinner reception, scattered amongst the various courses of food. The timing and length of each speech will vary depending on what the couple requests of their speakers as well as the speakers’ own speaking style. The following are the typical speeches that a couple may want spoken at their own wedding:

Courtesy of Union Eleven Photographers.

Courtesy of Union Eleven Photography.

Best Man and Maid of Honour Speeches

Being asked to be the best man or the maid of honour is a special honour and it usually means that the bride and groom consider those two people especially significant in their lives. Thus, it’s no surprise that the best man and maid of honour speeches share commonalities. Often the first speeches of the evening, these words are both light hearted and sentimental. Tips on how to give good best man or maid of honour speeches include: staying sober enough to give a good speech, using humour, keeping the speech short, becoming a good story teller, leaving ex-partners out of the picture, and ending the speech with toasting the couple. These two speeches really give an opportunity to the couple’s nearest and dearest friends to share a bit of their history together, to engage the guests in some light-hearted stories, and to send the couple off on their new life together. For examples of best man and maid of honour speeches, click here and here.

Courtesy of Michael B Photography.

Courtesy of Michael B Photography.

Parents of the Bride and Groom Speeches

The parents of the bride and groom speeches have in the past been scheduled for the beginning of the reception. Typically, the host of the wedding speaks first, as a way to welcome the guests and get the party started. Traditionally, when weddings have been paid for by the bride’s family, the father of the bride would represent the host and would be the first speaker of the evening. However with modern couples choosing to pay for their own weddings, or have other means to help with the wedding budget, the timing of the parents’ speeches are now slotted at different times during the reception – to the couple’s preference!

Each family now has the opportunity during their individual speeches to welcome guests, to thank people for attending and sharing in their child’s special day, and to welcome their new child-in-law into the family. It is during this particular speech that a bit of parting wisdom can be given to the happy couple; perhaps advice about a healthy marriage, or advice to the groom about how to please his new wife! For examples of parents’ speeches, click here and here.

Courtesy of Union Eleven Photography.

Courtesy of Union Eleven Photography.

Toast to the Bride and Groom

Often, the bride and groom will also make a speech to their new partner in life. These speeches give guests a glimpse into the relationship of the couple – the content and the way in which they give their speeches to each other can be very endearing and often a highlight of the reception! The couple might choose to talk about how they met, why they love their new partner, or about their future together. For examples of bride and groom speeches, click here and here.

Courtesy of Joel Bedford Photography.

Courtesy of Joel Bedford Photography.

Couple’s Thank Yous

The couple’s thank yous are given by both the bride and the groom and is usually a chance for the couple to formally thank all the people in their lives: their bridal party, family, guests, and other important people that helped play a part in their special day. For an example of a wedding thank you speech, click here.

No matter how many speeches the bride and groom decide to include, it is the content and delivery of those speeches that add personality to the wedding reception. May your wedding receptions include many memorable moments including some unforgettable speeches!

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