Clarah Luxford (Marriage Celebrant – Tweed, NSW) suggests,

Anyone who has ever had to make a speech will probably admit it was one of the most daunting experiences. But speeches, however brief, are an integral part of a wedding reception.

Three or four speeches are usually sufficient, even at a very formal wedding. Toast and speeches follow immediately before the cutting of the cake. The Order of Speeches is listed below but is only an indication.

The Bride’s father, or a close friend or relative of the bride’s family, is the first to speak. He usually says a few words about the wedding, and then asks the guests to raise their glasses to the happiness of the couple.

The Groom, then replies to the toast on behalf of himself and his new wife. He thanks the speaker for being there, thanks his own parents and his new in-laws for the wedding. Finally, he proposes the health of the bridesmaids.

The Best Man, replies on behalf of the attendants. If the bride’s father has not spoken at this stage, the best man or family friend can propose a toast to the bride’s parents, and the bride’s father responds.

An optional toast is to the parents of the bridegroom, to which the bridegroom’s father responds. The essence of his speech is to welcome his new daughter-in-law to the family.

Guidelines for speakers

Each speech should take five minutes and most people speak clearly at the rate of 180 words a minute, so plan a speech of about 1000 words. Speakers should make a list of everyone they must thank, and what to thank them for.

It’s a good idea to write out the speech in full, and learn the opening and closing paragraphs by heart. Write the key points of the speech on cards, and refer to them when necessary.

Speakers should remember that a wedding is a happy occasion. The audience is not feeling critical, so there is really no need to be nervous.

For more useful wedding resources and tips visit our “Wedding Resources” page by clicking here.

Happy Planning, TWSB x

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