Speeches are a crucial part of any wedding. They have become a time-honoured tradition in the UK and provide friends and family with the opportunity to display an act of love and support, or even a few comedy moments, for the newly married couple. However, deciding upon the perfect time for wedding speeches can be a challenge. In this blog, we discuss the best times for wedding speeches.
Traditionally, it’s the father or parent of the bride who kicks off the speeches. A tried and tested technique here is to start with some light-hearted humour about the couple to warm up the crowd. From here they would typically discuss their love and pride for their child, as well as perhaps a few funny childhood moments. The speech will often conclude with a heartfelt welcome to the new member of the family.
Up next would normally be the husband or partner, with a more formal speech thanking the guests for their attendance on such an important day. A good speech here requires them to express their admiration and love for their new partner. They normally also take the opportunity to thank those who helped plan the day, including bridesmaids, groomsmen as well as other friends and family. They may also choose to pay tribute to those who they have loved and lost, so couldn’t be there to share their special day.
The best man or even woman’s speech is typically the highlight of the wedding reception, eagerly awaited by most guests. At this stage in the day, there should hopefully be some amusingly embarrassing stories about the couple. With a witty and playful nature, the best man may tell anecdotes at the expense of the newlyweds. Often the speech will be concluded with a sincere toast to the happy couple, wishing them all the best for their future together.
In more recent years, the traditional structure has evolved. Now it is commonplace for brides to also choose to speak at their own wedding. And why not! We often see the bride’s speech including words of thanks to her parents, partner and guests, as well as personal anecdotes and heartfelt expressions of love and gratitude.
Obviously these are the traditional thoughts for speeches. However, it all depends on who is getting married as well as their family situation. With same sex marriages, there may be one partner who is more confident to stand up and speak – or perhaps they do something together! Also with blended families, you may choose to have more than one parent speak. It is all very fluid and as long as a plan is in place, then it is up to you as a couple how many speeches you want to have.
The main thing is that your day is fun and as relaxed as possible and everyone enjoys themselves.
Contrary to its name, the wedding breakfast is typically held after the ceremony in the late morning or early afternoon. Just before the wedding breakfast is an option for wedding speeches to be held. It allows everyone to sit and enjoy the speeches together. This is key as speeches can require a lot of courage to perform and are a huge display of love to the couple. With all of your guests seated together, nobody is at risk of missing out on the incredible moment.
Furthermore, the lighting is usually quite bright during these hours. This is preferable for your photographer or videographer whose primary goal is going to be capturing the essence of the moment. Lighting is essential for ensuring that your images are clear and sharp. Poor lighting can result in blurry or darker images, which can be disappointing for the couple and their guests.
Just don’t forget that everyone could be getting hungry now – unless you have filled them up on canapes before they were seated!
During the wedding breakfast is the most popular option, typically between the main and dessert course, or perhaps after dessert, once everyone is enjoying their coffee. This is a great time for speeches as your guests will still be seated, expectant of what is to come and still relaxed after their main meal.
One benefit of having the speeches before the dessert is the lack of confusion for guests. With coffee alongside a dessert being recognised as the final course of a meal, your guests will understand that there is more to come. This removes any confusion with people thinking that it’s time to move on or get up.
Don’t forget though, the people who are making the speeches will be getting more nervous the longer you leave it. Many a time we have had best men who are fairly intoxicated by the time they stand to speak. Partly due to not eating enough of their meal and partly due to drinking just a little too much to steady their nerves… Just a warning!
If you prefer, the speeches can be performed at the start of the evening reception. If you want them to be made once your evening guests have arrived then that is a personal choice. So long as you create a more relaxed and celebratory atmosphere, having the speeches at this time will flow wonderfully.
A great benefit is that the speeches build excitement for the next set of festivities. This could be the cutting of the cake, the first dance or anything else that has been arranged.
Typically, there is no specified time that these speeches are given during the evening reception. However, some great options are before the music starts or simply as a break in the fun. As long as there is somewhere for everyone to sit, then this is a great option, as all your wedding party can be a part of the speeches, not just the day guests.
At the early evening reception, your guests will also still be fairly receptive and engaged. It even allows for the speeches to be a part of any entertainment that could have been arranged. It creates a natural break in the celebrations and gives the opportunity for the couple and their families to connect.
Overall, the ideal moment for wedding speeches depends on each couple’s preferences and the traditions you want to follow. As a wedding venue with a team of amazing wedding planners, it’s important that the day is tailored and works for each couple. We think that it’s important we work with you to determine the best timing for the speeches.
With the correct space allotted, then speeches can be a meaningful and memorable part of your wedding day. However funny or embarrassing the best man makes them (or not!)
If you have any questions about the ideal moment for wedding speeches and are looking for answers from an excellent team of wedding planners feel free to reach out. Give the team a call on 01323 848 006 or fill out our contact form. A member of the team will get back to you as soon as possible, we look forward to hearing from you xx