There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to wedding speeches, but if you want to know the traditional order in the UK, we've got all the details.
The wedding speeches are typically delivered during the couple's wedding reception, either before or after dinner. While there is no strict order you must follow, getting the order of wedding speeches in a good, natural order can bring a smooth feel to operations on the day.
Traditionally, the toastmaster or master of ceremonies will present the speeches after dinner. But these days, couples are increasingly looking to mix things up. For example, some are choosing to have the speeches before the wedding breakfast so the speech-givers can relax and enjoy their meal, without feeling nervous. While others have arranged to have a speech between each course, so guests don't have to listen to a solid block of speakers.
We're living in modern times, and when it comes to weddings, there is no reason to keep to tradition. Especially if your speakers do not fall into the 'traditional' categories. However, if you would like to check what order wedding speeches in the UK have always been done in, we're here to share it with you.
Our Guide to the Order of UK Wedding Speeches
The traditional order of UK wedding speeches is, father of the bride, groom, best man, and then additional toasts. In same-sex weddings, it's typical for both partners to speak, although often it's just one who does.
The Father of the Bride Speech
Traditionally, the father of the bride is the first to speak in the wedding speech sequence, especially if he has contributed financially to the wedding.
The bride's father's speech should include;
— A welcome to all the guests, and an expression of gratitude for their attendance and participation in the wedding.
— A thank you to everyone who donated to the cost of the wedding.
— Compliments to the bride and the sharing of some charming stories.
— A welcoming of the bride's new spouse into the family, remarking on what a fantastic couple they are.
— Toast to the newly-weds.
The Groom’s Speech
Typically, the groom comes second in the proceedings, and it's nice if he can riff off of the father of the bride speech – but not necessary!
The groom's speech should include;
— A thank you for the toast from the bride's father.
— A Thank you to everyone who came and for their presents.
— A Thank you to both sets of parents for hosting the wedding, donating to the event, or simply being wonderful parents! This includes expressing gratitude to the bride's parents for accepting him into their family.
— Compliments to the bride and maybe the sharing of how they met.
— Thanks and toasts to the wedding party's important members, including the best man, groomsmen/ushers, chief bridesmaid/maid of honour, and bridesmaids.
— A thank you to all the wedding suppliers, including the venue, photographer, caterers, and so on.
The Best Man’s Speech
The wedding speech is one of many tasks expected of the best man, and it comes with much pressure these days. It's customarily the last wedding speech, and everyone expects it to be amusing.
The best man's speech generally contains the following;
— Thank you for the groom's toasts.
— Place the new couple further into the spotlight. This usually involves some humorous jokes, anecdotes, or hilarious stories about the groom. Just don't confuse, offend, or bore the audience.
— Make a remark about the bride, generally about how happy she makes the groom.
— Read any words sent from distant relatives and friends.
— Finally, a toast to the bride and groom is made.
The Other Wedding Speeches
While the above is the traditional order of wedding speeches in the UK, there may well be other members of the wedding party that would like to raise a glass too. Many weddings, for example, include a speech from the bride, maid of honour, and father of the groom.
In the order of wedding speeches, these other ones usually come after the groom's speech and before the best man's speech, or after the best man's, it's totally up to you!
The Bride’s Speech
While brides' speeches haven't been as common as grooms' or fathers of the bride's speeches in the order of wedding speeches for as long. It's becoming more and more frequent for women to want to say a few things during their wedding reception – and we're all for it!
This can include, similar to the groom's speech:
— Thanks to the father of the bride for his toast, as well as both sets of parents for their attendance and contributions to the wedding. She may also express gratitude to her partner's family for embracing her into the fold.
— Complements to her partner.
— Thanks to guests for their attendance and any gifts.
— Thanks to bridesmaids.
— Thank you to the wedding suppliers.
— Propose a toast.
The Maid of Honour’s Speech
Maid of honour/chief bridesmaid wedding speeches, like brides' speeches, are becoming more popular. They, like the best man speech, are a lovely moment for fun and comedy.
The maid of honour's speech usually contains the following;
— A Thank you for the bride's speech.
— Loving comments on the happy couple and the sharing of stories about the bride.
— Congratulations to the groomsmen/ushers.
— A final toast to the happy couple.