FatherBrideSpeech-200x200Though traditionally only a few people gave wedding reception toasts, these days more and more people are getting in on the fun! This is a great way for the bride and groom to include additional friends and family members in their wedding festivities, and overall create a more personal and loving atmosphere. This article will tell you all you need to know about the order of wedding speeches and toasts!

Rehearsal Dinner Toasts

With more and more people giving toasts, the order of wedding speeches and toasts has sometimes been divided into two groups: rehearsal dinner toasts and wedding reception toasts. The rehearsal dinner is often a bit more casual in atmosphere, and the speeches tend to be shorter in length. After an hour or so rehearsing the wedding ceremony, people are ready to kick back and have a few drinks and a nice meal: toasts at the rehearsal dinner, therefore, should be short and sweet! Below you can find the basic order of rehearsal dinner toasts, as well as some basic information about what each might include.

  1. Father (and/or Mother) of the Groom. The groom’s family traditionally hosts the rehearsal dinner, as the bride’s family is traditionally responsible for the wedding costs. The groom’s father and/or mother will then usually give a brief welcome to their guests, and also say some kind words about the bride and her family.
  2. In response to the groom’s parents, the bride may also say a few words to welcome the guests and to thank the groom’s family for hosting the event. Traditionally, the bride does not give a speech at the wedding reception, so this is her opportunity to thank her bridal party as well.
  3. The rehearsal dinner gives other members of the wedding party a chance to give a short speech. A groomsman might say a few words about his relationship with the groom, and relate how he and the other groomsmen have coped with the stress of the past few months!
  4. As with the groomsman speech, a bridesmaid may say a few words about the bride and their relationship, and speak for the whole of the bridal party concerning how they’ve helped the bride over the past few months.
  5. Other family members and guests. After the four traditional rehearsal dinner toasts, the floor can be open to anyone who wishes to say a few words. If you know you have a talkative guest list, however, you may want to notify people in advance that you’d like to speak and explain at the beginning of the dinner that only a few people will be giving toasts. Otherwise you could be there all night!

Wedding Reception Toasts

Toasts given at the wedding reception at generally more formal, and can be a bit longer than toasts at the rehearsal dinner. As a rule, however, wedding reception toasts should last no longer than 10 minutes: there will still be quite a few people speaking, so it’s always best to err on the side of brevity! Below you can find the traditional order of wedding reception toasts, as well as some general information about what each wedding speech should include.

  1. Father of the bride. The bride’s father traditionally opens the series of wedding reception toasts, and he should begin by welcoming all of the guests (especially those who have travelled especially far or at great cost). Normally, the father of the bride toast includes a sweet or funny anecdote from his daughter’s childhood, and he should conclude by toasting a very happy future to the newlyweds.
  2. The groom’s speech should begin by thanking the father of the bride, both for his speech and for hosting the wedding (if that is indeed the case). The groom should also encapsulate his relationship with his wife, as hard as that may be to do in just a few minutes! Tell a story of a time when your wife was there for you when you needed her the most or about the moment that you knew she was ‘the one’.
  3. Maid of Honor. The maid of honor toast, like the best man toast that will follow, can be a bit light-hearted and recount a funny story from the bride’s adult life (unlike the father of the bride’s traditional focus on the bride’s childhood). But do remember to keep it clean! Weddings are a family affair and you don’t want to shock the groom’s great aunt!
  4. Best Man. The bawdy and inappropriate best man speech is a thing of the past. As the final toast, the best man should close out this portion of the wedding reception in style and give the audience a final, happy story involving the bride and groom. While the anecdote can obviously be funny or a bit cheeky, do make sure to keep things classy – no need to mention doing body shots in Vegas at the bachelor party!

Hopefully you now know everything there is to know about the order of wedding speeches and toasts! Whether you’re part of the rehearsal dinner toasts or wedding reception toasts, best of luck writing your speech!

Leave Your Response

* Name, Email, Comment are Required