Friday, April 17th, 2015

When it comes to wedding speeches, many become speechless, tongue-tied.  This is a phenomenon most commonly seen in grooms. No matter how scary they seem to certain people, a wedding speech is an integral part of any modern wedding. So, there’s no point in hesitating, sweating or procrastinating it.  Just write it down and get it over with.

There are, however, some norms and orders of a traditional wedding speech.  In a wedding, it is traditional for the father of the bride to speak first. He welcomes the guests, that includes the groom’s family, thanks every guest for coming, talks about the bride and her groom and toasts the happy couple. In case the father of the bride is not present or is deceased, a close friend or relative may do the honour.

Today, however, it is increasingly common for the groom to speak first, especially when he along with the bride is hosting the wedding.  The bride may also want to speak first.  In such a case, the bride and the groom have to decide among themselves prior to the speech so that there is no confusion. After all, no one wants to make a mess of their own wedding.

In a traditional setting, it is customary for the groom to speak after the father of the bride. He, in his wedding speech would thank the father of the bride for his kind words, thank the parents, and thank the bride for agreeing to marry him, thank the guests for coming, thank the bridesmaids and toast them.

However, the groom should also try to maintain the tone of the previous speaker and not deviate from the tone drastically.  Of course, a little joke and anecdotes are welcome.  In case the father of the bride is absent or deceased, he can talk about him and use the opportunity to mention any absent friend or relative. If the bride intends to speak next, he can always say a few affectionate words and introduce her saying – “and for the first time ladies and gentlemen, Mrs. …”

If you follow the traditional running order, after the groom it is time for the best man to give his speech. He responds to the groom’s toast, talks about the groom and how he knows him,  talks about the  bride and  then throws in a few amusing things  about the groom (cue,  no past relationship stories  please!) to get a laugh. This is usually the most fun part of the speeches.

No matter whether it is a traditional wedding or a modern wedding, it is one of the most important days in the life of a couple.  Therefore, everything should be perfect on that day including the speeches. However, it is essential to know the running order and a few other minor details to make the speech stand out.  For example – whether they will be introduced, whether they need to thank someone in their speech or whether (in the case of the best man’s speech) it is OK to reveal some embarrassing secrets about the groom on their wedding day. It is nice to have these little details well before the ceremony so that one can improvise the speech and give it their best shot.

One must not forget that it is very important to check with each other so that no one repeats the same story or anecdotes in the speeches. If they do, the speeches will become repetitive and boring. And that is one thing every bride and groom would like to avoid on their big day.


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