weddings 101

Wedding Speeches 101

Posted by Nicole Keen

Are you wondering who should speak at your wedding reception...and what they should say? Here are some wedding speech essentials that will shed light on the subject!

There aren't any hard-and-fast rules about who goes when, but we like this order: best man, maid of honor, parents of the groom, parents of the bride, bride and groom.

Best man: Compliment the bride and bridesmaids. Then stick to the classic humiliate-the-groom format, but don't take it too far -- some skeletons are best left in the closet. Tell jokes, jokes, jokes. Tell more jokes. Ease the sting of the disses with some sincerity: how you know each other, your perspective on the couple, best wishes for their future. End by toasting the bride and groom.

Maid of honor: Compliment the handsome groomsmen. Echo the style of best man's speech -- embarrass the bride a bit, recall fond memories and finish with best wishes to the couple.

Parents: Dote on their child (the father of the bride is traditionally the first to speak) and share stories about his/her childhood. It's okay to embarrass them too -- but only a little. Welcome the new daughter/son-in-law to the family. Thank service providers. Toast the health and happiness of the new couple.

Bride: Thank all guests, especially those from out of town and the people who helped during the planning process. Give a big shout out to your bridesmaids and the entire wedding party. Say a special word of thanks to your mother. Give your account of how you met your husband -- what you liked/didn't like about him. Offer a personal message from you to him. Finish with a toast to your guests.

Groom: Give topical remarks about the wedding day. This is also a good time to joke about any mishaps and make people laugh. Tell your version of how you met your new wife. Thank the wedding party, send good wishes to those who were unable to attend due to distance or illness. Thank all of the parents. Finish with a toast to your new wife -- talk to her directly and make it heartfelt.

Image: Mango Studios