Traditional Order of Wedding Speeches and Toasts

Traditional Order of Wedding Speeches and Toasts

A wedding is an incredible occasion. It is not only the event that celebrates two people coming together in a ceremony where they make their commitment to stay together as husband and wife until death, but it is also a time where friends and family can come together to celebrate the couple and the new unity that occurs between the two families. It is a great occasion for sure.

Of course, there is a great deal of formality related to a wedding. Where people will sit, what flowers will be chosen, when a song will be sung, whether candles will be lit, and much more. there is so much to put together that some couples are so exhausted by the time that the wedding day arrives that they are just glad that it is over.

The Unspoken Formality that You Should Know About

One formality that many do not think about is the order that the toasts will be given in. While this may not seem like a big deal to either the bride or groom, it is likely to be important to members of your family, and the last thing you want to do is to get your marriage off on the wrong foot by upsetting someone because they did not get to give their toast or did not get to give it when they should have.

Sadly, many marriages struggle because in-laws find a reason to dislike the spouse of their child. This sets for a great deal of turmoil and can make the marriage a big challenge. This animosity can begin because of something stupid like a person feeling slighted by not being able to give a toast not speaking when they should have.

Honestly, many of you may read this and disregard it as a formality that is simply not necessary, but the truth is that this can be a very big deal. Unless you have talked to everyone beforehand and made sure that no one will hold a grudge about it, then make sure you have included this portion in your reception. It could literally save you years of struggle and hurt feelings.

Know the Customs and Religions Before Setting the Order

The traditional order for speeches and toasts can vary depending upon your religion and culture. Before getting too set on how things will go, you should spend some time researching this part of the reception, not only for yourself but for your future spouse as well. The culture for your future wife or husband may be a bit different as well. Know how things work for both of your cultures, if they are different, to ensure that there is marital bliss right off.

If you do find that there is a difference in how things go, then you should be prepared to make some compromises. Whatever you choose, make sure that you voice this to both sides of the family. You may even want to include them in the discussion so everyone feels like they had a part in making a decision like this. It may not seem like it is that important of a decision but, once again, the last thing you want is for someone to get all worked up because they feel slighted. Do some research and compromise if necessary.

So What Is the Order of the Speeches?

order of wedding speeches

Now that you know that there can be some variation depending upon culture or religion, here are two different lists of the traditional order of speeches. One is a shorter list if you did not want too many people speaking, while the other is much longer to accommodate a much larger wedding party plan. Again, this is not a comprehensive list for all cultures. It is just two different options that you may want to consider using.

If you are looking for a shorter speech list, then here is how this should go:

  1. A toast from the bride’s father. The tradition is that the father of the bride gets the toasts and speeches started and so he begins, not only with a few words, but with a toast to the newlyweds.
  2. Next up is the groom, who gives a thankful response to all for their well wishes and thanks to his new wife’s father. This also includes a toast to the bridesmaids.
  3. The last toast is by the best man, who is not only speaking for himself, but on behalf of the Maid of Honor and the others in the wedding parts. He then reads any messages and/or emails that have been sent to the couple, within reason. If there are 100 well wishes, clearly no one wants to sit around for an hour while these are being read.

The longer speech list is a lot more encompassing. Here would be the list:

  1. Master of Ceremonies – some opt to make the best man the master of ceremonies, and others choose the DJ to be the one that acts as the master of ceremonies. Many DJs have served in this role and understand the responsibilities involved. This is really a matter of what works best for the couple. Whoever it is that is chosen should be a person who is personable and who can be amusing without being offensive. The last thing you want is a joke about your future father in law or Uncle Billy to offend and make them upset.
  2. There is a person who is chosen who then gives a toast to the bride and groom. This can be someone who is not giving a speech otherwise. They simply make a brief statement and then propose a toast to the newlyweds. This should really take no more than a minute.
  3. Next up is the groom, who thanks everyone on behalf of his bride and himself. He thanks all for coming and making the day special, and proposes a toast to the bridesmaids as well.
  4. The best man then speaks. He not only thanks the bride and groom on behalf of himself, but also on behalf of the maid of honor. He then toasts the bridesmaids and the groomsmen, and finishes his speech with another toast to the bride and groom.
  5. Next up, the Master of Ceremonies proposes a toast to the parents of the bride. This is a prelude to the next speaker.
  6. The Father of the bride is next and this follows the toast to the bride’s parents. The speech of the father is considered a very big deal because it is a passing of his daughter onto the man that she has married. He ends his speech with a toast to his daughter and his new son-in-law.
  7. Next, the master of ceremonies toasts the parents of the groom.
  8. Much like the toasting of the bride, when the toast to the groom’s parents is done the father gives a speech. He thanks the people in attendance on behalf of his wife and himself and then speaks. He ends his speech with a toast to his son and his new daughter-in-law.
  9. Next, the master of ceremonies reads all the important messages that have been chosen to be read. If there are just a few sent to the happy couple then all can be read but, if there are many, the master of ceremonies works with the couple and the in-laws to choose the ones that should be read. There should be no more than 10 or 15 read at most, as this can get quite monotonous if it goes on too long.
  10. Those who are in attendance are then given the opportunity to share their well wishes with the couple. This can be a long winded affair if there are lots of people who wish to speak, so have the master of ceremonies ask people to keep their comments brief so that everyone will get a chance. The important part of this is to try to get in all of these little speeches. This can be one of the most fun parts of the whole reception as people share their comments about the groom and bride. While you don’t want this to go on forever, many find that this is one of the most special parts of the whole wedding, so don’t shut it off too soon.
  11. Lastly, the master of ceremonies thanks all those who helped to make the wedding happen, including the clergyman or woman, the musicians, photographer, caterers, and any others that are making this day even more special. These people are helping to make this a very special day and it is only fitting to include them in the appreciation that is expressed. Try to include as many as possible because they have all helped to make this happen.

If you are choosing the longer option, it is easy to see how this can go on for a while. This may seem like it will last for too long, but you will find that with everyone having a part that it is a lot of fun and everyone will enjoy the reception so much more.

When this is completed usually dinner is over and it is time to cut the cake and for everyone to get on the dance floor and get their groove on. You can truly enjoy the reception and have made sure that everyone feels like they got to play their part. So you can enjoy.

As one last reminder, find out about your culture or religious traditions before setting the speech order in place. That will make sure that it all goes well.