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Q: Wedding Speeches ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Wedding Speeches
Category: Relationships and Society
Asked by: rubyfriday-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 09 Dec 2005 13:09 PST
Expires: 08 Jan 2006 13:09 PST
Question ID: 603803
Who is supposed to give the first speech at a wedding reception
traditionally? Is it the best man? Is there any order for who should
go second?  $10 tip for a well-researched answer.
Subject: Re: Wedding Speeches
Answered By: tutuzdad-ga on 09 Dec 2005 13:45 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Dear rubyfriday-ga

Thank you for allowing me to answer your interesting question.
Etiquette varies depending on the tradition of the wedding. NET
WEDDING, which speaks about typical weddings in the UK lists the
tradition turn of events in this order:

?The father of the bride toasts the bride and groom and then goes on
to talk about his daughter.?

?The groom replies on behalf of himself and his wife (although more
and more brides are making their own speeches these days) and then
proposes a toast to the bridesmaids. He then goes on to thank those
people involved in helping them in the planning of the wedding and
distributes gifts to those who are to receive more than a verbal
'thank you'. The groom then goes on to talk about his new wife.?

?If the bride is to make a speech it should take place following the
groom's. It may seem obvious, but joint speeches should be
co-coordinated well beforehand since both will probably wish to say
much the same thing.?

?The best man's speech takes place now. He begins by replying on
behalf of the bridesmaids and then reads out telegrams, cards, e-mails
or other messages from friends and relatives who couldn't be at the
wedding. He will then go on to talk about the groom in what can be the
highlight - or in some cases lowlight - of the wedding speeches.?


In a more elaborate formal the traditional order of speeches are as follows:

-- The bride's father proposes a toast to the bride and groom.

-- The bride's father continues, with an insight into his daughter.

-- The groom then responds on behalf of his wife and himself. The
groom usually uses this opportunity to say 'My wife and I' for the
first time. This is usually followed by a round of applause from the

-- The groom thanks all those involved in the organising of the wedding.

-- The groom may wish to present his and the bride's mother with bouquets.

-- The groom thanks his attendants and presents them with his gifts.

-- The groom then speaks about his new wife.

-- The groom will then propose a toast to the bridesmaids.

-- After the groom has finished, the bride may wish to speak.

-- The best man responds on behalf of the bridesmaids.

-- The best man then announces any messages, telegrams or e-mails from absentees.

-- The best man then delivers his speech where he talks about the
groom, often including some amusing reflections and memories of the

On the FINE SPEECHES website, what appears to be the typical American
order and etiquette is described, suggesting that the proper speaking
order is:

Toastmaster (if there is one)
Father of the Bride
Best Man
and the Bride (if she prefers to speak at all).

What is particularly informative on this site is also the typical
content of the announcements, toasts, welcomes and speeches:

?Wedding Speech Etiquette - know the rules so you can break them?

This of course depends on one?s preferences. Other acceptable orders
of etiquette are also practiced. THE FRUGAL BRIDE, for example lists a
variation of the above order depending perhaps on how ?wordy? you?d
like your event to be:

Best Man toasts the couple and the bridesmaids 
Grace before dinner (optional) 
Groom's parents toast the uniting of the two families 
Bride's parents toast the couple 
Maid of Honor toast the couple and the groomsmen 
Groom toasts his wife, his groomsmen and both sides of parents 
Bride toasts her husband, her bridesmaids and both sets of parents 
Anyone else

This order however is not written in stone either and even the web
site, which says it has done some extensive research into the matter,
says, ?As for the proper order of speeches, we've looked at books and
websites, and everyone has a different order.?


In a typical Australian wedding (which tends to observe traditional
English tradition) the proper order is much the same:

Father of the Bride
Best Man


So, having said that, after a round sampling or US, English and
Austrailian traditions, the general consensus on speech order
etiquette at weddings it seems is almost overwhelmingly in agreement
that, at a minimum, the Father of the Bride speaks first, followed by
the Groom or Bridegroom (in whichever order you prefer) and then the
Best Man.

I hope you find that my answer exceeds your expectations. If you have
any questions about my research please post a clarification request
prior to rating the answer. Otherwise I welcome your rating and your
final comments and I look forward to working with you again in the
near future. Thank you for bringing your question to us.

Best regards;
Tutuzdad-ga ? Google Answers Researcher


Defined above



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rubyfriday-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $10.00
Thank you - this was very helpful.

Subject: Re: Wedding Speeches
From: bec78202-ga on 09 Feb 2006 07:07 PST
Ruby-Friday, if your wedding has been and gone, I hope it went well,
if not, here's another suggestion for the order of speeches - a
combination of what my sister and cousins have done at each of their

Master (or mistress) of Ceremonies (if there is one)
Father of the Bride
Father of the Groom
Maid/Matron of Honour
Best Man
Anyone else (particularly siblings if not part of the bridal party)

Personally I'd like to see the mothers have their say, and I plan to
ask my mum to make a speech if and when I ever find a guy to marry. 
Maids/Matrons of Honour have tongues, and in my opinion, should
therefore make the speech for the bridesmaids, rather than the Best
Man speaking on their behalf.

As a guest at goodness only knows how many weddings, I have to say
that short and sweet is my preference for speeches.  Depending on the
order of ceremonies, people are hanging out for either their dinner or
the cutting of the cake, and would really rather speech-makers get to
the point.  This is especially true when small children are guests at
the reception, and even more so if at night, because they not only
need to be fed, but also put to bed at a halfway decent hour.

As for the placement of speeches throughout the reception, you can
have them all together, or space them out.  For example, rather than
45 minutes of various people droning on, thinking they're funny when
they tend not to be, you could have speeches at various intervals. 
The downside to this is when alcohol is available, and speeches are
slurred beyond recognition - also a reason not to have speeches late
in the proceedings.

At the end of the day, you should go with what feels right for you -
include as many or as few people as you like, and in whatever order
feels natural.  Traditions are simply things that were done once, and
people liked enough to repeat - they don't HAVE to be followed.

Good luck to you and any other brides or grooms-to-be who might read this.


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