Who Gives Speeches at Weddings


There are a myriad of things to think about and plan when organizing a wedding, especially your own – and the last thing you need is to stress over yet another aspect: wedding speeches. Here’s a fast guide that will teach you and your wedding party not only who gives speeches at weddings, but exactly how to give the most memorable, effortless and cringe-free toasts at the reception.

Who Should Grab the Microphone?

The Best Man

Traditionally, the first person to start the speech marathon at weddings is no other than the best man. Virtually no weddings these days end without the best man’s speech and it has become one of the most anticipated moments of a modern wedding. The goal to this particular speech is to get a closer look at the couple (through jokes, laughing and even a bit of crying) and have insight on why and how the two found love from someone very close to them – all in about 4 to 5 minutes. But no speech is complete without a few wishes for the future, so a great ending of the best man’s toast is wishing the happy couple his best in the name of all the wedding guests.

The Maid of Honor

Modern weddings give equal opportunities to the ladies of the wedding party, which is why the maid of honor is up there on the ‘Who Gives Speeches at Weddings’ list. Just like the best man, the maid of honor gets to share some of the couple’s quirks, history and fun facts and can either choose to go the sentimental or the funny route – or, even better, she can incorporate a bit of both in her speech.

The Parents of the Bride and Groom

The parents of the bride and groom should not be overlooked when it comes to giving wedding speeches, but their role is slightly different than the ones of the best man and maid of honor. In most cases, the father of the bride or a parent on each side chooses to welcome and thank the guests for attending the wedding, usually in under 3 minutes – they can choose to give their speech either at the beginning of the reception, emphasizing the welcoming aspect or after the best man’s speech.

The Bride and Groom

If what you are going for is a small, intimate wedding, then it is not unheard of wedding speeches coming from the bride and groom themselves. A smaller affair allows you to connect better with the guests and what better way is there than through a warm speech from the heart, loaded with a few thank you mentions and a sweet declaration of love to your partner. Moreover, you can choose to do a speech together after your best man and maid of honor grabbed the microphone – that way, the guests at the reception can get a closer look to you as a couple, your dynamics and love for one another.

But we can’t complete the chapter of ‘Who gives Speeches at Weddings’ without mentioning who should, under all circumstances, avoid grabbing the microphone – and that is anyone who is drunk. If it so happens that best man or maid of honor is drunk right before their scheduled speeches, then it is wiser to forgo the toast altogether than to deal with embarrassing revelations.

How to Give a Successful Speech

Giving a successful speech at a wedding is no piece of cake. And when we say ‘successful’, we mean a speech that manages to give the audience a wide range of emotions, preferably from joyful laughter to emotional, happy tears. While there is no strict recipe on how to do just that, there are a few tips you can follow in order to avoid giving a cringe-worthy wedding speech:

Keep It Short

When it comes to the duration of a successful wedding speech, moderation is the key – too short and it looks like you didn’t put enough effort and too long almost always means too boring. Ideally, you should not go over the 5 minute mark; have someone at the table warn you once you’ve gone over 4 minutes, so you can start wrapping it up.

Get Prepared

Many best men and maids of honor count on their spontaneity and improvisation capacity when it comes to giving speeches, but that’s totally risky and well, in most cases, it ends miserably. Having notes prepared (and rehearsed, over and over again) is always preferable to awkward pauses in your speech and jokes no one laughs at.

Add Some Humor

Anyone who gives speeches at weddings knows that an efficient success recipe is to always blend humor with sweet stories – humor is the best ingredient when it comes to successful wedding speeches and you should definitely try to give it a shot even if you’re not funny in real life. No one wants to hear a full on, 100% serious speech especially on a joyful occasion such as this.

Practice Is Important

Have someone else listen to your speech (with mimics and all) before the wedding day and give you feedback. Doing this will give you more confidence when talking in front of a room filled with people, plus it will make you adjust your jokes and funny stories so that they don’t slip in the embarrassing territory.

Speak from the Heart

No one is interested in hearing an ice cold speech coming from a person who’s supposed to be closest to the bride and groom. While you SHOULD rehearse your speech, make sure you give some room to express your emotions while you say the words in front of the happy couple and guests as well.