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Order of Wedding Speeches

The wedding speech order is a historical tradition. It is important to understand the customary order of the wedding speeches and the modern changes to the wedding speech order in order to understand wedding etiquette.

The formal order of the wedding speeches is:

1. father of the bride
2. the groom
3. the best man

In modern times, it is not uncommon for the bride, maid of honor or even some guests to say a few words.

The speech segment of the reception is usually held after the meals but there’s no reason why the speeches cannot be before the meal.

Formal Order of the Wedding Speeches

Father of the bride
The first speech is given by the Father of the Bride. To see a sample Father of the Bride speech click here.

Firstly, you want to thank the guests for sharing in the celebration. In particular, you might want to thank guests that are from out of town. Secondly, you want to at least acknowledge the financial contributions to the wedding. Most commonly this will be the groom’s family.

The core of the speech is a tribute to the bride. You’ll want to highlight her positive attributes and maybe even make a few jokes at some of her well-known flaws. In this segment, most people compliment the bride on her beauty and grace. Next you’ll want to welcome the groom into the family. Finally you will end the speech with a toast to the bride and groom.

Commonly this is the second speech of the evening. To see a sample groom speech click here.

You will want to compliment the father of the bride for his kind words. Secondly you want to thank the guests for their participation and their generous gifts. You then want to thank both sets of parents for their contribution to the wedding and for being wonderful parents over the years. You will then want to compliment the beautiful bride. The bridegroom may also want to thank the best man for fulfilling his obligations. Finally the bridegroom will deliver toast to the bridesmaids.

Best Man

In a traditional wedding speech order, the last speech is saved for the Best Man. To see an example of a Best Man speech click here.

The first order of business is to thank the groom for the toast to the bridesmaids. Secondly the best man will want to comment on the happy couple. For example, you might want to mention how the groom has changed since meeting his lovely bride. Normally, the best man’s speech is expected to be humorous. A few gentle jokes about the groom are common. The best man also has the duty to read any cards or messages from absent relatives or guests. Finally, the best man will make a toast to the bride and groom. To help you prepare for the best man speech you can use this resource.

Modern Changes to the Wedding Speech Order

The Bride

Modern wedding speech order will often feature speeches by the bride and maid of honor.

Firstly, the bride will thank the guests for coming and sharing in the celebration. Secondly, the bride will express gratitude to her parents and bridesmaids. The bride will pay compliments to her handsome groom. The bride will then make a toast. There is no formal protocol as to the recipient of the toast. Most brides choose to toast their husbands.

The Chief Bridesmaid or the Maid of Honor

The first duty is to thank the bride for choosing you as her maid of honor. You will then want to pay compliments to the groomsmen. Finally, you will prepare a toast which will usually be the bride.