The Speech

Who should give a speech, how long should it be and what topics are off-limits in the speech?

The Father of the Bride:  This is the question we get most often regarding who should give a speech at the wedding reception.  Regarding the father of the bride, typically his speech is done at the rehearsal dinner along with any other non-traditional speeches such as the father of the groom and both mothers.  I must say the best wedding speech I ever heard, and we’ve heard thousands, was given by the father of a Groom! Conversely, the worst, and most embarrassing speech I ever witnessed was also given by the groom’s father!

The following are typical speech givers:

  • The Bridesmaid/maiden
  • The Best Man

The bride and groom occasionally give a quick thank you address.

Infrequently the bride has more than one maid of honor and/or the groom has more than one best man.  In these cases, both may want to give speeches. This can pose an issue if rules are not set down ahead of time.

Suggested Speech Rules:

  1. Timing – remember the guests are waiting to eat…
    1. The people giving the speech are not there to give a chronological biography of your life or your friendship.
    2. The speech is not about the person giving the speech, nor is it about showing off their speaking skills.
    3. No speech should last longer than 4 minutes.
    4. Combined, the entire speech-time should not be longer than 15 minutes.
  2. Content – remember the occasion!
    1. Thank you for picking me!
    2. How you met or how the couple met, but not more than one story.
    3. One anecdote illustrating the couple’s personality.
    4. A wish or request for future happiness/prosperity.

It isn’t always easy to have a discussion like this with the person(s) set to give the speech, and yet, if they understand this day is about you, your wedding, and your guests having fun, they will understand.  After all, you picked them because you are the best of friends!

Best wishes for a lifetime of love and happiness,
The Wedding Gurus

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