Do bridesmaids give speeches at the reception? Who gives speeches at weddings? Can you have a wedding without toasts? We’re answering all of these important questions for your wedding reception in today’s post. Be sure to join the list for the latest wedding etiquette to your inbox!
Who gives a toast or a speech at the wedding? This is the latest question from bride-to-be, Cate, who writes,
“I have 5 bridesmaids in my wedding (one is my Maid of Honor). I know the Maid of Honor usually gives a speech, but do bridesmaids give speeches, too? Who gives a speech at the wedding? Thank you in advance!”
Great question, Cate!
Here is the order of events and a list of who gives a toast at a wedding.
Although not required, your parents can make a toast at your wedding if they wish to. Whoever is hosting the event should speak first and this is typically right when the reception begins. Guests find their seats and the parents of the bride (usually the Father of the Bride) can take the microphone and welcome guests to the event. It can be short and sweet, followed by a toast to the couple.
If the parents of the groom also wish to speak, it occurs after the bride’s parents.
Of course, your parents can:
• skip a toast altogether
• change the order of who speaks first
• blend the welcome toast into the blessing, right before the meal is served
The Best Man
The Maid of Honor
Wedding Speeches and Toasts Order
The speeches, in this order, are:
The Welcome Toast
-Given by the Father of the Bride or Groom
Blessing Before Meal
Right before dinner is served, a blessing before eating is given by the Father of the Bride or the officiant.
The Best Man and Maid of Honor Speeches
The Best Man speaks first, followed by the Maid of Honor.
Optional: The couple may then greet their guests with a short toast to thank them for attending.
Wedding Speech Tips
Here are a few tips to keep in mind.
Can bridesmaids give speeches? There is a difference between do bridesmaids give speeches vs. can bridesmaids give speeches.
At my own wedding, the Best Man and the Maid of Honor were the only ones to give speeches; did any bridesmaid give speeches at weddings you’ve attended? I’ve attended weddings where many speeches or wedding toasts took place, including all of the bridesmaids, or one bridesmaid, and another wedding where two groomsmen gave their own speeches because they were co-Best Men.
If a bridesmaid wishes to give a speech, there is no rule that states she cannot (the same applies to a groomsman).
Give speech-givers a time limit.
If anyone is giving a speech, be sure to limit the time of it to flow with the reception timeline. If bridesmaids give speeches (or groomsmen), limit it to approx. 2 or 3 short speeches or have the groomsmen/bridesmaids give speeches together as a group.
Make sure guests have a drink for toasting.
At the end of most wedding speeches, they ask guests to ‘raise a glass and toast the couple’. If there are no drinks, they cannot raise a glass and toast! What should you do?
Here are a few suggestions:
• Have the bar open when the reception begins so guests can take a drink to their table with them
• Have a server offer champagne to guests upon arrival
Or this one by GingerRay:
Guests are happy to listen and will pay attention, but you don’t want them to lose interest or have to wait a long time to eat dinner. You’ll also want your timeline to go according to the original plan with your MC or DJ, hence the time limit suggestion.
How many wedding speeches is too many?
We recommend no more than five speeches total. Most weddings have three speeches: a welcome or blessing, a speech from the Best Man, and a speech from the Maid of Honor.
How do you ask someone to give a speech at your wedding?
You can just ask them before the big day (tip: ask a few weeks prior so they can have something prepared). You can also give them a card, like this by CocoPressDesigns, to ask and make it official.
What is the Best Time for Wedding Speeches?
During dinner! You don’t want to make guests wait through the toasts to have dinner. To keep the night flowing, feed guests, and THEN do the wedding toasts.
Wedding WITHOUT Speeches?
Are you thinking about having a wedding without speeches? That’s fine, too! Wedding toasts or speeches are not a requirement. Although they are traditional, some couples prefer no speeches and that is completely up to their discretion. If you’re planning a wedding without speeches, guests will arrive at your reception, take a drink from the bar, and be seated. Your master of ceremonies / DJ will introduce the wedding party and the newlyweds, and then invite guests to begin dinner.
Does the groom have to give a speech?
Does the bride have to give a wedding speech?Does the father of the groom have to give a speech?
Does the father of the bride / groom have to give a speech?
You guessed it — no!
No one has to give a speech. It’s completely up to the couple. :)
Wedding Speech Bingo
If you’re looking to make the wedding toasts a little fun — and your reception is a little more relaxed or informal — offer these wedding speech bingo cards at your tables. It will be a fun way to have guests pay attention and cross off the squares as particular words are spoken during the wedding speeches. By PrintGoGo.
Don’t forget the mini pencils! By Inklings Paperie.
Hope that helps to answer your question, Cate, about do bridesmaids give speeches — and even more! :)
If you have other questions about who gives speeches at weddings, what speeches are given at the reception, or the order of wedding speeches and toasts, feel free to leave them in the comment box below + we’ll swoop in to help!