Wondering how long to allow for wedding speeches? What is the average wedding toast length? Let’s discuss it so you can plan accordingly.
Some of the major exciting events of the wedding reception are the toasts. Let’s talk about how long a wedding toast should be, who gives wedding toasts, and how much time to allow for wedding speeches to give ample time.
Here’s a video if you prefer watching vs. reading!
This question was sent in to us from bride-to-be, Brianne, who wants to know how much time to allow for wedding toasts. She writes,
“Dear Emmaline, I’m planning a wedding and wondering how long should a wedding toast be? We have a Maid of Honor, a Best Man, and my father wants to do a blessing before dinner. How much time do wedding speeches usually take?”
Great question! Let’s tackle these questions one at a time.
How Long Should Speeches at a Wedding Be?
As a rule of thumb, wedding toasts should take no longer than 3 to 5 minutes each. If you allow 10 minutes for the Best Man and the Maid of Honor to do their speeches, that should be plenty of time. I would include an extra 5 minutes for your father’s blessing. It probably won’t take 5 minutes, but it does take a few extra minutes between each speech as the Best Man asks guests to toast, passes the mic on to the Maid of Honor, you allow for a little pause for tears of joy, etc. :)
In general, I would always estimate the wedding speeches to take no less than 10-15 minutes for 3 speakers. For 2 wedding toasts, allow 7-10 minutes minimum.
How Long Is a Wedding Speech?
If you need advice to pass on to your Best Man and Maid of Honor giving speeches — dad, too! — here’s a helpful tip on equating the time it takes to give a wedding toast to the length of the speech itself.
Typically, you will want to aim for a word count of 700 to 750 words which equates to a speaking time of approximately 3 to 5 minutes. You will want to remind them to speak normally — and don’t speed up too much! Most people get nervous and give their speeches too quickly vs. taking too long.
But if you have a friend who is long-winded or wants to give an 8-page report on how you met, ask them to cut it down to approximately 800 words or less. That should do the trick in making the time of wedding speeches ample for the reception.
Why You Should Set a Time Limit on Wedding Toasts?
It is important to plan out your wedding timeline appropriately and allow enough time for wedding toasts to take place. Why? This is because the caterer is preparing dinner and wants it to be ready in time, without having to wait too long. Guests are hungry, and if you take too long with wedding speeches, they’ll quickly lose interest.
Guests are pretty happy with listening to wedding toasts, generally no longer than the 10-minute mark. If you have a long list of people who want to make wedding speeches, but you’re worried about time, ask each one to keep it short and sweet. Giving the toast is a nice gesture, but taking too long with the speech can really add length to the dinner portion — and guests are generally ready to chow down right away.
Who Gives Speeches at Weddings?
Traditionally, you’ll have a speech by:
• The Best Man
• The Maid of Honor
• The Bride’s Parents
• The Groom’s Parents
• The Officiant (Blessing)
• Siblings of the Couple
How Many Speeches at a Wedding?
There are usually two wedding speeches given at the reception. There can be more or less, but remember: you really need to keep each under the 5 minute mark. Since you really have about 20 minutes to work with maximum, that means there are typically no greater than 4 speeches at a wedding.
What is the Wedding Speech Order?
After the DJ or emcee announces the start of the wedding toasts, the speech order usually goes in this manner:
1. The Best Man
The Best Man makes his wedding toast first.
2. The Maid of Honor
Next, the Maid of Honor gives her wedding speech.
If those are the only speeches given, the timeline will continue as planned.
If more people wish to give speeches, it would follow in this order:
3. The Bride’s Parents
4. The Groom’s Parents
That wraps it up! Now that you know how long the wedding toasts should be, read: How to Give a Wedding Toast: 7 Surefire Secrets That Work.
Thanks for writing and I hope it helps!