Tim Willoughby writes about wedding speeches:
Love them or hate them, speeches are a key part of a wedding reception. Those speeches give guests an insight into who the bride and groom are, as well as their relationship, and are a chance for the hosts and the happy couple to speak to and thank their guests for attending. So what’s the best way to arrange these speeches—or just get them over with? Our experts weigh in.
Great wedding speeches are all about timing, both how long the speeches are and when they take place. You don’t want to disrupt the flow of the evening, but you also don’t want to wait so long that the speakers have either had too much to drink or have spent the whole night waiting to get the party started.
Here are a few options:
- Have Speeches Happen Right Away
Getting these formalities out of the way is great for two reasons: Your parents, bridal party and best man can enjoy the rest of the evening stress-free and they can serve to set the tone for the night, too. If you want to kick the night off with speeches, schedule them to happen as soon as everyone has sat down or after the starter. Make your grand entrance, take your seats, then ask the first person (usually the hosts of the event i.e. Bestman) to take the microphone. You can have the speeches all happen back to back or take a little break between speeches so your hotel staff can serve the first course, picking up the microphone again after the salad plates are down. Some weddings have delivered the speeches in the hotel lobby before they actually enter the food hall.
- Wait Until Starters Are Served
Another great option (that still has those speeches happening early in the evening) is to hold off until guests are served their main course. This part of the meal is the longest, so it allows for a little more time for talking without interruptions from the hotel staff. Make sure your hotel staff serves your VIP tables first, so anyone giving a toast can enjoy their meal while it’s hot. Then, as other tables are being served, they can get up and make their speech with a captive audience.
- Kick Off the Dancing With Speeches
The third option is to have speeches at the tail end of the meal when your speechmakers will still have plenty of time to enjoy the reception when they’re done. You can either have them get up to speak at the end of the meal or invite them to take the stage when it’s time to dance. Schedule the speeches, then head straight into the cake cutting. Finish off with your first dance and parent dances, then open up the dance floor!