What is the etiquette for order of speeches?

Good Morning Lovelies and Happy Monday, today we want to talk about one of our most asked questions by our couples, what is the etiquette for order of speeches? The trends are always forever changing when it comes to weddings especially, however we are here to give you all the information you need around traditional speeches and modern speech etiquette. So let's get into it...


Sussex Wedding Couple in Marquee Wedding watching speeches

Traditional Order of Speeches

When considering the order of your speeches, the first thing you should do is speak with your caterer and wedding planner. We base our wedding timelines on two things, speeches and food. We all know too well behind the scenes how speeches can effect the food delivery (which we will come onto further below), as all your guests will want to ensure their wedding meal is piping hot!


Traditionally the order of speeches would be in the following order:


Father of the Bride

Groom

Best Man

Other Wedding Party Members


Sussex Wedding Couple in Greentrees Estate, with Father of the Bride performing wedding speech

Modern Order of Speeches

There is no set rule for order of speeches when it comes to modern wedding planning, why? As millennials we all want to be different and make our weddings about us! We want to break those wedding traditions and come up with new exciting ideas. More commonly we will still see Father of the Bride going first or alternatively a brother or close family member. This is then shortly followed by the Best Man/Best Woman with anyone else in-between. Lastly, the Groom or Bride go finally, and yes, it is becoming very popular for a Bride to do a speech at their wedding.


Wedding Toasting Photograph

What time should you hold your speeches?

It is very important that you liaise with your wedding planner and caterer on this, with a proposed timeline in advance. We cannot stress how important this is, as timing is everything on your wedding day. Whilst we are the masters behind managing time, if a speech takes too long, or is too short this can have a knock-on effect during the rest of the day. We usually liaise directly with our couples to ensure that the allocated time slots are kept to. Your wedding planner will be on hand to inform the catering team should there be any delays.


Speeches after your Wedding Breakfast

Ideally, speeches should be held after the meal. There is then no delay to meal service and you can relax whilst having had a few drinks beforehand. More commonly however, public speaking is becoming more daunting and causing anxiety within wedding party guests. As a result, couples have chosen different timings for their speeches but unfortunately this isn't ideal.


Speeches during a Wedding Breakfast Course

Speeches during a wedding meal course, increasingly popular so that wedding party members are not waiting for long amounts of time and therefore not enjoying their evening due to the worry of their speech. We highly advise against this due to the knock-on effect when timings run over. Caterers can adjust before food is prepared, but once cooking begins, it cannot be stopped. We have seen more times than none Caterers experience high amounts of stress (and us planners too) when we have to hold fire on serving mains due to speeches causing a delay. If you still want to go ahead with this order, we suggest a large gap and ideally doing this after the main course has been served.


Speeches before your Wedding Breakfast

Still popular is speeches before your wedding breakfast is served, whilst this is better than during the course it can still logistically causing problems with timing. Ensure that your wedding planner is made aware of your list of speeches and how long you expect them to be. We would then liaise with the caterer staff and add a "buffer" to the timing to ensure if anything is delayed, it won't cause any issues. We also advise that you serve a cold starter, so if delays happen, the food is already cold so there are no issues.


Wedding Couple holding Pink Champagne at The Berkeley, London

Modern Alternatives to Wedding Speeches

We are so excited that we are moving into trends where we don't just read from notebook for our wedding speeches! Modern alternatives to wedding speeches are on the increase and we have seen some exciting ones take place over the course of this year. We've listed a few of our favourites:


Personalised Speech Songs

This is perfect if you are nervous about public speaking, there are musicians that specialise in turning your speeches into bespoke songs to be performed. They are usually quite interactive and it keeps your guests engaged, nobody wants a long boring speech!


Joint Speeches

If you feel nervous it's a great idea to do a joint speech with your partner! We see couples doing their speeches together and it works perfectly. All the guests are really engaging because of course, it is the married couple, but it takes a lot of the pressure off having to do the wedding speech on your own.


We hope you have found this blog useful and will help give you the information you need to ensure your wedding day speeches run smoothly! If you need any further assistance you can contact us by emailing hello@illyelizabethweddings.com


Photo Credits | Photo 1 - Schmittat Photography | Photo 2 - Matthew Scott Photography | Photo 3 - Unsplash | Photo 4 - Jessica Lily Photography |