The traditional wedding speech order is
- Father of the bride
- Best man
- (all possibly introduced by an MC)
Of course we’re increasingly seeing women in the line up – either replacing a male speaker or in addition to the bloke. While we’re all for a bit of equality on the wedding mic we still recommend having no more than four speakers (certainly if their speech is more than five mins long).
We also encourage ‘alternative’ speakers – maybe grandpa might offer some quirky advice to the newlyweds or it’s always lovely to see children getting involved; maybe reading a short poem they’ve written.
In terms of scheduling the speeches… rather than clump all the speeches either before or after the meal, have one speech following each course. We’re sure all the speeches will be corkers but guests don’t like to wait too long before tucking into their salmon souffle. The speeches also give wedding guests (who might be relative strangers) something to talk about and bond over.
Another idea is to schedule the best man’s speech for when people arrive for the evening reception. It’s a nice way to kick start the night and for new guests to get a flavour of the day. This idea relies on the best man not sampling the fine wines too early in the day, as that takes the concept of staggering the speeches a bit too far. (We have genuinely seen a ‘best man duo’ whose cider intake resulted in their speech becoming more of a slur. Mother of the bride was not impressed).