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When To Schedule The Speeches

When To Schedule The Speeches

Guess what? Your wedding speeches don’t need to be limited to three and they don’t need to be allocated to a ‘speech clump’ time zone. In fact, we’d go so far as to say, your speeches shouldn’t come packaged to bore. Schedule your speeches for maximum impact...

(*Of course, if you’re looking for more than ‘advice’, check out all the different ways the Speechy team can help you write & deliver a great speech. Or check out our new AI-powered team member, SpeechyAI.)

Once the Speechy team helps clients write (and possibly prepare to deliver) their wedding speech, the brides and grooms we work with often ask when they should schedule the toasts into the day. Before the wedding meal? After

WORLDWIDE TRADITIONS

In the US, speeches are just as common at the rehearsal dinner (the formal dinner prior to the wedding that the ‘top table’ are invited to) as the wedding day itself.

Meanwhile, in Scandinavian countries, there is often an invite for everyone to propose a toast at any point during the wedding dinner.

At many British weddings, the speeches are scheduled before the wedding meal; the idea is that everyone is officially welcomed to the wedding and the speakers are quickly able to relax (and tuck into the free wine!).

Of course, some couples opt for speeches after the wedding meal (or before the dessert), once everyone has eaten and had a chance to chat and drink. As a speaker, there’s certainly something to be said for your guests having had a bit of laughter-lubricant. Equally, you may find people are more likely to be rowdy so be prepared for some good-natured heckling.  

wedding speech scheduling

NEW IDEAS

An increasingly popular idea is separating your speeches so they’re spread between courses.   This works particularly well if you’re having more than 3 speakers.

For example…

  • Master of Ceremonies (MC) welcomes guests and intros first speaker
  • Father of the bride (5 mins)
  • STARTER
  • MAIN COURSE
  • MC welcomes second Speaker
  • Mother of the groom (5 mins)
  • MC welcomes third Speaker
  • Maid of honour (7 mins)
  • DESSERT
  • MC welcomes fourth Speakers
  • The Joint Couple Speech (9 mins)
  • MC welcomes fifth Speaker
  • Best man (7 mins)

Of course, if you’re having a wedding weekend, you have more time to play with… 

  • REHEARSAL DINNER – 2 speakers
  • PRIOR TO THE WEDDING DAY MEAL  – Spousal speech plus 2 speakers 
  • AFTER THE MEAL / DURING DESSERT – Everyone invited to propose a toast 

The benefit of having the speeches spaced out is that there’s less chance of the guests getting bored with the stand up, sit down routine of too many toasts one after the other. It’s also less likely that the speeches feel repetitive or overly lengthy.

However, as wedding influencer and Hitched Editor, Zoe Burke, points out, wedding photographers and catering staff can struggle with spread-out speeches as they make the day’s timings complicated.

‘I put a post out encouraging our Hitched nearlyweds to consider scheduling their speeches a bit differently and I got loads of DMs back from venues and photographers saying, please, stop recommending it! I’m still a fan but couples should definitely brief their suppliers in advance of the day so they’re fully prepared for the challenge.’

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From personal experience, several of the Speechy team know it’s possible to schedule speeches between courses, but it is important to give realistic estimates of the speech duration. Here’s what some other wedding influencers had to say about scheduling… 

‘I like it when the speeches come after the main course and before dessert as it means no one is left starving for too long.I remember going to a wedding where the speeches were before the food. Unfortunately, the speeches went on for an hour and a quarter, and what was even worse is I could smell the beef Wellington getting slowly killed in the kitchen. By the time it was served, everyone was famished and hammered, and the meal was close to ruined!’

Alison Hargreaves, Founder of Guides for Brides

‘The newlyweds might actually give a couple of speeches over the course of the celebration. The speeches at the rehearsal dinners are generally always great as it’s a more intimate audience and their speech on the wedding day might feel very different.’

Anna Price Olsen, Wedding Expert & Founder Editor of Brides

Ultimately, there’s no right and wrong. Speechy is a big fan of breaking up the speeches but, as you can see, not everyone agrees!

Schedule your speeches so they complement your day as a whole.

The Speechwriting Experts

The Speechy team are TV-trained scriptwriters/comedians by trade & we’ve helped 1,000s of speakers around the world deliver their dream speech.

Our advice has been quoted everywhere from The New York Times to Grazia and from Forbes to The Observer. Our founder has also featured on the BBC Sounds’ Best Men podcast with Jason Manford and written ‘The Modern Couple’s Guide to Wedding Speeches’, published by Little, Brown.

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We’re rated ‘Excellent' on Trustpilot for a reason...

''I had an unbelievable experience working with Speechy. From the moment I got in touch with them I felt supported and come the day of my best mans speech, it went down a storm with a standing ovation.''
''Speechy deserves more than 5 stars. (They) produced a factual, funny Mother of the Bride speech with just the right amount of emotion..... it was ingenious. Thank you so much for the wonderful & priceless memory of having delivered my speech at my daughter’s wedding and nailed it ... and got a standing ovation too. My children were very proud of me, including my new son-in-law! ''
''These Guys are tremendous! One main point is that its not their speech - its yours! This is because it is based totally around what you would like to say, but its the spin that Speechy puts on it, that is the magical bit... Ordinary words become a hilariously entertaining event. There were giggles, applauds, laughs, tears, cheers and standing ovation – all in that order!''
''Feeling anxious or stressed about an upcoming speech? Look no further than Speechy... I just delivered my Best Man speech this past weekend and absolutely crushed it. I was nervous leading up to the moment, but while delivering my speech, I didn't want the experience to end, the room was hooked, and laughing at every joke. Worth every penny... Thank you!''
''Navigating through the wedding industry often feels like you’re stuck on a conveyer belt....Speechy is the complete opposite. They treat you and your wedding like you’re the one and only. I couldn’t recommend them more.''
''Heidi and the whole team at Speechy are an absolute gem! In addition to their talent and extensive experience in speech writing, Heidi had an impressive way of listening to me talk about mine and my partners personal anecdotes, before putting it in such a funny and beautiful way that it felt as though she’d known us for years.''
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