The day of the wedding can be crazy and hectic as the people that you love most gather to celebrate you tying the knot. Things are often a whirlwind and there’s a lot going on, but it’s important to give those who mean most to you a few moments to say some kind words. Yes, we’re talking about wedding speeches.
Who Should Say One?
Typically, the Best Man, Maid of Honor, and the parents of either spouse say a few words at the wedding reception. These are the people that know you best and should be encouraged to speak at the reception to share in the joy of the big day. If the Maid of Honor of Best Man for some reason aren’t comfortable giving a speech, you can either skip their speech or pass the duty off to someone who is more eager to get up. Finally, while not necessarily a formal “speech,” religious couples can allow one of their Godparents to give the blessing before dinner.
How to Give Feedback
While some people don’t let the bride and groom in on the contents of the speech before the big day, others do. If you’re not sold on the speech—like the fact that the Best Man mentions they met the Bride at Spring Break and she was intoxicated—try to nicely bring up another shared memory that you think of more fondly and ask that they incorporate that instead.
How to Politely Decline an Unwanted One
People can become overbearing at weddings and that includes everything from demanding a plus one to asking to give a wedding speech. If someone asks to give a wedding speech at the reception, tell them that you’re very touched, but that all of the speeches have already been planned and there’s no more time to allot to another one. To soften the blow, you can also tell them that you’ve turned down some other well-wishes so they do not feel personally offended. If this person is close to you and you think would give a nice speech, you can also offer to let them give a speech at the rehearsal dinner the night before.
Another good idea is to give your DJ strict orders that no one is allowed to get on the microphone and give a speech during the dancing. Some people—especially after a few drinks—might feel emboldened to grab the microphone and say a few words, but not only do these unplanned speeches rarely turn out well, they also ruin the flow of the night. Tell your DJ up front that the only speeches will be before or after dinner, and that no one else is allowed to speak.
When to Do Them
Speeches are typically given at different times depending on the couple’s preference. Usually, the Best Man speaks first, followed by the Maid of Honor, and then the parents of the bride and groom. If this happens before dinner, the speeches will be followed by the dinner blessing, if appropriate. If you decide to do speeches after dinner, the blessing would be before dinner, and the other speeches would follow dinner in the same order.
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