Post # 1
I’m trying to decide who should speak at our reception! I know our best man will not be giving a speech (long story), but my MOH, my sister, will be giving one. We are trying to think of who else would be a good candidate for speaking, but don’t know what is done “traditionally”. So, I am opening this up to the floor. Are you planning to or did you have speeches? Who said them? Did you eschew common traditions in favour of who would deliver the most heartfelt speech? I also don’t want to bog down the reception too much with speeches, but I don’t want to put a ton of pressure on my sister.
Any thoughts would be appreciated.
Post # 2
We’re having my dad (Father of the bride), my FI’s best friend (best man), my sisters (Maids of Honor) and then we have sort of a strange tradition of the last person marrying into my mom’s side of the family giving a speech at the next wedding- so my uncle is also making a toast.
Post # 3
Father of the groom? Definitely you need someone on his side or it looks awkward. I went to a wedding last summer with open speeches and the groom got a ton and the bride zero though she’s lovely. It was so awful, but clearly it wasn’t something her side was into. One speech per side is the max I’d suggest you have – some people like them but most don’t want to sit and listen to those at all.
We skipped speeches altogether. First it was a small wedding, second, I don’t like the idea that people are telling someone they have to speak about them (sorry!). To me it’s on a par with asking for someone to throw me a party – if they want to, great, if they don’t, well that’s for them to decide. Also neither of us wants the attention – we skipped a lot of things that would ahve put the wedding focus on ourselves, barring the ceremony of course (and I’m fairly sure my husband would have skipped that if he could!)
Post # 4
My Dad did a welcome speech, and then our best man and MOH each did a speech later on. DH’s Dad also did a very short toast.
Post # 5
shyqueen12 : The hosts should make a toast to thank all of their guests, including the couple as the guests of honor. “Traditionally” the bride’s parents hosted so the FOB would do this one. It’s less common for bride’s parents to host (or be sole hosts) these days. If you are hosting your own wedding, then one or both of you should give the thank you toast and remember that this one is about your guests, not necessarily about yourselves as a couple. After the host’s thank you toast, the floor is open for others who wish to congratulate the happy couple. It’s logical and common for Best Man and/or MOH to want to give a toast, and also a parent or two if they didn’t already give a thank you toast. So it’s not a matter of assigning speeches, but more of gauging who will feel moved to give a toast. Since you already know MOH is, I would approach the parents next. Not “we’d like you to give a speech” but rather “would you like to give a toast?” If they decline, I’d check with siblings and close friends next. A thank you plus your MOH’s toast is actually enough though, so don’t worry if nobody else is up to it.
Post # 6
Groom’s parents did the welcoming toast, my parents did a speech, as did the best man, maid of honour and the two of us. We interspersed the speeches throughout dinner. So the speeches were going on while people were eating, and we did one or two at a time, not all of them. It was absolutely one of my favourite parts of the wedding (and the only part of the day where I really cried). I’ve had a lot of positive feedback on the speeches and the way they were mixed into the evening (not all crammed at the end when everyone wants to start dancing).
Post # 7
We didn’t do any speeches and we have no regrets. Well, actually my dad did a qucik like 20 second thank you.
My advice is do as few as possible. I’ve never heard a good speech at a wedding – they are usually boring and can be quite awkward and emabarrasing. Plus, they drag the reception down.
Post # 8
Thanks for all of these responses! I know that we should have someone speak from FI’s side, and we are thinking of approaching FMIL. My FFIL can sometimes get rambly, so we both agreed that it might be best to involve him in a more limited capacity. I know the two of us will have a bit of a thank you speech.
I agree that I don’t want to bog down the reception with speeches, so we might just leave it that. We have a lot of “characters” in our respective families, so we don’t want things to get out of hand with open speeches! 😛
Post # 9
We had several speeches but they were all pretty short. My dad gave a short welcome speech and introduced the best man, who gave a very funny speech that was written in poem form. My MOH gave a heartfelt speech and then FI’s uncle, who is always the life of the party, gave a funny speech too.
They weren’t overdone at all and the crowd seemed to like them. We had about 100 guests so everyone knew everyone and could relate to all the content.
Post # 10
Aside from my stepdad (as we’re having it in their backyard), anyone can give a speech so long as it’s under three minutes and they tell a joke.
Post # 11
I’m not doing speeches. No one in my family likes to give speeches and I don’t like listening to them at weddings.
Post # 12
My dad (the host) and my best friend are giving brief toasts. We have also asked FI’s father if he wants to speak, but English isn’t his first language so he’s not sure he’s up to it…he’s still mulling it over. FI’s brother is officiating the ceremony though and will say something about us then…so at least a representative from FI’s family will be speaking even if it’s not at the reception.
Also, disagree with pp that speeches are inherently bad. I have heard wedding toasts that brought me to tears (in a good way)…as well as ones that I cringed through the whole interminable time. The key is to ask someone who you know will be able to nail it…by planning their remarks ahead, keeping things brief, and focusing on the COUPLE!
All speeches (regardless of who is talking) should focus on BOTH bride and groom. I recently heard a father of the bride’s toast at a friend’s wedding who didn’t mention the groom’s name ONCE…the whole thing was about the bride …it was almost like a tribute to the father’s relationship with his daughter. Not the right venue for that buddy! So awkward.
Post # 13
We have my parents, his parents, best man, and matron of honour.
Post # 14
I think it’s good to distinguish between speeches and toasts. To me, a speech cannotes something long and more about the speaker being able to make a point than honoring the bride and groom. Toasts, however, are typically directed at wishing the couple well, and tend to be brief. I’m planning to have my father give a welcome toast before the salads are served, and then the MOH and BM give toasts before the entrees come out.