Order of Speeches at Weddings and Who Speaks

by Ryan Hart | Updated on September 22, 2023 | Post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Are you getting ready for your big day and wondering about the order of speeches at weddings? Don’t worry, you’re not alone!

The traditional wedding speech order has been around for centuries, but it can still be confusing to know who speaks when. In this article, we’ll break down the order of speeches and give you tips on how to make your wedding speeches memorable.

The reception speeches are a chance for your loved ones to share their love and support for you and your partner. It’s a time to reflect on the past, celebrate the present, and look forward to the future.

Whether you’re giving a speech or listening to others, it’s important to make the most of this special moment. So, let’s dive into the traditional order of speeches and how you can make your wedding speeches unforgettable.

Person giving a wedding speech

Wedding Speech Order

At a wedding, speeches are an important part of the celebration. They give the chance for loved ones to express their feelings and share memorable moments with the newlyweds. However, the order of speeches can be tricky, especially if you are not familiar with the traditional structure.

In this section, we will break down the order of speeches, so you can feel confident and prepared when it comes to your big day.

Traditional Order

Traditionally, the order of speeches at a wedding reception follows a specific structure:

The first speech is given by the father of the bride, or parents of the bride. This speech usually welcomes guests and thanks them for coming. The father of the bride will also express his love and pride for his daughter, and welcome his new son-in-law into the family.

The maid of honor is then given the floor to share some sweet memories and offer her support to the newlyweds.

Finally, the best man takes the stage to give a speech that is usually filled with funny stories and anecdotes about the groom. He also usually offers a toast to the newlyweds.

Modern Variations

While the traditional order of speeches is still widely followed, there are some modern variations that couples may choose to incorporate. For example, the bride may choose to give a speech, or the groom’s parents may give a speech as well.

It is also common to hear speeches from siblings, bridesmaids, or other family members and friends.

Couples may also choose to switch up the order of speeches or have multiple people speak at the same time. It’s important to remember that the structure of speeches should reflect the couple’s preferences and personalities.

Order for Same-Sex Couples

For same-sex couples, the order of speeches can be adjusted to fit their needs. While there is no set order for speeches, it’s common for one partner’s parents to speak first, followed by the other partner’s parents.

After that, the couple themselves may choose to give a speech, followed by their friends or family members.

The key is to make sure that everyone who wants to speak has the opportunity to do so and that the speeches are filled with love and support for the newlyweds. It’s important to remember that every wedding is unique and that the order of speeches can be tailored to fit the couple’s preferences and needs.

Who Gives Speeches at a Wedding?

At a wedding, there are several folks who typically step up to the microphone to give speeches and share their heartfelt thoughts. Here’s a rundown of who you can expect to see giving speeches at a wedding:

Bride and Groom

The bride and groom have several options for when and how they can give their speeches at their wedding. Here are some potential options:

Rehearsal Dinner: The night before the wedding, during the rehearsal dinner, the bride and groom can give a speech to express their gratitude to everyone for being a part of their celebration. This is often a more intimate setting and allows for a more personal and heartfelt speech.

Before the Reception Dinner: Some couples choose to give their speeches just before the formal reception dinner begins. This can be a great way to kick off the evening and set the tone for the celebration. It also ensures that everyone is seated and attentive.

After Dinner with the Other Speeches: The bride and groom can opt to give their speeches as part of the lineup of speeches and toasts during the reception. They may follow the speeches by the Maid of Honor, Best Man, parents, or other close friends and family members. This is a common choice and allows the couple to share their thoughts and gratitude in the midst of the celebration.

During Cake Cutting: Some couples opt to give speeches right before or after the cake cutting ceremony. It adds a special moment to the festivities and often garners the attention of all the guests as they gather around to watch the cake cutting.

Ultimately, the timing and format of the bride and groom speeches depend on their preferences and the flow of their wedding day. They should choose the option that feels most comfortable and meaningful to them, as well as one that fits well with the overall schedule of events. The important thing is to express their love, gratitude, and excitement for their new journey together.

Mother or Father of the Bride

As the mother or father of the bride, you have a special role to play in the wedding reception. Traditionally, you are the first speaker to give a toast, and your speech is often one of the most sentimental and emotional speeches of the evening.

During your speech, you will typically welcome guests and thank them for coming to celebrate this special day with your family. You may also share some memories of your daughter growing up and express your love and pride for her on her wedding day.

It’s important to remember that your speech should be heartfelt and genuine, and not overly rehearsed or formal. Speak from the heart, and let your emotions show as you share your thoughts and feelings with your daughter and her new spouse.

Mother or Father of the Groom

The mother or father of the groom typically gives their speech at the rehearsal dinner, which is usually held the night before the wedding.

The rehearsal dinner is a more intimate gathering, where the wedding party and close family members come together to practice the ceremony and enjoy a meal. This is a great opportunity for the parents of the groom to express their love and support for their son and his future spouse.

The mother or father of the groom may share some stories about their son, offer some words of wisdom, and express their excitement for the upcoming wedding day. Overall, the speech is a way for the parents of the groom to show their love and support for the happy couple.

Best Man

The best man usually gives his speech after the maid of honor and before any other speeches at a wedding. The best man’s speech is typically filled with funny stories and anecdotes about the groom, but it should also be heartfelt and express his support for the newlyweds.

Ultimately, the best man’s speech should be a reflection of his relationship with the groom and his wishes for the couple’s future together.

When preparing your best man speech, it’s important to strike a balance between humor and sincerity. You want to make the guests laugh, but you also want to express your genuine affection for the groom and your happiness for the couple.

Remember to keep it appropriate for all ages and avoid any inside jokes that only a select few will understand.

Maid of Honor

In the traditional order of wedding speeches, the maid of honor typically gives her speech after the father of the groom and before the best man. Her speech is all about the bride and her relationship with the groom.

During her speech, the maid of honor may share some funny stories or sweet memories about the couple, but her speech should also be heartfelt and show how much she supports the newlyweds.

She may also thank the bride’s family for welcoming the groom into their lives and express her gratitude for being a part of the wedding celebration.


Grandparents are an important part of any family, and they may be given the opportunity to give a speech at a wedding.

In many cases, grandparents will give their speech during the reception, after the main speeches have been given. Grandparents may offer some words of wisdom, share some stories about the couple, or express their love and support for the newlyweds.

While grandparents are not typically included in the traditional order of wedding speeches, they are still an important part of the celebration. If you would like to include your grandparents in your wedding speeches, be sure to talk to them ahead of time and give them an idea of what you would like them to say.


Well, it’s not set in stone, but there are a few common times when siblings might get up to say a few words at a wedding.

Maid of Honor or Best Man Speech: If your sibling is the Maid of Honor or Best Man, they usually get a chance to give a speech during the reception. They’ll share funny stories, heartfelt moments, and wish the newlyweds all the best. It’s a big honor!

As a Surprise: Sometimes, siblings plan a surprise speech. They might talk to the bride and groom beforehand and get a secret spot in the schedule. This can be a super touching moment because it’s unexpected.

During Open Mic Time: At some weddings, there’s an open mic time where guests can come up and share their well wishes. Siblings can use this opportunity to say a few words if they want.

At the Rehearsal Dinner: If there’s a rehearsal dinner before the wedding, siblings might give a speech there. It’s a more intimate setting, so it can be a great chance to express your love and support.

Toast with Everyone: Sometimes, there’s a big toast where everyone raises their glasses to the newlyweds. Siblings can definitely participate in this and say a few words if they’d like.

Remember, it’s not a must for siblings to give a speech at a wedding, but if you want to, just make sure to coordinate with the couple or the wedding planner so you know when and where to do it.

Best Friends

If you’re the Maid of Honor (for the bride) or the Best Man (for the groom), you’re almost guaranteed to give a speech. It’s like your time to shine! You’ll get to stand up in front of everyone, share funny stories, and say some super sweet stuff about your friend.

But even if you’re not in those roles, there are still opportunities. Sometimes, during the wedding reception, there’s an open mic period where friends and family can give speeches. That’s your chance to grab the microphone and say some heartfelt words about your bestie and the happy couple.

Oh, and don’t forget the rehearsal dinner! It’s usually the night before the wedding, and it’s a cozy, smaller gathering. You might be asked to speak there, kind of like a warm-up for the big day.

Other Speakers

Aside from the traditional speakers, you may choose to involve other speakers in your wedding speeches. These could be close friends or family members who have a special connection to you and your partner. Including other speakers can add a personal touch to your wedding and make it more memorable for everyone involved.

Before choosing additional speakers, consider the size of your wedding and the amount of time you have allotted for speeches. It’s important to keep in mind that the more speakers you have, the longer the speeches will be. You don’t want your guests to get bored or restless during the speeches.

If you do decide to include other speakers, make sure they are comfortable with public speaking and have enough time to prepare their speech. You can also provide them with some guidelines or suggestions to help them craft a meaningful and appropriate speech.

It’s also a good idea to let your other speakers know the order of speeches and when they will be speaking. This will help them prepare and ensure that the speeches flow smoothly. You can also consider having a designated MC or host to introduce the speakers and keep the speeches on track.

Remember to keep your audience in mind when choosing additional speakers. You want to make sure that the speeches are engaging and relevant to everyone in attendance. With a little planning and consideration, including other speakers can make your wedding speeches even more special and memorable.

Master of Ceremonies

The Master of Ceremonies (MC) is a crucial part of any wedding reception. Their primary role is to ensure the smooth flow of events throughout the day. They act as a host and guide, making announcements and introducing speakers as the day progresses.

The MC is responsible for keeping the guests informed about what is happening and when. They work closely with the wedding planner to ensure that the wedding timeline is followed, and all the activities are executed as planned. They are the ones who inform the guests when it’s time for speeches, games, and traditions.

During the wedding reception, the MC will introduce the newlyweds and announce the start of the meal. They will also announce when it’s time for speeches, and introduce the speakers in the correct order. They will ensure that the speeches are kept to the allotted time and that everyone who wants to speak gets a chance.

At the rehearsal dinner, the MC will go over the plan for the wedding day and ensure that everyone knows their role. They will also go over the order of speeches and ensure that everyone is comfortable with their position.

Overall, the MC is a crucial part of any wedding reception. They keep the day running smoothly and ensure that everyone is informed about what is happening. If you are planning a wedding, be sure to choose an experienced MC who can handle the responsibility and guide you through the day with ease.

Joint Speeches

If you and your partner want to give a joint speech at your wedding, it’s a great way to share your love story with your guests. Joint speeches are becoming more popular, and for good reason. They allow both the bride and groom to express their feelings and share their thoughts with their loved ones.

When giving a joint speech, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, make sure you both agree on what you want to say. You don’t want to surprise each other with your words on the big day. Take some time to plan your speech together and make sure you’re both comfortable with what you’ll be saying.

Second, decide who will say what. You can split the speech up evenly, or have one person start and the other finish. Whatever you decide, make sure it flows well and tells your love story in a way that’s meaningful to both of you.

Finally, practice your speech together. This will help you feel more comfortable and confident when it’s time to give the speech. You can even practice in front of friends or family members to get feedback and make any necessary changes.

Remember, your joint speech should be a reflection of your love for each other and your excitement for your future together as newlyweds. Keep it heartfelt, sincere, and true to yourselves.

Rehearsal Dinner Speeches

The rehearsal is a crucial part of the wedding planning process, as it allows everyone involved in the wedding to practice and prepare for the big day. This includes the wedding party, family members, and anyone else who will have a role in the ceremony or reception.

Typically, the rehearsal takes place the day before the wedding, and it is usually followed by a rehearsal dinner. During the rehearsal, you will go through the ceremony from start to finish, so that everyone knows

The rehearsal dinner is a chance for everyone to relax and enjoy each other’s company before the big day. It is usually held at a restaurant or other venue, and it is a more casual affair than the wedding reception. During the rehearsal dinner, you can give speeches, toast the happy couple, and share stories and memories with your loved ones.

Final Thoughts

Congratulations on your big day! The order of speeches at weddings is an important tradition that can make your wedding reception even more special. By following the traditional order of speeches, you can ensure that everyone who wants to speak gets a chance, and that your guests are entertained and moved by the speeches.

As you plan your wedding, be sure to consider your own preferences and those of your partner. You may want to deviate from the traditional order of speeches, or you may want to add your own unique touches to the speeches. Whatever you decide, make sure that your speeches are heartfelt, sincere, and memorable.

If you are looking for more wedding ideas and inspiration, be sure to check out the ultimate guide to writing wedding speeches and toasts. This guide provides tips and advice on how to write and deliver a great wedding speech, as well as sample speeches and toasts to help you get started.

Remember, the order of speeches at weddings is just one of many traditions that make weddings so special. Whether you choose to follow tradition or put your own unique spin on things, your wedding day is sure to be a day that you and your guests will remember for years to come.

About the Author:
Ryan Hart

Ryan Hart is a certified relationship coach and writer. His mission is to help make connections between people better, stronger, more meaningful, and longer lasting using technology.

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