August 9

Things to Know: Speech Etiquette

There’s no better time to raise a glass and laud a favorite couple than on their wedding day, and speeches offer the perfect opportunity for loved ones to share their happiness for the newlyweds as they start their new life together. Embrace this time-honored tradition with the following tips and you’ll likely contribute to some of the most memorable moments of the weekend.

The Rehearsal Dinner

Since the rehearsal dinner is a casual get-together with close friends and family, this is the time for more informal speeches. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • After a few words from the host (usually the groom’s parents), the floor is open for speakers. This is the opportune time for bridesmaids, groomsmen and siblings, as well as anyone else who wants to speak, to seize the moment and toast the happy couple.
  • Embarrassing speeches, as hilarious as some people might find them, are bound to leave a bad taste in some guests’ mouths. Resist the urge to bring up past relationships, inside jokes, drunken anecdotes or anything else that might make people cringe. Humor is sure to be a crowd-pleaser, but make it sincere.
  • Speak from the heart! Even if you trip up your words a little, they’ll come across more genuinely if it doesn’t feel rehearsed.
  • On that note, practice a few times until it’s familiar and try to avoid reading from a note card.

The Reception

The reception is a more formal, time-sensitive setting that should be limited to traditional speeches. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • The time for toasts should be decided by the bride and groom prior to the wedding. Many couples reserve the time before or after cutting the cake, while others choose to have the speeches once everyone is seated for the meal. Generally, any time when people are gathered or in their seats is ideal.
  • The couple should delegate the order of toasts well before the wedding so each person knows when to speak. Traditionally, here’s how it should go:
  1. Best man
  2. Maid of honor
  3. Groom or bride, or both together
  4. Parents (the hosting party should speak first)
  • 2-3 minutes is an appropriate time limit. Keep it short, sweet and above all, genuine.
  • Make it count! When else will you have this kind of opportunity?

Are you the maid of honor for a friend’s upcoming wedding? Get great tips on how to write the perfect speech in this guest post from Dessy Group’s Bridesmaid Blog!


January 8

Rant or Rave: Embarrassing Toasts

A maid of honor too shy to utter a single word. Groomsmen who refuse to stop talking. Fathers who burst into tears in the middle of their speeches—I’ve seen wedding toasts turn bad in too many ways to count.

But, despite all the rest, if there’s one type of toaster that I find wholly inappropriate—if not downright subversive—it’s the bridesmaid or groomsman who insists on “embarrassing” the bride and groom with a story no one else thinks is funny.


Sharing, for instance, that the bride used to only date tanned, six foot-tall, 250 pound body builders before marrying her scrawny little pale husband isn’t going to charm or delight anyone at the wedding. Similarly, if you had to help the groom choose between the bride and her roommate when he first asked her out, that’s a story you should never EVER tell the bride—let alone her entire extended family.

I always want to slink away whenever an embarrassing speaker has the floor. What about you? Do you think it’s okay to share inside jokes and other embarrassing stories during your wedding toast? Where do you draw the line? Rant or rave about it!


August 20

Link Love: Tips for the Best Best Man Toast

The best man’s wedding toast can either be a highlight of the reception or a horribly awkward lull. To make sure that the best man at your wedding delivers the charming speech you know he is capable of, forward him these links and help direct the course of his delightful musings on the bride and groom:

-Want to make sure he’s prepared? Show him this YouTube video of one of the WORST best man speeches ever caught on tape. This poor guy even made it on the Style Network as an example of a wedding toast gone wrong!

-Ease his pain after the first YouTube video with this great best man speech. We love the super sweet toast he gives at the beginning, and that his jokes are tasteful, funny and at the groom’s expense!

-Now that you’ve given him something to aspire to, send him The Knot‘s step-by-step instructions for crafting a great best man speech.

Speech Help Topics also has some great ideas if he is still looking for inspiration.

-Then, help him ease his nerves with these tips from Best Man Speech UK, and enjoy his witty toast with all your friends and family!