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!

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About Jessy

Hometown: St. Louis, MO Favorite Color: Pistachio Favorite Movie Wedding Moment: The airplane scene in The Wedding Singer Jessy is a Jr. Writer at Tiny Prints. When she was seven, she declared herself "Jessy" (from her given name, Jessica) because she wanted to be a little different. Which is exactly what led her to Tiny Prints-her love for all things unique, memorable and personal! Letterpress printing makes her swoon and she has an affinity for fresh designs with a hint of vintage. In addition to her passion for paper goods, Jessy loves dogs, llamas, autumn, farmers' markets, live music, skeleton keys, extra sprinkles, beating boys in sports, running, antique stores and a book that’s hard to put down.

2 thoughts on “Things to Know: Speech Etiquette

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