The order of wedding speeches
Who speaks when at a wedding reception.
While tradition dictates that formal wedding speeches be set out in a certain order, some things have changed slightly over the last few decades, while others remain the same. First to speak is always the father of the bride who has the job of warming up the guests to listen to a round of speeches. The father of the bride will usually make an amusing comment on his new son-in-law and perhaps recall an amusing incident when he was first brought home to meet his new bride's father.
The groom speaks next and he will generally thank his new father-in-law, thank the guests for the presents and a nice touch is to thank the bride for being his wife.
Although not strictly traditional, more and more fathers of the groom are standing up to speak nowadays and, if this is the case, his slot would be after the groom's speech. The father of the groom will normally find a funny childhood anecdote concerning his son and welcome his daughter-in-law into the family.
The best man is always the last male to speak and it is his job to thank all the guests for coming, with particular reference to the maid of honour, the bridesmaids, flower girls and ushers. The best man's speech is usually the one the guests have been waiting for and should be amusing without being embarrassing and be spoken with sincerity and genuine affection for the newly married couple.
Modern weddings often include a speech from the bride and, if this is applicable, she should follow the best man. If the matron of honour or chief bridesmaid wishes to speak they will follow the bride. Wedding speeches are, in the main, held after the meal when guests are more relaxed and the speeches will be well received.