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Wedding Speeches – Roles, Hints and Tips

Wedding Speeches – Roles, Hints and Tips

Traditions at weddings are what you make them. After all it is your day and no one else’s. 

Here is an outline of what is considered a modern order of speeches. I’ll outline each one, the role and some tips. Remember though, it is your choice whom you have speak at your wedding.

That is, if you decide on any at all. See Wedding Speeches Should I or Shouldn’t I?


  • Master of ceremonies
  • Father / Mother of the bride
  • Father / Mother of the Groom
  • Groom
  • Bride
  • Maid / Matron of honour
  • Best Man

Wedding Speech Roles

The Master Of Ceremonies (MC)

You’re the ‘MAN’ , male or female, you are it. You’re the one running the show. You’ll be the first to speak and its your job to make sure everyone knows whats going on.

This may even mean liaising with the venue manager and other vendors such as the Photographer. No one likes surprises. Timelines are important. You should have a run sheet provided by the venue to coordinate meals and other moments

Your first job is to introduce yourself and your relationship with the bride and groom. Keep in mind that you want everyone to have an amazing time. Welcome the guests and tell the guests of any health and safety items the venue may have.

You’ll then prepare the guests for the arrival of the bridal party and introduce them as they enter the venue.

Using your run sheet, you will be able to see when speeches begin. Introduce each speaker and thank them for speaking.

You also get the job of announcing the meals, cutting of the cake, first dance, bouquet toss and garter toss.

Your last job is to wrap things up and farewell the newlyweds.

Father / Mother Of The Bride

Everyone knows daughters are Daddy’s little girls and there is usually not a dry eye in the house. Needless to say, your speech will be many anecdotes about your little girl.

You will be also welcoming  your son-in-law into your family (try to be nice). Its important here to acknowledge his family too.

If your partner is not speaking don’t forget you’re saying this on their behalf too.

Your main roles are to thank the guests , especially those that have travelled far. If there has been a financial contribution other than your own this is a good time to thank them.

Finally a toast to the bride and groom.

Of course don’t forget the Dad jokes that we all love.

Father / Mother Of The Groom

You will be welcoming  your daughter-in-law into your family . Its important here to acknowledge her family and thank them for speaking.

If your partner is not speaking don’t forget you’re saying this on their behalf too.

Your main role is to praise your son, its that easy. Often you will compliment the bride and groom as a couple and finish with a toast.

The Groom

The grooms job is of course, to sing the praises of his new wife (actual singing optional)! It is important to thank all of the appropriate people who have helped bring your day together.

Don’t forget, make sure you thank the previous speakers such as parents. Generally you’ll be a bit nervous about the pending best man speech.

If your wife is not speaking make sure you offer thanks on her behalf too. Make sure you tell an affectionate story of how you met and fell in love. A nice touch is giving your wife her own toast. Be genuine and speak from your heart.

Thank your groomsmen / best man and finally thank and toast the bridesmaids.

The Bride

It is important to thank all of the appropriate people who have helped bring your day together.  Lets face it, you may also be doing that as a result of your husband forgetting to. Or you may have your own special thanks to give such as your bridesmaids.

You may have a different version of how you met and fell in love. Be genuine and speak from your heart.

Thank your groomsmen / best man and finally thank and toast the bridesmaids.

Maid / Matron of Honour

Your role is complimenting and thanking the bride. This is a great opportunity to make them laugh and tell stories about your friendship.

Offer your congratulations and toast the bride and groom.

The Best Man

The best man is the last on the speeches list. Often the most memorable, when done well.

Remember though that you want to be tasteful in your delivery of the war stories about your best friend.

As with any of the speeches make sure you’re genuine and sincere. A balance of sincerity and humour is a winning formula. If you feel that enough thanks hasn’t been giving to previous speakers feel free to give them a mention.

You get the privilege of reading any messages from absent friends. READ THEM FIRST so you’re not left red faced if they are inappropriate for your audience.

Offer your congratulations and toast the bride and groom.

A final word

Speeches are often complicated by separation or death and they can heighten people’s emotions. Always do what is right by the bride and groom as it is their day. If there is an elephant in the room, its best to point it out and discussed before the day.

Wedding Speeches – Should I or Shouldn’t I?

Wedding Speeches – Should I or Shouldn’t I?


Best Man Wedding SpeechDoes the idea of 100 people looking at you behind a lectern paralyse you with fear? Yes? Then you’re also wondering should you be speaking at your wedding?

As with many modern wedding traditions it is what you make of it. There is no one telling you , you have to do it. If the idea of making a speech makes you feel uncomfortable and anxious, then would it be the best idea for you to do it?

Would it take your thoughts away from other special moments throughout of the day? Could you enjoy your ceremony if you’re thinking about tanking in your speech? If it created this much angst for you, you could always have someone speak on your behalf. Someone you trust such as your partner or friends.

You may feel more comfortable taking people you wish to thank aside at your reception. This may work better for them also if praising them in front of everyone would make them uncomfortable.

For many reasons though, if you can move past this fear it’s an ideal time to speak. You will never get a better opportunity to show your heart felt appreciation for someone in your life. Much planning goes into a wedding and you have called upon many people to be part of your day. There is no better time for you to say thank you.

As a photographer, the speeches can be a fabulous time to capture laughter, sentiment and tears. These are the main reasons why I love my job, being able to capture raw unguarded moments. The real love that people show for each other, in my view, is priceless.

"Best" Best Man Speech

Here is a summary of some pros and cons. Ultimately , after all your consideration, it comes down to one simple statement, which is, Do you actually want to speak?

If the answer no, then ask, “If I didn’t would I have regrets?”

Either way its your choice!


  • With structured speeches run by the MC you reduce the chance of people speaking if you don’t want them to.
  • There will never be a better time to show your appreciation.
  • Letting someone speak may be a great honour for them if they have not been otherwise included.
  • You give others an insight into your story / life and appreciate the commitment you’ve made to each other.


  • Crippled by the thought of public speaking? You will be out of your comfort zone and it can impact the feeling of the day.
  • Things can go south very quickly if a person giving the speech puts there foot in it. We’ve all seen the Wedding Singer.
  • Speeches can drag on if you don’t have structure. Choose your MC wisely.


If you have made the decision that you want to have speeches click here for the list of who you may want to speak.