When it comes to planning out the timeline of your reception, it’s important to know who should speak and when, they are supposed to speak. There are traditionally a number of speeches that are included during the beginning of the reception, to welcome guests and congratulate the newlywed couple.


I have created an easy reference to assist with planning out those speeches.

Father Of The Bride (sometimes Parent’s of the Bride)

Traditionally, the father of the bride speaks first, often before dinner. He welcomes the guests, including the groom’s family, thanks everyone for coming, talks about his daughter and her new husband and toasts the happy couple. The mother of the bride may also want to say a few words and this is completely acceptable.

The Groom

Next comes the Groom’s speech in response to the Father/Parent’s of the bride thanking them for her hand in marriage, the groom then thanks everyone for attending and assisting with their special day. He then says a few words about his new wife, and then toasts the bridesmaids

The Best Man

The Best Man is expected to toast to the Bride and Groom’s parents, say a few words about the Groom, perhaps how they met or a couple of embarassing stories to get the crowd laughing.

The Maid of Honour

Traditionally the women did not make a speech, however modern society has changed this tradition and usually the Maid of Honour also makes a toast to the Bride and Groom’s parents as well as tells a story or two about the Bride.

Father of the Bride

The father of the Bride then responds to both the Best Man and Maid of Honour, again toasting to the newly married couple.

The Newlywed Couple

The newlywed couple can then respond to all toasts and invite everyone to enjoy the night and party all night long!

Plan your speech out, make sure you practice it and feel comfortable with reciting it, it’s okay have your speech on a cue card to reference, but don’t let it sound like you’re reading. It’s important to ensure that speeches are kept as short as possible, general rule of thumb would be no more than three minutes per speech. Also keep the speeches upbeat and positive as you don’t want to bore your guests with a long drawn out speech. It’s okay to follow a different order as well, it’s your wedding day, nothing is truly set in stone that it has to be done by the book!

Happy Planning!