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The Order of Speeches at Weddings in Australia Explained

Thursday, 12 March 2020

Depending on which route you would like to take, you can opt for several different arrangements of speeches. You may wish to stick to a traditional format for of speeches, personalise the evening and deviate from tradition, or intersperse speeches throughout your sit-down dinner.

The Traditional Order of Speeches

Prior to the guests beginning their speeches, the Master of Ceremonies (MC) takes a moment to introduce the bridal party and then welcomes the newlyweds into the room.

1. The Host of the Weddings

The first speech of the evening is traditionally given by somebody close to the couple, typically the father of the bride. In their speech they:

  • Thank the guests for coming to participate in the special day
  • Acknowledge and thank those who contributed to the cost of the wedding
  • Compliment the bride and welcome her new husband to the family
  • Finish off the speech with a toast to the bride and groom.

2. The Groom

The second speech of the reception typically continues with the groom. He takes over the microphone to:

  • Thank the (host) or father of the bride for the toast
  • Thank the guests for attending the wedding and for gifting presents
  • Thank his parents along with the parents of his new bride
  • Thank his best man
  • Compliment and praise his bride and maybe shares a story or anecdote
  • Thank and raise a glass to toast the bridesmaids

3. The Best Man

The third to take over the microphone is the best man, who speaks to represent the bridal party. He will traditionally:

  • Thank the groom for the toast to the bridesmaids and bridal party
  • Proceed to comment on the bridal couple, potentially sharing stories of the groom
  • End his speech by toasting the bride’s parents

4. The Father or Mother of the Bride

To respond to the toast made by the best man, the MC will introduce the father or mother of the bride. Who will:

  • Thank the best man for the toast
  • Share a couple of thoughtful words of wisdom with the couple
  • Welcome the new husband into the family
  • Propose a toast to the parents of the groom

5. The Mother and Father of the Groom

Then the mother or father of the groom will stand up to respond to the toast and share a few words. They will:

  • Thank the parents of the bride for the toast
  • Welcome and toast the traditional guest of honour, the bride.

6. Reading of the Telegrams

The MC or the best man can now read out any messages from family members or guests that could not attend the wedding. Historically, these would be telegrams, however, now the messages will most likely show up in the form of letters, texts, emails, or Facebook posts.

7. Thanking the contributors to the wedding

This is the end of the traditional speech giving section of the reception. The MC closes the speeches by thanking everyone including the organisers, musicians, caterers and more. This is also the moment when the cutting of the cake is announced.

Wedding Guests Listening
Wedding Guests Talking

Speeches at Modern Weddings

While the list above shows the order of speeches at traditional weddings in Australia, more and more couple’s are decide to adjust the speech giversbridge to better reflect their personalities and wedding. Increasingly often the bride and maid of honour say a few words on the wedding day. These speeches are typically set between the groom and the best man.

The Bride

While traditionally the bride would sit back and enjoy the speeches given on her special day, in modern weddings she will often take the microphone to share her sentiments. Typically, she will:

  • Thank the guests for coming
  • Thank her parents and bridesmaids
  • Compliment and share stories about her new husband
  • Proposes a toast of her choosing

The Maid of Honour

The chief bridesmaid or maid of honour will also frequently give a speech to commemorate her best friend’s matrimony. Some share embarrassing stories, sing a song or surprise the bride in another way. She will also:

  • Thank the Bride
  • Compliment the ushers
  • Propose a toast

Any Other Person Who wishes to Speak

There is absolutely no reason that another member of the wedding party or close family member should not be able to say a few words on the wedding day. This speech can also be scheduled before the reading of telegrams.

The speeches at weddings have gotten extraordinarily creative, and participants frequently share stories that welcome many laughs and tears. If you do need help writing your wedding speech, there are plenty of online resources for you to check out.

Ladies Laughing
Old Woman Clapping

Wedding Speeches during a sit-down dinner

If you are thinking of interspersing your speeches during your sit-down dinner, the following list could come in handy. Make sure to double-check with the venue organisers to check the timings for the serving of the meals.

  1. The Master of Ceremonies introduces the bridal party and welcomes guests to the wedding reception. He then announces the arrival of the bride and groom to the wedding reception.
  2. Entrée is served (if having)
  3. The Host of the wedding proposes a toast
  4. Main course is served
  5. The MC introduces the host of the wedding who will propose a toast to the bride and groom
  6. The groom’s speech and toast to the bridal party
  7. The best man’s speech and toast to the parents of the bride
  8. The parents of the bride’s speech and toast to the parents of the groom
  9. The parents of the groom’s speech
  10. The reading of messages, and the MC announcing the cutting of the cake
  11. Cutting of the cake and dessert
Guests Give A Toast
Guests Happy Having A Toast
Guests Raising Glass
Guests Have A Toast

Things to consider when organising the speeches

  • Decide on the order, and number of toasts before the wedding. Write it down and send the information to all the speechmakers, the MC, and wedding planner. It might be a good idea to check in with your wedding planning team at the venue, especially if you will be needing any recommendations for timing of the food service.
  • Hiring an MC might ensure you are not stressed for your big day. Not only are they professionals at speaking in front of people, but they can help ensure your night goes off perfectly. A dedicated MC not only controls the flow of the speeches and provides microphones to the designated speech giver, but also keeps the night on schedule.
  • Once you have decided how many speeches you are going to have, you will want to consider the length of each speech. Make sure you let those giving a speech know how long they have, and kindly ask that they abide by this time length.
  • Keep in mind that not everyone wants to give speech, so if anyone is uncomfortable speaking in front of a large audience consider asking someone else. The traditional format does not need to be followed, so instead of the best man, you can always ask the maid of honour or another member of the wedding party to step in.

At the end of the day, remember that it is your wedding, and you can reorder the speeches or adjust the schedule any way you see fit. Your wedding is a day you will never forget, so choose the speakers and schedules that make you happy.

Guests Talking Each Other
People Happy Listening

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