Do the Bride and Groom Have to Give a Speech at Their Wedding Reception?

Talking to a crowd isn't for everyone.

meg nick wedding speech
Photo: Elisa Bricker

Making a speech in front of a crowd is way too difficult for some people to handle, even if the audience is comprised of their loved ones. If you're a bride or groom worried that you're expected to give wedding speeches that spill your heart out at the reception, relax. There are only a few expected speakers during the night, and these include the host (usually the father of the bride or whoever is financing the wedding), the best man, and the maid of honor. With that being said, many couples do like to take a few moments to thank everyone for joining them on this special day, and to thank their families and the vendor teams that made the entire event possible. If you fall into that camp, here's what you need to know.

Go it solo or together.

You can do it alone or as a tag team with your new spouse. If you're appearing as a duo, you could toast each other, then the bridal party, your parents, and the guests and vendors, thanking them for being a part of your special day.

Take your turn.

After the host and best man, the maid of honor makes the next toast. Should you two each want to say a few words on your own, the groom would go next, followed by his bride.

Know your words.

While you don't have to memorize a speech, do figure out what you want to say ahead of time-who to thank, which anecdotes would work best, and so forth. A glass of pre-toast Champagne or a cocktail may loosen you up, but avoid being a sloppy speaker who slurs-especially when that speaker is the bride or groom.

Speak at the right time.

The speeches can come at the tail end of the main course, when everyone is almost finished eating.

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