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The Speech Surgery: timings!

Posted by Danielle Harvey on 15 June 2024

Unsure of when to have the wedding speeches? Heidi Ellert McDermott, founder of Speechy & author of The Modern Couple's Guide to Wedding Speeches has the answer...

guests raising their glasses at a wedding reception Credit: Photo by Thomas William on UnsplashWhen should we schedule the wedding speeches? We're getting lots of different advice.

In the US, speeches are just as common at the rehearsal dinner (the formal dinner prior to the wedding that the 'top table' are invited to) as the wedding day itself. At many British weddings, the speeches are scheduled before the wedding meal; the idea that everyone is officially welcomed to the wedding and the speakers are quickly able to relax (and tuck into the free wine!).

Of course, some couples opt for speeches after the wedding meal (or before the dessert), once everyone has eaten and had a chance to chat and drink. As a speaker, there's certainly something to be said for your guests having had a bit of laughter-lubricant. Equally, you may find people are more likely to be rowdy so be prepared for some good-natured heckling.

An increasingly popular idea is separating your speeches so they're spread between courses. This works particularly well if you're having more than 3 speakers. The benefit of having the speeches spaced out is that there's less chance of the guests getting bored with the stand up, sit down routine of too many toasts one after the other. It's also less likely that the speeches feel repetitive or overly lengthy.

The one major issue with this type of scheduling is wedding photographers and catering staff can struggle with spread-out speeches as they make the day's timings complicated. My book The Modern Couple's Guide to Wedding Speeches goes into the pros and cons of each option in more depth but rest assured, there really is no right and wrong these days. Go for what feels right to you.

For more inspiration speechy.com/the-modern-couples-guide-to-wedding-speeches

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