Weddings are special occasions and it will be important and necessary to pay attention to the Etiquette for the wedding speeches.

An inappropriate remark can ruin the day for the couple. That is why it is so important that those speaking on the day should be very careful about what they say.

Wedding toasts have been around for thousands of years. It has been common for guests to speak at the wedding and wish the couple well forever, practically! Of course, not all guests traditionally spoke because men were really the only ones recognized in early days. But, as the world evolved so did wedding toasts!

A good speaker always tailors his or her speech to the audience.

The first and most important principle to follow is that the speech should be suited to the families and guests involved.

Weddings are usually family affairs and there may even be children present. That is why a speaker should not tell a smutty joke for example. There are some things that are taboo and should never be mentioned. One is that no mention should be made of the couplesí past love life. A wedding day is obviously not the time either to make racist or political remarks. Nor is it a time to refer to previous husbands or wives, unless, of course, with the coupleís agreement. You need to be careful too about mentioning a family death. Again you should consult the couple because the bride or groom might want his or her mother or father remembered on his or her big day.

The order of speeches is traditionally as follows:

  • The father of the bride
  • The groom
  • The best man

The father of the bride toasts the bride and groom and then goes on to talk about his daughter. As with all speeches, a mixture of affectionate anecdote and humour generally works well.

The groom replies on behalf of himself and his wife (although more and more brides are making their own speeches these days) and then proposes a toast to the bridesmaids. He then goes on to thank those people involved in helping them in the planning of the wedding and distributes gifts to those who are to receive more than a verbal 'thank you'. The groom then goes on to talk about his new wife.

If the bride is to make a speech it should take place following the groom's. It may seem obvious, but joint speeches should be co-ordinated well beforehand since both will probably wish to say much the same thing.

The best man's speech. He begins by replying on behalf of the bridesmaids and then reads out telegrams, cards, e-mails or other messages from friends and relatives who couldn't be at the wedding. He will then go on to talk about the groom in what can be the highlight - or in some cases lowlight - of the wedding speeches.

The best man speech is an important part of any wedding ceremony, and will be remem-bered long after the special day is over. The speech traditionally honors the groom, but the bride should also be recognized and the happy cou-ple should be congratulated.

The position of best man in a wedding ceremony is a distinction of honor and responsibility. Best Man Speeches, also known as toasts, should be prepared well in advance, not simply improvised on the spot. To be successful the speech must be respectful, but also funny. Your comments about the bride and groom should also be personal and sincere, though it is also important to ensure your words are appropriate for a general audience of all ages.

A wedding speech should, ideally be warm and positive. You should speak about the virtues of the couple and their suitability for each other. Itís ideal to mention their hobbies and their wonderful personalities. You could show you have done your homework by mentioning some childhood incident or something that shows either the bride or groom in a good light.

Obviously it depends on why you are speaking. If you are the father of the bride your speech should be about how proud you are of your daughter and how much she means to you. You should mention her growing years and pay a gracious compliment to her mother. You ought to welcome the groom and his family into yours and end by toasting the happy couple. If, of course, there is divorce or family disagreement you have to be very careful not to mention it but concentrate on your daughter and her future happiness.

You may be the brideís uncle or a family friend rather than the bride. If so, you should mention her father if that is appropriate and say that you are honoured to be speaking at his daughterís wedding. If her father has disappeared or should not be mentioned for some reason then simply say how honoured you are to speak at the wedding of someone who is close to you. Your speech should mention how happy you are for the couple and how you know that the groom is an ideal choice for her. You should mention how lovely the bride looks on her special day. You should say that the groom and his family will make a lovely addition to hers. The speech should be touching and personal. It should end with a toast to the couple.

If the bride chooses to speak she will usually thank her parents for their love over the years. She will say how happy she is to be marrying her groom. She may thank those who helped her organise the wedding and she will usually say how wonderful her in-laws are too. Her speech is not traditional so she can make it very short and sweet.

The bride should make an effort to not repeat what has already been said by others. This may require some off-the-cuff, last minute revisions, or easier and better yet, is for her to ask about the content of others who will make speeches and coordinate with them, in advance. Because the bride's speech has not etiquette history, guests will not have any particular expectation about its content, so the bride has free rein. That can be delightful, allowing her freedom and flexibility, but it also presents an obligation and responsibility for her to be mindful of and careful about the style, content and length of the talk.

The groom will , of course say, how beautiful his bride is. He will speak of his parents and how much they mean to him. He will mention his best man and the experiences they have shared over the years. He should speak too of his new in-laws and how welcoming they have been. He should say how happy he is that his bride has married him and that he looks forward to their future together. He will end his speech with a toast to the bridesmaids.

A bet man on the other hand, is usually the Master of Ceremony for the day. In his speech he should refer to his friendship or kinship to the groom. He is expected to be light-hearted and to introduce the speakers in turn. So if there is a clergyman or woman present he invites them to speak first. Then he invites the father of the bride or friend of the family to speak. This is followed by the father of the groom and perhaps the bride herself or her maid of honour. Then the groom should speak and it is the best manís duty to respond to the groomís toast to the bridesmaids and, finally to read out any messages of congratulation. Before he does so, however, he will toast the couple if the brideís father has not done so already. If the brideís father has toasted them the best man will simply offer them his best wishes for the future.

Weddings are traditional occasions and most couple follow this usual wedding etiquette.

However there may be discord amongst families or there may be no family members present. In such a case a friend of the couple may speak and wish them well and toast them in a light-hearted or jocular way. However it is their special day and the remarks, however, light-hearted, should be sincere. Above all a wedding speech should be gracious no matter who or what the personalities involved. So if the father of the bride is divorced and bitter he should still be able to say one good thing about the brideís mother such as she is a great mother. The bride or the groom should never be upset by family discord on such a day.

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