In the event that the venue that you are holding your reception does not provide the service of a toastmaster, the duty of the toastmaster is often given to an usher or occasionally maid of honour.

  • Greet and announce the arrival of the bride and groom to the reception venue and provide glass of champagne
  • Assist with organisation of photographs, if required
  • Introduce the bride and groom as Mr and Mrs when entering for the wedding breakfast, guests to all stand
  • Announce of say grace, if required
  • Introduce speakers and announce toasts
  • Announce the cutting of the wedding cake
  • Announce the traditional throwing of the bouquet
  • Announce the first dance
  • Introduce the band or entertainment for the evening

When to Schedule the Speeches

There are three options when scheduling the speeches at a wedding reception, they can take place before, during or after the wedding breakfast.

Before the wedding breakfast

It is becoming more popular to have the speeches take place before the wedding breakfast as a way of getting them over and done with. Some find it nerve wracking enough making a speech in front of guests, let alone having to sit and dwell on it throughout a three course meal. This is a great option if the wedding party feel the nerves and want to be able to relax and enjoy the rest of the wedding day.

During the wedding breakfast

Some prefer to have the toasts feature throughout the wedding breakfast as a way of breaking up courses and entertaining their guests. This is not the most popular option but does mean that guests will return to their tables and remain in the same room for the length of the wedding breakfast. This is a great option if you would prefer to have the speeches and toasts feature as short, punchy presentations as opposed to a longer introduction or finale.

After the wedding breakfast

This is the more traditional option, it also provides guests the opportunity to sit down and mingle before food is brought out. This approach also acts as a great way to book end the wedding reception ensuring that everyone returns back to their seats, rather than disappearing during main course to the bar and never returning! This is often an issue with having the speeches take place before food is served. Having speeches feature at the end of the meal also enables some heart felt and light hearted entertainment to keep the day flowing nicely.

Order of Speeches

Traditionally, the toastmaster or master of ceremonies will introduce the speeches at the end of the meal. The formal order of speakers is:

  • Father of the Bride (or whoever gives the bride away)
  • The Groom
  • The Bestman

Nowadays, more and more brides and chief bridesmaids are opting to speak too. They can be slotted in wherever seems appropriate, but make sure all the speeches don’t run on for too long, try to keep them to 30 minutes in their entirety.

Here is a brief outline of who says what…

Father of the Bride or Friend of the Family
  • Thanks the guests for coming and sharing in the special day
  • Thanks everyone who contributed to the cost of the wedding
  • Compliments and praises his daughter and welcomes her new husband into the family
  • Toasts the bride and groom
  • Thanks the father of the bride for his toast
  • Thanks the guests for attending and for their gifts
  • Thanks both sets of parents
  • Compliments his bride
  • Thanks his bestman
  • Thanks and toasts the bridesmaids
  • Thanks the groom for his toast to the bridesmaids
  • Comments on the bride and particularly the groom
  • Reads any messages from absent friends
  • Toasts the bride and groom
  • Thanks the guests for coming
  • Thanks her parents and bridesmaids
  • Compliments the groom
  • Proposes a toast
Chief Bridesmaid
  • Thanks the bride
  • Compliments the ushers
  • Proposes a toast