Wedding speeches are one of the most special moments of the day; and a wonderful way to make close loved ones a part of the festivities.

It can be tricky to know exactly how and when to time wedding speeches, and who to ask to speak.

Many couples designate a particular time of the reception for their friends and family members to say a few words about the happy couple and the special day.

According to, traditionally the “key speakers” for a wedding are the parents of both people getting married, the maid of honor, the best man, and the couple themselves.

Of course, there are several other people who could be included in giving a toast; depending on the closest people in the couples’ lives. Sometimes the bride or groom’s siblings will give a toast, the bride’s best friends, the groom’s childhood friend, you name it.

Make sure that whoever means the most to you, that YOU want to hear from on your wedding day, makes the speeches cut. Remember that it is best practice to keep the amount of people speaking to under 10, just to keep things nice and timely.

It’s good to keep in mind that most wedding timelines aim to keep the toasts short and sweet to get to the dancing and partying of the reception.

A few great times to give speeches are…

1. Immediately after the couple enters

Some weddings invite speeches and toasts right after the couple enters the reception for the party. This could be before or after the first dance, father and daughter dance, and mother and son dance if those are a part of the wedding. This way, speeches and kind words will be out of the way quickly so the party can begin.

2. At the rehearsal dinner

Giving speeches at the rehearsal dinner means that there doesn’t need to be any time carved out during the reception, and that the heartfelt words will be given in more of an intimate setting. Some folks prefer this, and it can help ease the nerves of those speaking. The rehearsal dinner is a great option to some of the speeches you want to hear out of the way to save time for dancing at the reception.

3. Before the cake cutting

Need a little break during the dance party portion of the evening? Insert speeches right before cake cutting, allowing a little 15-minute intermission before getting back to the Cupid Shuffle. This will keep things moving along nicely, adding in an easy transition of events.

4. During dinner

If you’re having a sit-down dinner during reception, sometimes couples enjoy listening to and toasting to speeches during this time. It gives guests something to do while they eat, and each speaker can easily get everyone’s undivided attention. However, this may put more pressure on the speakers in a more formal environment. It’s all about everyone’s comfort levels!

5. No speeches

Some weddings completely forego giving speeches. While most weddings have at least a few people speak, some couples just want to cut straight to the party– with no breaks in between. And that’s completely understandable! If you don’t want to completely nix speeches but don’t want to give the floor to too many people, choose 2-3 people that would really mean the most to you for them to speak during the event.

©CTW Features