order of speeches at a wedding uk

Order of speeches at wedding UK

Weddings are a special time of celebration and joy, and the order of speeches is an important part of the big day. If you’re planning your own wedding or attending someone else’s, it helps to understand the order of speeches at a wedding in the UK.

In this blog post, we will explore the traditional order of speeches at weddings in the UK so that you can plan ahead for your own special day or know what to expect if you’re attending a friend or family member’s wedding. We will also provide some tips on how to make sure each speech goes smoothly and everyone enjoys them!

Remember, this is the “traditional” order but there’s no reason why you can’t mix it up a bit to fit with the needs of your day.

Traditionally, the father of the bride speaks first, followed by the groom, then the best man and finally, any other speakers. However, couples are free to mix up this order as it fits their own individual wedding needs.

Order of speeches at wedding UK

wedding speech

1) Father of the bride

There is no better moment at a wedding than the father of the bride speech! He gets to kick off the festivities with the first toast, so expectations are high! This is often an emotional time for Dad, as he gets to share his love and pride for his daughter. So grab your tissues, have some fun prepared quips, and get ready for an unforgettable speech—just make sure you take it easy on those jokes!

Top tips:

Keep things brief – a long, drawn-out affair is not going to be enjoyable for anyone.

Share stories – your daughter and her new husband will love hearing about the adventures you’ve shared over the years.

Thank everyone – don’t forget to thank all of the guests, family members, and vendors who helped make this special day possible.

wedding speeches
wedding speeches
wedding speeches
wedding speech

2) The Groom

Next, the focus shifts to the Groom’s speech. Often dripping with sweat with all eyes on him! Certainly a nerve-wracking experience but get this right, and the Groom will be in the good books of everyone!

This speech comes after the father of the bride and is a chance to make your mark before the Best Man’s speech which may be harsher in comparison.

Top Tips:

Keep it light – the last thing anyone wants is for the Groom to come across as too serious or nervous.

Try to speak from the heart – this is a great opportunity for the Groom to tell the Bride how much he loves her and why.

The groom’s toast should be memorised.

Use a microphone. More tips on wedding speeches found on this page

Nervous speakers may wish to do the speeches before the wedding breakfast as they will at least be able to enjoy the food.

happy couple
modern weddings
Groom and wife

Photography by Jordan Fox Photography

man speech

3) The Best Man

Third in line comes the Best man’s speech. An opportunity to steal the show? Perhaps. An opportunity to ruin the day? You better believe it!

Too often, I’ve seen a Best Man’s speech stink the place out with inappropriate tales of filth, unplanned rambling and a lack of structure.

As they’re traditionally the last speech of the day, this wedding speech carries a certain responsibility that shouldn’t be overlooked.

A well-planned speech will ensure the remainder of the wedding reception continues in good spirits.


Top tips: KISS – keep it simple, stupid! Say a few words, ensure you compliment the bride, memorise a final toast and GET OUT OF THERE!

Plan ahead – writing out a speech with bullet points and rehearsing it is key!

Know your audience – not everyone wants to hear tales of debauchery, so focus on the Bride and Groom and their story.

best man
funny stories for the newly weds
traditionally speeches

Additional speeches:

This is the traditional order of speeches, but there may be additional wedding speeches if you have other close family and friends who want to say a few words. These can be scheduled anywhere within the reception and should not disrupt the natural flow of the event.

For same-sex couples, it’s not unusual for both sets of parents to give speeches too.

bridesmaids at wedding

Maid of honour

Bridesmaids’ and groomsmen’s speeches are also becoming increasingly popular and the order is completely up to the couple themselves.

Just ensure the running order is communicated clearly to all speakers so that everyone knows when it’s their turn.

wedding speech by bride

Bride’s Speech

And why not! Should the Groom not wish to be involved in the speeches, we often see the Bride take the lead to give a speech of her own!

This is an excellent opportunity for the Bride to express her thanks and appreciation for everyone who has been involved in the wedding planning process. She can also use this time to thank her husband-to-be and share some memories from their relationship.

parents at speeches

The Groom’s parents

You may find that the father or mother of the groom would like to express their kind words at the wedding too. These key members of the wedding party shouldn’t miss out on this opportunity due to a traditional running order.

Wedding speeches before or after food?

wedding rings

If you’re a “normal” guest at a wedding, you want the speeches AFTER the wedding breakfast, right? I mean, it’s already been many hours since you had breakfast and those mini sausages they were handing out during the drinks reception didn’t quite fill that ever-increasing hole in your stomach!

Therefore, the majority of your guests want speeches after.

However, think of the poor speakers. If you’re the Groom or Best Man, it’s likely that you’ll be a nervous wreck and have butterflies in your stomach. The delicious 3-course banquet is completely wasted on those poor souls!

So what to do?

Being prepared is often the key to tackling any nerves your speakers may have. A well-rehearsed speech will conquer many of the issues and allow you to enjoy your food first and then deliver a memorable speech.

Each wedding day is different so do whatever works for you and if that means your guests go longer without food, ensure they’re warned prior. A few extra snacks during the drinks reception wouldn’t go a miss!

Order of speeches at wedding UK:


There you go – a traditional wedding speech order for the happy couple’s special day. Speeches can over be the most dreaded part for both speaker and guest alike, but with some careful planning and preparation, they can be the highlight of the wedding reception.

About Chris

Chris, the Wedding Magician is an industry expert who specialises in creating unforgettable moments for couples and their guests. With over 20 years of experience performing at weddings up and down the country, Chris has earned a reputation as one of the UK’s top wedding magicians. He combines his skills as an entertainer with his expertise in understanding what makes people tick to create truly unique experiences that will leave your guests talking about it long after your big day. Whether you’re looking for close-up magic during drinks receptions or during evening entertainment, Chris can provide something special that will leave lasting memories.

Order of speeches at wedding UK