Wedding Speeches Before the Meal

Written by    Last updated: June 29, 2014

Weddings, what they involve, how they’re managed and what they say about a couple is always evolving. The basic sentiment hasn’t changed, but in this progressive and unstoppable world, ideas, tradition and convention are constantly being challenged. So here’s some friendly advice on wedding speech placements by All Speeches Great and Small.

Above: Elizabeth and Richard’s Sunflower Real Wedding

This is no bad thing; it now means you could turn up in a wheelbarrow, make the bridesmaids wear Slipknot style overalls and replace the wedding cake with post modern ironic Euro subsidy friendly cheese mountain. This is all cool. Whatever takes your fancy is fine with the guests – all they want to do is help themselves to the free wine at the meal, dance like their hair is on fire and fall asleep in their clothes. It’s your day, so do things your way…up to a point.

You see, there’s tell of weddings where the bride pretended everyone was a teddy bear and guests ate from blankets on the floor. Fine. There are weddings where the ushers rapped about Heroin. …Fine. There are even those weddings where the Best Man uses the worst swear word you can imagine. (Yes, that one.) …Not great. But not nearly as bad as how some people see the pernicious, low rent and inexcusable trend of having the speeches before the meal.

Above: Annette and Brendan’s Real Wedding

To some it shouts, “We don’t care about your enjoyment of this event! We don’t care about the effort you’ve gone to or the money you’ve spent! We’re just going to cut corners because the Groom has got butterflies in his stomach.” Well, he won’t be the first or the last. But the measure of the man is how he copes with these bumps in the road, and having a few nerves about a speech isn’t the end of the world.

It is an undeniable fact that most wedding crowds like to enjoy some complimentary drink throughout the meal so that, by the speeches come round, they’re giggly, raucous and up for fun: a perfect audience. By having the speeches at the start of the meal you’re allowing no chance for people to relax and enjoy themselves. And by doing that you’re giving yourself the slimmest possible chance of landing those gags and humorous observations. The guests will have just arrived from the wedding ceremony and will need warming up.

Ibiza Wedding Shop Fun Family BeachAbove: Image by

It doesn’t work on any level – not for you, not for the guests and not for the general vibe of the wedding. Plus you’re not giving them anything to look forward to, and that’s unforgiveable. …Let’s put it this way: it rarely works out.  So man up, let people enjoy themselves, and you’ll see it work totally in your favour.

Go get ‘em kid.

Above:  Kate and Rich’s Ibiza Summer Wedding

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This article was written by

Adrian Simpson
Adrian is a writer and broadcaster for some of the UK’s largest factual entertainment shows. Writing speeches has always been a large part of his professional life and ‘all speeches great and small’ is the culmination of many years experience.

More in Other Speakers, Speeches & Toasts, Wedding Speech Guide (23 of 180 articles)

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