Wedding Speeches: Who Traditionally Says What?

Written by    Last updated: June 6, 2006

There are no hard and fast rules these days of course, but the order of toasts / wedding speeches traditionally follows the order of: father of the bride, groom, best man, and other toasts. It’s growing more and more popular for brides to make a speech too! So here’s a brief run-down of the traditional order of the toasts, and who says what about whom.

A champagne toast at a wedding

The father of the bride/ friend of the family

As the bridal couple are central to the day, whoever makes the first speech/toast ends by toasting the bride and groom. Traditionally this is the father of the bride. He:

  • Thanks the guests for coming and participating in the special day
  • Thanks everyone who has contributed to the cost of the wedding
  • Compliments and praises the bride, and welcomes her new husband into the family
  • Toasts the bride and groom

The groom making his wedding speech The groom

Traditionally, the 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 best man
  • Thanks and toasts the bridesmaid(s)
  •  He may also toast the hosts

The best man making his wedding speech

The best man

The best man traditionally:

  • Thanks the groom for his toasts to the bridesmaids.
  • Comments on the bridal couple, particularly the groom
  • Reads any messages from absent friends and relatives
  • Ends with a final toast to the bride and groom

Also, the bride, and sometimes the bridesmaid/maid of honour, are becoming increasingly more likely to say few words to mark the day. Generally, these toasts will come between the groom and best man.


The bride:

  • Thanks the guests for coming
  • Thanks her parents and bridesmaids
  • Compliments the groom
  • Proposes the toast

The bride making her wedding speech

Chief Bridesmaid

The chief bridesmaid:

  • Thanks the bride
  • Compliments the ushers
  • Proposes a toast

Are you looking for a speech writer? Take a look in our directory! Or are you just in need of some advice on writing your own wedding speeches and toasts? Check out our speech writing pages or talk to hundreds of our brides in the Confetti forums.

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