Mastering Wedding Speeches and Toasts

by | May 17, 2024 | News


At Factory51, we know that the magic of a wedding isn’t just in the mesmerising setting or the joyous celebration—it’s also in the heartfelt words shared. Wedding speeches are a staple of the celebration, offering laughter, tears, and a treasure trove of memories. Whether you’re planning your own wedding or preparing to give a speech, this guide will help ensure those wedding speeches are as charming as the venue itself.

Who Should Give a Speech?

Traditionally, the list of speakers at a wedding includes the Father of the Bride, the Best Man, and the Groom, with the Maid of Honour increasingly taking the stage. Today, however, there’s no strict rules. It’s all about personal preference. Couples might invite a close friend, sibling, or even members from both families to speak. This inclusivity enriches the wedding reception, making it more memorable and personal.

What’s the Ideal Number of Wedding Speeches?

When it comes to the number of speeches, less can often be more. A good rule of thumb is to aim for three to five speeches. This range keeps the speeches engaging without overshadowing other elements of the celebration. Too many speeches can lead to a restless audience, so it’s important to manage the number to maintain the event’s flow.

If you do desire to have 4 or more speakers, it’s a great idea to break them up between courses (e.g., have 2-3 speakers after entrees, and the rest after mains; or a couple before a shared feast, and the rest before dessert). You may like to break speakers into similar groups (e.g., bridal party; parents).

Our Event Manager is experienced in working out the best timing for your speeches, and our events team will be on hand to ensure there are no technical difficulties.

The Case for Joint Speeches

When the number of speakers is high, you may like to consider having joint speeches – e.g., Best Man and Groomsmen; Maid of Honour and Bridesmaid/s; Parents of Bride; Parents of Groom; Bride and Groom. Joint speeches allow the speakers to bounce off one another, and having someone by your side can help calm nerves.

Speech Duration

Each speech should ideally last around three to five minutes. Brief yet meaningful speeches maintain the audience’s attention and keep the energy of the event buoyant. Give the speakers a firm time limit and encourage them to practice their speeches to ensure they stay within this timeframe. A concise, impactful speech will always be more memorable than a lengthy discourse that drags out.

Pointers for the Speakers

Preparing speakers is key to ensuring smooth delivery and genuine content. Here are a few pointers you can give to those stepping up to the podium:

  • Keep it Personal: Encourage them to share personal stories or anecdotes that highlight their relationship with you or your partner.
  • Practice Makes Perfect: Advise them to practice their speech several times to build confidence and help manage duration.
  • Stay Positive: Remind them to keep the speech positive, celebrating the joy of the occasion. It’s best to leave out stories with negative connotations (or mentions of any exes!)
  • Be Grateful: Suggest they include a note of thanks to the guests and families, acknowledging their support and presence.
  • Hold the Microphone Close: Nothing ruins a speech more than not being able to hear it. Let speakers know they need to hold the microphone still and close to their mouth.
  • Share Toasts Around: Instead of every speaker toasting the couple, you can ask the Groomsmen to toast the Bridesmaids, the Bridesmaids to toast the parents; and the parents to toast the couple.
Calming Nerves Before the Speech

It’s natural to feel nervous before giving a speech. In fact, public speaking is one of the top fears that people have. If you’re feeling the sweats coming on, here are some tips to help calm those pre-speech jitters:

  • Deep Breathing: Deep, slow breaths can help reduce anxiety and steady the speaker’s nerves.
  • Rehearse: Practicing the speech multiple times in the days leading up to the wedding can boost confidence as familiarity is comforting.
  • Stay Hydrated: Drinking water before speaking helps keep the throat lubricated, making it easier to speak clearly. You may even want to have a drink nearby in case.
  • Back-up Plan: Asking a trusted person to be a back-up can be reassuring. Let them know of your nerves, and ask if they’re willing to step in and read your speech if you really don’t feel like you can deliver in the moment.
5 Tips for a Memorable Speech

Creating a memorable speech is all about touching the hearts of the audience while adding a personal touch. Here are five tips to share with your speakers to help them craft a speech that will be memorable for all the right reasons:

#1 Open Strong: Start with a compelling statement or a light joke to capture attention right from the beginning. If humour isn’t your strength, opt for an opener that intrigues the audience.

#2 Include a Touching Story: A short, personal story that resonates emotionally with the audience will make the speech more engaging and memorable.

#3 Use Appropriate Humour: A bit of humour can lighten the mood and keep the audience engaged, but remind speakers to keep it appropriate and inclusive.

#4 Compliment the Couple: Encouraging words about the couple, their relationship, and their future together always make for heartfelt moments.

#5 Conclude with a Toast: Ending with a toast not only signals the end of the speech but also invites all guests to participate in celebrating the couple’s new journey.

Cheers to You

Wedding speeches are more than just a formality—they’re a highlight of the celebration, offering insights into the lives and loves of the couple. Remember, the key to a successful speech is preparation, sincerity, and a touch of personality. These tips will ensure your wedding speeches contribute beautifully to your special day.

At Factory51, our rustic yet elegant venue provides the perfect backdrop for these heartfelt declarations. Contact us to check availability and make a time to tour our ceremony and reception space.

Images by A’Daw Photography


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