wedding planning advice

A photographers advice for stress free Wedding Speeches

After capturing over 300 weddings I have seen my fair share of wedding speeches and I know what works, what doesn’t and how to plan your day to ensure stress free wedding speeches, keeping them enjoyable for everyone involved.

There are many articles giving conflicting advice on when to plan speeches into your day. Some say before the meal, some say after the meal, and some (crazy people) say “why not try to squeeze them in-between each course!!?”

I am here to give you my honest advice for planning stress free wedding speeches because I want you to have the best day ever…

stress free wedding speeches

Wedding Speeches before the meal

Is THE BEST time to do speeches, and here’s why…
1. Your guests will still be full of canapés, so they won’t quite be ready for a 3 course meal just yet
2. The tables will still be looking their best for the photos
3. Your speakers will be nervous, so by giving their speech before the meal means they will actually be able to enjoy their food once its served after the speeches

when to do wedding speeches

Wedding Speeches in between each course

In my opinion this is the trickiest option, and here’s why…
1. It makes things a lot harder for your caterers to plan and serve around speeches as they are working around the unexpected. Speeches can run over, which means that your food may sit for longer than they would like and will not be served at its absolute best. A big chunk of your wedding budget goes towards your meal, so you don’t want the food to be ruined because the best mans speech took 45 minutes instead of 5!
2. Your wedding photographer will be up and down like a yo-yo with no chance of a break. Weddings are long days, we often have to travel far afield for weddings, leaving the house early in the morning and not getting home until past midnight. The time when you are enjoying your wedding meal is when we take a much needed little break to refuel and reset, ready to capture the evening reception. If speeches are between each course, this means we often don’t get time to eat, which sadly means we won’t be working at 100% of our capacity for you. Trust me, no-one can be on their A game if they have to go 8-10 hours without food or water, so consider your wedding suppliers if you do decide to go this route.

wedding speeches and toasts

Wedding Speeches after the meal

This can work well but some things to consider are…
1. Your lovely weddings tables will be trashed and this will be noticeable in your photos. There will be dirty plates, empty wine glasses and gravy stained tablecloths everywhere, so be mindful of this.
2. You won’t have to worry about overrunning speeches ruining your meal, but if you have evening guests arriving, they may be stuck waiting outside until speeches have finished
3. Anyone giving a speech will be nervous, which means they probably won’t get to enjoy their food if it’s served before they speak.
4. Your caterers can’t clear the tables, and your wedding band or DJ won’t be able to set up and do a sound check (if the dance floor is in the same room), until speeches have ended and the room is cleared of guests.

Whenever I am asked by my couples, I always suggest planning to do speeches before the meal. I will go with whatever you have planned, after all it is your day. But I can honestly say if you want a smooth, stress free wedding always allocate time for speeches before your meal. Your speakers and wedding suppliers will thank you for it!

bride & groom wedding speech

If you are looking for more wedding planning advice, you can find lots more helpful tips HERE.