Wedding Reception Speeches
Should you give a speech at your own wedding reception? 100% yes.
I encourage all of my couples to give a speech at their wedding reception. This isn't exactly a typical practice, but it should be! Brides and grooms are often too humble and afraid of making their wedding all about them. Newsflash: the point of having a wedding is to celebrate your love and your relationship. You are joining two families and creating a new family in the process. This is something to celebrate and you are the reason for the celebration. Again, it is not presumptuous or brag-y to give a speech at your wedding reception. The people there care about you and what you have to say. Moreover, a wedding speech is a great opportunity to acknowledge and thank your guests which is something that, if you have a large number of guests, you may have trouble doing for everyone individually.
Still need motivation to give that toast? Watch this clip from The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, an Amazon original series by Amy Sherman-Palladino. In the clip, Miriam "Midge" Maisel gives a speech at her wedding reception. This scene serves as an introduction to both the show and the titular character of the show. For you, your wedding may be the first time that some of the people in your spouse's family meet you or get to hear you speak for more than a few seconds. If that's the case for you, it's worth considering that this can be your introduction, as a character, to these people who have been a part of your spouse's life for longer than you've known the love of your life. Miriam Maisel is funny, that's her thing. Maybe it's not your thing. That's perfectly fine. Your wedding speech should be a reflection of who you are as an individual and who you and your partner are as a couple. If you're more serious than funny, make a serious wedding speech. If gratitude is your thing, the wedding speech is perfect for you. Your wedding speech should be an honest reflection of yourself and your love for one another, as well as the love you have for all of the people that took the time to attend your wedding and stay for the reception.
But what if your wedding doesn't have a ton of guests? Should you still make a speech. Short answer: yes. Long answer: If your wedding is more small and intimate and you seriously think that you'll be able to talk to everyone individually during the reception and thank them for everything you want to thank them for, a wedding speech may not be completely necessary. But would it still be nice? Yes, it would. A smaller wedding gives you the opportunity to mention more people by name during your speech and to watch as they react to your words of kindness, gratitude, and love. If all of your guests know you and your partner well, this won't be an introductory speech by any means. Consider it a time to laugh and joke together, to say something to each other and your guests in your own words. Consider it the final act of the Broadway show that your wedding is. Once the curtain falls on this speech, you are free to fully jump into the after party.
You can find out more about giving a speech at your own wedding here, along with some tips on how to give a wedding speech (advice you might want to pass on to your less practiced best man or maid of honor).