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Ask the Experts – “Should we have the wedding speeches before or after the meal?”

“There’s a debate raging between myself and my fiancé. I want to have the speeches before the dinner so that my best man can enjoy his food, but my fiancé wants to leave them until afterwards. What’s your opinion? Should we have the speeches before or after the dinner?” – Phil

From the Experts

Harvey’s Point – View Profile

Phil, this is always a raging debate so don’t think you are alone. In my own opinion I will have to agree with your fiancé, the day of a wedding can be a very long day for your guests, they travel to the ceremony then nearly always they travel to the venue, you then have the drinks reception while the wedding photographs are taking place. All of this can be taking place over possibly a five maybe six hour period and at this stage your guests are starving. If you have the speeches at this stage they can be a very hard crowd to please and win over where if the meal is over they are full and have hard a few glasses of wine and will be in much better form to enjoy your speeches. I am sure if your best man is too nervous to eat then your venue can keep him a dinner that he could enjoy once the speeches are over.

Clayton Hotel – View Profile

This is a question that comes up all the time here in the Clayton with our wedding couples.  There are several options available to you both and every couple has different ideas as to when they would like to have the speeches.  There are advantages to having them either before or after the meal but how about a compromise and have them after the starter or soup course or have them in between the different courses during your wedding meal.  Having them after the starter or soup course means that your guests have some food before the speeches and this also works well for the best man especially if he is nervous.  Hope this helps!

Maryborough Hotel – View Profile

The more confident speakers could always speak after dinner – and if there’s a quiet/shy speaker who is not going to enjoy the meal in anticipation of speaking, then you could have them do their speech beforehand and keep it short.

CityNorth Hotel – View Profile

Personally speaking I would rather keep 120 guest happy rather than 1 person and have the speeches after your meal. The day can be quite long for guests and are usually hungry come 5 O’clock and as result they are clock watching and they don’t enjoy your speeches which I am sure must of taken a lot of blood, sweat and tears! Once everyone has been fed they can sit back and relax before dancing the night away. However, I can see your point and it is not the first time the issue has been raised so you are not alone, we offer our couples the chance to upgrade to a more indulgent arrival reception with delicious hot or cold canapés that won’t break your budget and it will keep your guests happy until the speeches are over.

Sheraton Hotel Athlone – View Profile

I can see where you are both coming from; the best man is nervous and is looking to make the speech as soon as he can! What I suggest to couples in this predicament is to serve the starter so that people have something to eat and can relax and after the starter has been cleared then do the speeches this allows people to have had something to eat but the best man is not left waiting until the entire dinner is over.

Main photo by Studio33Weddings

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Former editor, current contributor, (she just can't let go!) Karen enjoys writing fashion but is known to dabble in decor from time to time. Her favourite section on the site is the Real Wedding section, followed closely by the Health & Fitness forums.

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