Spotlight on Speeches

Speeches are an inevitable part of a wedding reception and there is a lot of confusion on who should do a speech, what they should say and in what order. So, we thought we’d dismiss a few myths surrounding this and offer a few top tips on how to best put your pen to paper…

Who makes a speech?

Contrary to popular belief, the only person actually required to make a speech at the wedding is the best man. However, there are plenty of other potential speakers that couples often also invite to make a toast and traditionally, these include:

  1. The Father of the Bride
    His toast would be to the new Mr and Mrs and usually include a few anecdotes about the bride when she was young, meeting the groom for the first time and offer best wishes.
  2. Groom
    The Groom toasts his wife, and thanks his groomsmen, bridesmaids and both sets of parents.
  3. The best man
    The best man’s role really is to tell funny and (more often than not) embarrassing stories about the groom and brings a real element of fun to proceedings.

 

As more and more couples venture away from the traditional and really add their own stamp to their day, we are starting to see more speeches from;

 

  1. Groom’s parents
    Who toast the uniting of the two families and welcome the bride into their own.
  2. Maid of Honour

If the maid of honour makes a speech, she will often toast the couple and the groomsmen (taking this role away from the Groom, and the best man will then toast the bridesmaids)

  1. Bride

The bride would toast her new husband, her bridesmaids and both sets of parents as well as the guests for coming to their special day.

If both the Bride and Groom would like to make a speech, it can be really nice for them to speak together as a newly married couple! They can thank their guests, parents and bridal party and it can be a wonderful way to bring the speeches to a close.

If you do decide to have several speakers taking to the mic, you can stagger the speeches to In between courses of the wedding breakfast to really add an extra dimension to the day.

 

The order of speeches really is down to you. There is no set order that toasts should be made, so you can decide who you would like to speak, when. I would certainly suggest starting with the Brides farther or the Groom (if he is making a solo speech) and leave the best man until towards the end, only followed by the Bride and Groom, should they be making a joint toast.

However you decide to hold your toasts and whoever you ask to speak, I hope the speeches leave lasting memories for you and your guests to cherish.

Destination weddings

So my partner and I received a beautiful wedding invitation from my brother-in-law recently (is it rude to ask them which company their stationery is from for a blog piece?) and they have chosen to have a destination wedding. They will be taking their vows and first steps into married life in an intimate ceremony on the beautiful island of Cyprus. And they’re not alone!
Destination weddings are on the increase as more couples opt for a low key affair abroad and I can certainly see the appeal.

Que the perfect excuse to immerse myself in a week of researching destination weddings, starting with a quick purchase of Destination Weddings & Honeymoons Abroad magazine. If you are considering marrying abroad, I would highly recommend this publication. A new edition comes out every couple of months and it really is packed to the rafters of venue ideas, real weddings, interviews and more! I’ll definitely be making this a regular purchase.

One of my first thoughts that sprang to mind when I first started looking into destination weddings was “how on earth do you plan a wedding from many miles away?”
When you are planning your big day, you visit different venues, meet with an array of suppliers to choose your perfect match – how could you possibly do this if you’re in a different country? I wanted to find out!
I have always loved France and therefore decided I would start provisionally planning a French wedding to see how easy it was to plan a special day from a far.

I started with obligatory google search “weddings in France” which threw up several websites, many of which were dedicated to a certain region of the country which was a pleasant surprise. Here in the UK, I really prefer working with professionals who know their area inside and out and rather than huge companies that cover vast areas so I’d like to do the same abroad.
The first one to really catch my attention was dreamfrenchwedding.com. The site was professional and easy to navigate and the company is run by Joanna Burgess who is the sole planner.
I spent some time navigating the site and it was just what you would expect from a wedding planner’s site – listing potential venues and offering their service packages. It was really clear that hiring a planner abroad was really no different to hiring a planner here. The same packages and services were offered and they had their recommended suppliers to save you finding reputable companies. So far, the planning process was really as easy as if I was planning here in the UK.
The only concern I would now have is that I would be choosing my venue from a far, and basing my judgements on pictures and reviews. I think if I was genuinely planning my big day I would probably try and book a long weekend over there and try and get a viewing of the venue(s) I liked so I could make a more informed decision.

The next website I moved onto was weddingsabroadguide.com which is fantastic!  It was created by Natalie Wigrove who after planning her own wedding abroad realised there wasn’t a one stop shop online for couples planning their destination wedding and so, voila! the site was born.
I started off by reading her “Top 10 Tips” to planning your wedding abroad which were very similar to the preliminary stages of planning a wedding here (such as sourcing your venue and setting a budget) but of course for those that have never planned a wedding before, these tips are incredibly helpful and save you having to flit between multiple sites.
I didn’t spend more than a glancing moment on the destinations page (having already selected France for my ‘wedding’) but it’s a wonderful resource for those of whom are looking to marry abroad but haven’t yet chosen where they might like to say I do. I moved onto the costs & budget tips page which is written in a blog style with each piece dedicated to a different destination. This was so informative, as was the legal requirements page which provides detailed information on documentation and legalities of marrying in different countries.
From just those two websites and reading the Destination Wedding & Honeymoons Abroad, I already feel more informed and a lot less lost when it comes to thinking about marrying abroad. I’m also genuinely interested in having a destination wedding in France myself (watch this space!)
Of course, when choosing to marry abroad you do need to take the cost for your guests into account. Generally speaking, you will be asking your guests to pay for flights, travel to and from the venue, accommodation and currency to name a few. This can therefore add up and so give out your save the dates and invitations as far in advance as possible to give your guests time to save their pennies. I have to admit, in my case, this is just the best excuse to have a week in the sunshine!