Wedding Customs & Traditions Forum

Order of Toasts

Hi everyone, I need some help deciding the order of the toasts. We are going to do them during dinner, once every table has been through the buffet. My fiancé and I are paying for everything so we are the hosts. I have seen a lot of conflicting advice on the Internet about who speaks and in what order. 

Yesterday my dad and I were talking about the wedding. According to him, he starts off with a toast to the bride and then my FH will answer him with a toast. This seems super traditional to me, though I'm not opposed to doing it this way. I hate public speaking and then I don't need to speak except for thanking people for coming. 

We also want to let the BM speak, my MOH if she wants, my mom, and my FILs. Is this too many? Ideally we would keep it short, I think my dad would likely be the longest as he enjoys giving speeches. 
Thanks for any tips!

Re: Order of Toasts

  • Hi everyone, I need some help deciding the order of the toasts. We are going to do them during dinner, once every table has been through the buffet. My fiancé and I are paying for everything so we are the hosts. I have seen a lot of conflicting advice on the Internet about who speaks and in what order. 

    Yesterday my dad and I were talking about the wedding. According to him, he starts off with a toast to the bride and then my FH will answer him with a toast. This seems super traditional to me, though I'm not opposed to doing it this way. I hate public speaking and then I don't need to speak except for thanking people for coming. 

    We also want to let the BM speak, my MOH if she wants, my mom, and my FILs. Is this too many? Ideally we would keep it short, I think my dad would likely be the longest as he enjoys giving speeches. 
    Thanks for any tips!
    A toast is not a speech.  Do not let your dad give a speech.  Tell him the orchestra will play him off after 2 minutes.  He gets TWO MINUTES.

    Also, I'm not sure if doing it during dinner is the best time.  So, let's say I'm the last person to go through the buffet line, I sit down and you start toasts.  Five people talking at two minutes apiece plus moving the microphone around, and my dinner is cold by the time I'm able to turn back around and start eating it.

    All that to say, I don't know what you SHOULD do, but I know what you SHOULDN'T do.  Sorry I couldn't be more help.
    OurWildKingdomHeffalump
  • adk19 said:
    Hi everyone, I need some help deciding the order of the toasts. We are going to do them during dinner, once every table has been through the buffet. My fiancé and I are paying for everything so we are the hosts. I have seen a lot of conflicting advice on the Internet about who speaks and in what order. 

    Yesterday my dad and I were talking about the wedding. According to him, he starts off with a toast to the bride and then my FH will answer him with a toast. This seems super traditional to me, though I'm not opposed to doing it this way. I hate public speaking and then I don't need to speak except for thanking people for coming. 

    We also want to let the BM speak, my MOH if she wants, my mom, and my FILs. Is this too many? Ideally we would keep it short, I think my dad would likely be the longest as he enjoys giving speeches. 
    Thanks for any tips!
    A toast is not a speech.  Do not let your dad give a speech.  Tell him the orchestra will play him off after 2 minutes.  He gets TWO MINUTES.

    Also, I'm not sure if doing it during dinner is the best time.  So, let's say I'm the last person to go through the buffet line, I sit down and you start toasts.  Five people talking at two minutes apiece plus moving the microphone around, and my dinner is cold by the time I'm able to turn back around and start eating it.

    All that to say, I don't know what you SHOULD do, but I know what you SHOULDN'T do.  Sorry I couldn't be more help.
    Thank you, I assumed that most people would eat during the speeches/toasts. I haven't been to many weddings so I didn't think of that. So I guess we will do toasts/speeches after everyone has had a chance to eat. Do people typically do a short toast right before starting dinner? As a welcome to the reception?

    I should note, I'm totally ok with my dad giving a speech. I will of course give him a cutoff time, but he is the only one who wants to give a speech rather than a short toast. It shouldn't take too long for everyone if they all have a limited time.
  • Hi everyone, I need some help deciding the order of the toasts. We are going to do them during dinner, once every table has been through the buffet. My fiancé and I are paying for everything so we are the hosts. I have seen a lot of conflicting advice on the Internet about who speaks and in what order. 

    Yesterday my dad and I were talking about the wedding. According to him, he starts off with a toast to the bride and then my FH will answer him with a toast. This seems super traditional to me, though I'm not opposed to doing it this way. I hate public speaking and then I don't need to speak except for thanking people for coming. 

    We also want to let the BM speak, my MOH if she wants, my mom, and my FILs. Is this too many? Ideally we would keep it short, I think my dad would likely be the longest as he enjoys giving speeches. 
    Thanks for any tips!
    This is a lot, especially if your FI will speak as well. Are you having a rehearsal dinner; if so can your FIL's make a toast then? Also, have all of these people offered to give a toast?

    I think one to two toasts is plenty, three is the max before my attention starts waning (especially if they are holding up dinner or the bar), any more than that it starts to feel pretty AW to me. H and I went to a wedding once where each parent spoke, the BM, the MOH, the sister, and they all were speech length and it was way WAY too much.
    [Deleted User]emmaaaInLoveInQueens
  • Hi everyone, I need some help deciding the order of the toasts. We are going to do them during dinner, once every table has been through the buffet. My fiancé and I are paying for everything so we are the hosts. I have seen a lot of conflicting advice on the Internet about who speaks and in what order. 

    Yesterday my dad and I were talking about the wedding. According to him, he starts off with a toast to the bride and then my FH will answer him with a toast. This seems super traditional to me, though I'm not opposed to doing it this way. I hate public speaking and then I don't need to speak except for thanking people for coming. 

    We also want to let the BM speak, my MOH if she wants, my mom, and my FILs. Is this too many? Ideally we would keep it short, I think my dad would likely be the longest as he enjoys giving speeches. 
    Thanks for any tips!
    This is a lot, especially if your FI will speak as well. Are you having a rehearsal dinner; if so can your FIL's make a toast then? Also, have all of these people offered to give a toast?

    I think one to two toasts is plenty, three is the max before my attention starts waning (especially if they are holding up dinner or the bar), any more than that it starts to feel pretty AW to me. H and I went to a wedding once where each parent spoke, the BM, the MOH, the sister, and they all were speech length and it was way WAY too much.
    Good advice. My MOH's wedding was like that and it dragged on. I want to avoid that.
     I know that my dad and the BM for sure want to speak, but my MOH is shy so would likely be ok not doing a toast at the reception. My FILs can probably do a toast at the RD, thanks for the suggestion! 
    My new idea is to have my dad say something, the BM, and then my FH can close it out with something short. This will all be after dinner so no one is waiting for food. Does this plan sound ok?
  • Hi everyone, I need some help deciding the order of the toasts. We are going to do them during dinner, once every table has been through the buffet. My fiancé and I are paying for everything so we are the hosts. I have seen a lot of conflicting advice on the Internet about who speaks and in what order. 

    Yesterday my dad and I were talking about the wedding. According to him, he starts off with a toast to the bride and then my FH will answer him with a toast. This seems super traditional to me, though I'm not opposed to doing it this way. I hate public speaking and then I don't need to speak except for thanking people for coming. 

    We also want to let the BM speak, my MOH if she wants, my mom, and my FILs. Is this too many? Ideally we would keep it short, I think my dad would likely be the longest as he enjoys giving speeches. 
    Thanks for any tips!
    This is a lot, especially if your FI will speak as well. Are you having a rehearsal dinner; if so can your FIL's make a toast then? Also, have all of these people offered to give a toast?

    I think one to two toasts is plenty, three is the max before my attention starts waning (especially if they are holding up dinner or the bar), any more than that it starts to feel pretty AW to me. H and I went to a wedding once where each parent spoke, the BM, the MOH, the sister, and they all were speech length and it was way WAY too much.
    Good advice. My MOH's wedding was like that and it dragged on. I want to avoid that.
     I know that my dad and the BM for sure want to speak, but my MOH is shy so would likely be ok not doing a toast at the reception. My FILs can probably do a toast at the RD, thanks for the suggestion! 
    My new idea is to have my dad say something, the BM, and then my FH can close it out with something short. This will all be after dinner so no one is waiting for food. Does this plan sound ok?
    I think the three sounds good. If they truly are toasts (and not speeches, please avoid speeches) then I would have them before dinner. Are you doing a seated dinner or buffet? If seated I would do it right as people sit down from cocktail hour. They  will have just eaten something, gotten a drink; have a few quick toasts while servers are coming around with the salad course.

    If you wait til after dinner (which is fine to do), people will have just been sitting for an hour (or more) will want to get up, get a drink, use the restroom, talk to people they didn't see during cocktail hour, get the dancing started, etc. What does your reception timeline look like? Are you doing cake cutting, first dance, other things?
    ernursej
  • Hi everyone, I need some help deciding the order of the toasts. We are going to do them during dinner, once every table has been through the buffet. My fiancé and I are paying for everything so we are the hosts. I have seen a lot of conflicting advice on the Internet about who speaks and in what order. 

    Yesterday my dad and I were talking about the wedding. According to him, he starts off with a toast to the bride and then my FH will answer him with a toast. This seems super traditional to me, though I'm not opposed to doing it this way. I hate public speaking and then I don't need to speak except for thanking people for coming. 

    We also want to let the BM speak, my MOH if she wants, my mom, and my FILs. Is this too many? Ideally we would keep it short, I think my dad would likely be the longest as he enjoys giving speeches. 
    Thanks for any tips!
    This is a lot, especially if your FI will speak as well. Are you having a rehearsal dinner; if so can your FIL's make a toast then? Also, have all of these people offered to give a toast?

    I think one to two toasts is plenty, three is the max before my attention starts waning (especially if they are holding up dinner or the bar), any more than that it starts to feel pretty AW to me. H and I went to a wedding once where each parent spoke, the BM, the MOH, the sister, and they all were speech length and it was way WAY too much.
    Good advice. My MOH's wedding was like that and it dragged on. I want to avoid that.
     I know that my dad and the BM for sure want to speak, but my MOH is shy so would likely be ok not doing a toast at the reception. My FILs can probably do a toast at the RD, thanks for the suggestion! 
    My new idea is to have my dad say something, the BM, and then my FH can close it out with something short. This will all be after dinner so no one is waiting for food. Does this plan sound ok?
    I think the three sounds good. If they truly are toasts (and not speeches, please avoid speeches) then I would have them before dinner. Are you doing a seated dinner or buffet? If seated I would do it right as people sit down from cocktail hour. They  will have just eaten something, gotten a drink; have a few quick toasts while servers are coming around with the salad course.

    If you wait til after dinner (which is fine to do), people will have just been sitting for an hour (or more) will want to get up, get a drink, use the restroom, talk to people they didn't see during cocktail hour, get the dancing started, etc. What does your reception timeline look like? Are you doing cake cutting, first dance, other things?
    We are doing a buffet. I think I will tell my dad that his speech can be at the RD, and he can do a short toast at the reception. 
    Great advice about the timing. The last think I want is to make people antsy from sitting too long!

    Our timeline is like this:
    5-6 pm Cocktail hour
    6 pm Entrance of Bridal Party
    6:05 pm First Dance
    6:10 pm Cake Cutting
    6:30 pm Buffet Dinner

    So if we do short toasts, they would be after cutting the cake. 
    Then I guess the first toast can also serve as a welcome?
    Doing it this way, the toasts would be shorter than 10 mins. 
    Thanks for all your advice, you've been really helpful!
    charlotte989875SP29emmaaa
  • That sounds good to have him do a speech at the RD if he's insisting on a speech and a short toast at the reception and have them all in between the cake cutting and buffet.  Your FI can welcome everyone and thank them for coming and hand it off to your dad or his BM.

    Can I ask what the deal is with him giving a speech rather than a toast? Just curious (and not meant to be judgy at all), just wondering why a simple toast isn't enough? Maybe I'm projecting a bit, but I'd feel super uncomfortable with a speech.
    Hi everyone, I need some help deciding the order of the toasts. We are going to do them during dinner, once every table has been through the buffet. My fiancé and I are paying for everything so we are the hosts. I have seen a lot of conflicting advice on the Internet about who speaks and in what order. 

    Yesterday my dad and I were talking about the wedding. According to him, he starts off with a toast to the bride and then my FH will answer him with a toast. This seems super traditional to me, though I'm not opposed to doing it this way. I hate public speaking and then I don't need to speak except for thanking people for coming. 

    We also want to let the BM speak, my MOH if she wants, my mom, and my FILs. Is this too many? Ideally we would keep it short, I think my dad would likely be the longest as he enjoys giving speeches. 
    Thanks for any tips!
    This is a lot, especially if your FI will speak as well. Are you having a rehearsal dinner; if so can your FIL's make a toast then? Also, have all of these people offered to give a toast?

    I think one to two toasts is plenty, three is the max before my attention starts waning (especially if they are holding up dinner or the bar), any more than that it starts to feel pretty AW to me. H and I went to a wedding once where each parent spoke, the BM, the MOH, the sister, and they all were speech length and it was way WAY too much.
    Good advice. My MOH's wedding was like that and it dragged on. I want to avoid that.
     I know that my dad and the BM for sure want to speak, but my MOH is shy so would likely be ok not doing a toast at the reception. My FILs can probably do a toast at the RD, thanks for the suggestion! 
    My new idea is to have my dad say something, the BM, and then my FH can close it out with something short. This will all be after dinner so no one is waiting for food. Does this plan sound ok?
    I think the three sounds good. If they truly are toasts (and not speeches, please avoid speeches) then I would have them before dinner. Are you doing a seated dinner or buffet? If seated I would do it right as people sit down from cocktail hour. They  will have just eaten something, gotten a drink; have a few quick toasts while servers are coming around with the salad course.

    If you wait til after dinner (which is fine to do), people will have just been sitting for an hour (or more) will want to get up, get a drink, use the restroom, talk to people they didn't see during cocktail hour, get the dancing started, etc. What does your reception timeline look like? Are you doing cake cutting, first dance, other things?
    We are doing a buffet. I think I will tell my dad that his speech can be at the RD, and he can do a short toast at the reception. 
    Great advice about the timing. The last think I want is to make people antsy from sitting too long!

    Our timeline is like this:
    5-6 pm Cocktail hour
    6 pm Entrance of Bridal Party
    6:05 pm First Dance
    6:10 pm Cake Cutting
    6:30 pm Buffet Dinner

    So if we do short toasts, they would be after cutting the cake. 
    Then I guess the first toast can also serve as a welcome?
    Doing it this way, the toasts would be shorter than 10 mins. 
    Thanks for all your advice, you've been really helpful!

  • I think the speech thing is just that he's pretty good at speeches so I figured he would give one. I didn't really get the difference between a speech and a toast before the Knot. I've just always figured my dad would do a speech at my wedding. 
  • I think the speech thing is just that he's pretty good at speeches so I figured he would give one. I didn't really get the difference between a speech and a toast before the Knot. I've just always figured my dad would do a speech at my wedding. 
    Nobody really wants to listen to a speech, though, particularly at a wedding. They want to eat and chat and maybe dance. 30 seconds per toast is plenty. I mean, have you ever looked around at a wedding while the dad or whomever is speechifying? I have, and I saw uncomfortable people. I don't know anyone who would eat while someone else is standing up talking, so please, for the sake of your guests, convince your dad to not give a speech, but a 30-second-max toast. "Congratulations to my wonderful daughter and amazing new son-in-law! Hooray for the happy couple!" (raised glasses, cheers, the end, time to eat!)
    I think you might have missed my earlier post revising my plan. I'm not doing toasts during dinner anymore. 
  • I'm in the camp that really dislikes toasts and speeches. I personally like when toasts can be limited to one very short toast and any speeches are done at the RD.

    OP - it does sound like you've made some adjustments and while it wouldn't be my ideal, I wouldn't side eye your new plan of action.

  • I think the speech thing is just that he's pretty good at speeches so I figured he would give one. I didn't really get the difference between a speech and a toast before the Knot. I've just always figured my dad would do a speech at my wedding. 
    Nobody really wants to listen to a speech, though, particularly at a wedding. They want to eat and chat and maybe dance. 30 seconds per toast is plenty. I mean, have you ever looked around at a wedding while the dad or whomever is speechifying? I have, and I saw uncomfortable people. I don't know anyone who would eat while someone else is standing up talking, so please, for the sake of your guests, convince your dad to not give a speech, but a 30-second-max toast. "Congratulations to my wonderful daughter and amazing new son-in-law! Hooray for the happy couple!" (raised glasses, cheers, the end, time to eat!)
    I think you might have missed my earlier post revising my plan. I'm not doing toasts during dinner anymore. 
    Okay, fair, but my point that speeches are not well-liked stands.
    image
  • I think the speech thing is just that he's pretty good at speeches so I figured he would give one. I didn't really get the difference between a speech and a toast before the Knot. I've just always figured my dad would do a speech at my wedding. 
    Nobody really wants to listen to a speech, though, particularly at a wedding. They want to eat and chat and maybe dance. 30 seconds per toast is plenty. I mean, have you ever looked around at a wedding while the dad or whomever is speechifying? I have, and I saw uncomfortable people. I don't know anyone who would eat while someone else is standing up talking, so please, for the sake of your guests, convince your dad to not give a speech, but a 30-second-max toast. "Congratulations to my wonderful daughter and amazing new son-in-law! Hooray for the happy couple!" (raised glasses, cheers, the end, time to eat!)
    I think you might have missed my earlier post revising my plan. I'm not doing toasts during dinner anymore. 
    Okay, fair, but my point that speeches are not well-liked stands.
    Oh and I totally get that. I've revised my plan so that any speeches people want to do can be at the rehearsal dinner. More time for dancing at the reception!
  • This is a new one to me, I'd say 100% of the weddings I have attended have had speeches, not toasts. I've never thought anything of it and, barring a few clangers, have usually enjoyed them (or at least not minded them). Don't the best men at the weddings you guys go to give a speech? I'm not saying they have to do a 30 minute spot, but maybe about 3-5mins? Usually it's seen FoB, Groom, BM. Occassionally the bride gets up, but that that has usually been a toast.

    Maybe it's a regional thing?
                 
    crowsgirl15
  • This is a new one to me, I'd say 100% of the weddings I have attended have had speeches, not toasts. I've never thought anything of it and, barring a few clangers, have usually enjoyed them (or at least not minded them). Don't the best men at the weddings you guys go to give a speech? I'm not saying they have to do a 30 minute spot, but maybe about 3-5mins? Usually it's seen FoB, Groom, BM. Occassionally the bride gets up, but that that has usually been a toast.

    Maybe it's a regional thing?
    It could be. I'm from Canada and I always expected to have it like you described. Maybe the custom is a little different in the US. I didn't realize people were so against 15 mins of speeches total at a wedding...
    That said, my MOH's reception consisted mostly of speeches and that was painful. No dancing because of her family (Baptists) but speeches by the FOB/MOB, FOG, MOG, MOH, BM, a bridesmaid, and a groomsman. The speeches were easily over an hour. 
  • I will say my dad is a "speecher".  At my sister's wedding he literally had a few typed pages. I think he realized that was insane and cut some stuff out midway through. He kept the speech at my wedding a bit shorter.

    I think in his mind it is more for sentimental reasons to explain how we are all there, his thoughts when the couple got together, etc. For the few people who didn't know my dad, maybe a few of the jokes were off, but for most guests it still worked.

    OurWildKingdom
  • SP29SP29 member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    At our wedding, my dad, SIL, best man, groomsman, MOH, and DH and I gave spoke. I told everyone 2 mins or less. So that would have been a total or 12mins or less. We did them in between courses during dinner. Some were very toast-like, others included some stories, and DH and I was a thank you to our guests (in addition to the receiving line and table visits).

    I don't mind a few toasts/speeches, and I don't mind stories, as long as it isn't too long and nothing too personal. I enjoy a funny anecdote.
    charlotte989875OurWildKingdom
  • I've been to plenty of weddings with speeches. The fact that lots of people do something will never inherently make that thing a good idea.
    image
    OurWildKingdom
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    I would limit the total toast speaking time to 6 minutes. People really just don't like being required to focus their attention on speakers or presentations at weddings (this is also why we don't advise slide shows). So make sure your dad understands not to give a speech - and don't ask every single one of your parents and honor attendants to give toasts.  That's just too many.
  • Just wanted to add, if you hate public speaking you don't need to publicly thank everyone- that's what table visits and receiving lines are for.

    My FIL was DEADSET on saying grace at my wedding. Months of talking about it. I was actually worried that it would go off on some tangent like his normal graces do ("Thank you God that Donald Trump is saving this great country" has been a recent one)
    Day of the wedding my dj phrases it as "a few words from the father of the groom" instead of "grace" and it got him so flustered he walked all the way up to microphone, grabbed it said "No." and walked back to his seat. My bridesmaids still talk about my fake forced smile and wtf eyes.



    OurWildKingdomSP29Greenjinjo
  • I wouldn't do more than 3 or 4 max.  If your FI wants to speak, he can but it's certainly not a requirement (same with you), especially as you two should either do a receiving line or table visits of some sort to make sure you personally thank everyone.  

    We did 3 toasts as dinner was winding down.  We didn't do a big cake cutting but the order went something like:
    Everyone goes through buffet line (10-15 minutes)
    20-30 minutes for dinner - just whenever it looked like plates were being cleared
    DH and I thanked everyone for coming and made sure to say PLEASE feel free to grab dessert (it was already out) 
    MOH and BM spoke for about 1 minute each
    My dad wrapped up (he and my mom hosted) for about 3 minutes
    Then we did our first dance to open the dance floor.

    Overall - dinner start to finish was no more than one hour!!  DONT make ppl sit for longer than that, it stinks.  (my opinion, and fancier weddings tend to have longer dinner because courses, but generally ppl get bored if it's lots longer)
    OurWildKingdom
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