History of Wedding Speeches and Wedding Toasts
History of Wedding Speeches and Toasts
In the past, women didn’t play much of a role in
giving speeches at weddings. In European and North American
cultures it was father of the Groom and the father of the Bride who
were responsible for taking control of the toasts and speeches.
However all this has changed and today both men and women give speeches
and toasts at weddings.
The style of wedding speeches varied widely by
country. For example, in ancient Egypt, blessings and offerings to the
Gods were given as part of wedding ceremonies. These blessings
and offerings functioned much like the wedding speeches of today. In
Europe, the fathers of Brides and Grooms usually spoke at weddings. In
Great Britain mothers give wedding day blessings as well as toasts at
the receptions and ceremonies.
Some past wedding traditions didn’t involve the
Bride and Groom at all. Celebrations were still a part of the wedding
reception but these celebrations were generally not focused on the
married couple; rather, these celebrations were a time and place for
the wedding guests to enjoy themselves. There was less focus on
the wedding party and speeches took second place or were
nonexistent. For example, the Maid of Honor and the Bridesmaids
traditionally didn't deliver a speech at all.
The onset of the 20th century changed many wedding
traditions and added some new ones. Today it is common for the entire
wedding party to give speeches to the Bride, Groom, and parents of the
Bride and Groom. After these main speeches have taken place other
guests may choose to come up to the microphone or head table to deliver
a speech of their own.
Wedding speeches have also changed in tone and
content from past years. While in the past serious blessings were
bestowed on the couple as part of the wedding speeches, today speeches
can seem positively flippant by comparison. These days, many
successful wedding speeches contain humor and some level of teasing
towards the wedding couple. Rather than simply giving blessings
many speech givers at weddings are expected to reminisce and comment on
the couple as well as to propose a toast and offer good wishes to the
This new set of loose rules has many would-be
wedding speech givers more nervous than ever. It’s not always possible
to tell what humor, if any, is appropriate and will be appreciated by
all the guests attending the wedding. With more choices than ever
many people who wish to give a speech at a wedding end up feeling
confused and completely unsure of how to proceed. In the
following pages you will learn all you need to know to write a speech
that is appropriate will be received with applause.
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