Speeches are an essential part of almost every wedding, but they can also cause a planning headache at times. Who should give a speech? What order should they go in? When should the speeches be, and how long should they go on for? But what’s great is that couples are shaking up the speech format in lots of different ways and having the speeches, or some of the speeches, during the drinks reception rather than at the meal is just one way things are changing. What’s the advantage of doing this you might ask? Well that’s what we’re here to answer. As with anything there are pros and cons but hopefully by the time you’ve finished reading you’ll have made up your mind as to whether this is the format for you. So, should you have the speeches at the drinks reception instead?
Less Time to Stress
Witnessing a friend or family member get married is typically a joyous occasion. But for anyone giving a speech, the excitement of the day could be overshadowed by nerves and anxiety. Even the most confident speechgiver could find themselves distracted, going over the speech in their head. Getting the speeches out of the way during the drinks reception means it’s done early in the day’s proceedings, and allows all those involved to relax and enjoy the day with their speech done and dusted. It’s also an option to just let anyone who is nervous do theirs at the drinks reception and the rest of the wedding party could do theirs at the dinner.
A More Relaxed Setting
Standing up and speaking in front of a seated crowd can be quite a daunting experience, especially from the top table. It’s easy to feel exposed. The atmosphere tends to be a lot more relaxed during the drinks reception. It’s a chance for people to take a breather after the more formal ceremony part of the day. The fact that all the guests are standing around casually, enjoying a glass of bubbly could certainly help the person giving a speech feel more comfortable. With everyone at eye level, it may feel like less of a performance.
Less Likely to Rely on ‘Liquid Courage’
In a bid to keep the nerves at bay, some speechgivers may be tempted to indulge in a few glasses of bubbly. Who could blame them for wanting to take the edge off. If you’ve ever done karaoke in public, chances are you needed a few beverages to release your inner rock star! However, as we all know… one glass can easily turn into three or four! Of course, everyone reacts differently to alcohol, and the last thing you want is them losing their train of thought, slurring or even making inappropriate jokes as inhibitions get loose. Having the speeches earlier is a great way to ensure this doesn’t happen!
There’s No Interuption or Delay to Dinner Service
Having your speeches during dinner will inevitably affect the dinner service. Whether you do them before, during or towards the end. Before the meal, people can be hungry, and more interested in being fed than hearing funny stories about how you met. During the meal could be difficult for weddings with larger numbers of guests, as everything in the kitchen will have to be timed perfectly and as we know, speeches can run on. And towards the end, can see things get quite boisturous if people have been drinking. Having all or some of the speeches at the reception might allow dinner to flow more freely. You can still liven things up with fun dinner games for guests. We have lots of game ideas here!
Possible Cons of Having Speeches During the Drinks Reception
There are drawbacks when it comes to moving the speeches from their traditional time slot. Here are some things to consider.
- If guests are busy checking into the venue or pop to their rooms to freshen up, they might miss the speeches. Make sure to have the running order of the day on signage as they arrive or on the ceremony booklet.
- You could have trouble getting people’s attention. As people are mingling and busy catching up, your speechgiver might have to talk over some excited chatter.
- If you’re doing all your speeches at the drinks reception, you won’t be able to play games like wedding speech bingo.
- The drinks reception space might not have as good acoustics as the reception space for the meal.
- It might be hard for people to see the speechgiver if they aren’t standing on something.
- If the drinks reception is outside, you’ll have to check with your venue that an outdoor mic and sound system is available for outdoor use.
Getting started on a speech can be the hardest part, so here’s some handy inspiration with our 25 Funny Opening Lines for Wedding Speeches!