Reception Speeches: What NOT To Say

While very few Hollywood wedding catastrophes happen in real life, some precautions should be taken to avoid preventable embarrassing moments. Speeches given at the reception by the best man, maid of honor, or another honorary speaker can be precious, humorous, or inspirational, but can also cause the bride, groom, and guests to cringe – just think about the best man”s speech in The Wedding Singer! Here are a few guidelines and boundaries for speeches at the reception:

Remember brevity. A speech should take no longer than five minutes, so hit the highlights, the important details, or what you truly want said, especially if there are more than two people giving speeches. Guests love toasts, but be careful not to bore them.

Inside Jokes. Following closely to the guideline above, inside jokes will either leave guests confused or will take much too long to explain.

Ex”s. Reminding the bride and groom where they are on the list of significant others is not a good way to begin a marriage. Yes, they know about their Beloved”s past conquests, but a wedding is not the time to bring that up.

Cliches. Keep the tired, cheesy movie cliches to a minimum and choose instead a timeless quote.

Secrets. Some things should never be told anytime and certainly not at a wedding reception. While toasts and speeches can contain humor, fun, and quips, remember to keep the speech classy and respectful.

Wedding night jokes. Children, clergy, and grandmothers also attend weddings and may take offense at wedding night jokes. And while “enjoy the having and the holding” may be appropriate after an inspirational toast about romantic love, no one needs to know what happens behind closed doors.

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