10th February 2012
Speeches and toasts are a traditional part of the reception which symbolise the bond of friendship between all those present. They will vary in accordance with the size and degree of formality of the occasion. The main things to remember when giving a really good speech are to keep it short, try and make it light-hearted and amusing, speak naturally, do not say anything unflattering and keep it succinct. The traditional order of speeches is as follows.
Toast to the Bride and Groom – normally completed by a father or close relative to the bride and groom. Guests should be asked to stand for the toast and the bride and groom remain seated.
Response by the Groom – the groom would respond to the toast on behalf of his wife and also propose a toast to the bridesmaids. The bridesmaids should remain seated during this toast.
Bestman – the bestman responds to the toast on behalf of the bridesmaids and then proposes a toast to the parents of the bride and groom. He can also mention some anecdotal stories of his relationship with the groom.
Anyone else – but we suggest this be organised in advance. Providing an ‘open mic’ opportunity is very risky in that it may take up a lot of time that you could better use for dancing and socialising.
Bonbonieres are traditionally gifts the bride and groom give the guests as a thanks for celebrating their wedding. Years ago the traditional gifts were a small organza style bag of sugar coated almonds or chocolates. Nowadays a quick search of the internet reveals numerous options – from chocolates with the bride’s and groom’s names on them to personalised candy, picture frames, stubby holders and little boxes with lollies or chocolates. However, you should not be obliged to provide such gifts. It is truly optional. You might like to provide them as a personal touch, or save the money and put it towards another part of your wedding. Ultimately it’s up to you!
The right time! It is very important that as a bride you aim to arrive as close to the correct start time as possible. The reason for this is that even if you arrive 15 minutes late (viewed by some as the tradition!) it takes 15 minutes away from the time you have to take photographs or even time from your reception. Remember also that once your wedding car arrives it can often take up to 15 minutes to get you and your bridal party out of the car, give the photographer ample opportunity to take photos and get you ready to walk up the aisle. Fortunately nowadays guests are fairly punctual. In fact in our experience many are arriving particularly early. In the unlikely event that a bride arrives before many of the guests the simple suggestion is to wait – either at the venue or literally in a nearby side street. The only exception we suggest is when your ceremony is on a Friday. Since many guests will probably be coming from work or rushing from home (in Friday afternoon traffic!), we suggest the time you put on your invitation is 15 minutes earlier than the real time the bride intends to arrive. This gives guests a bit more time and they will simply think the bride is 15 minutes ‘traditionally late’.
An MC is provided as part of your package at Chateau Wyuna. This is usually your wedding coordinator, who is trained and will perform the role professionally. This involves welcoming guests to the venue, introducing the bridal party and announcing the formalities (ie. speeches, cutting of the cake, welcoming them to the dance floor if they are performing a bridal dance, farewelling the bride and groom, etc.). You are welcome to provide your own MC, in which case they need to understand the significance of the role and the need to liase with the venue throughout the evening. It is the sort of role that can look easy when it is done well, but can be cringing when not done well. So the consideration is do you know a friend who will be reliable and competent when speaking at your reception, or should you go with the safe option of a professional? It’s your choice.