We often get asked whether your speeches should be before or after your meal and I would say this depends on a number of factors. Traditionally speeches would have followed your meal but, a lot of traditions have changed over time so it might be worth considering doing them before you eat.
We currently see a 70/30 split these days with people favouring doing their speeches before their meals.
Some reasons why you may want your speeches before your meal:
- If you have any nervous speakers they will still be able to sit down and enjoy their meal as they will have got their speech out of the way
- If your guests have already had canapés during the reception time they shouldn’t be starving hungry and so will be happy to sit through the speeches before their meal.
- The main lot of traditions on your wedding day are now done (apart from a first dance and possible cake cutting) so you can just relax and enjoy the rest of the day.
- The tables still look pristine
- One other reason (and the least important) is that if you have only booked us to stay with you until your meal if your speeches are done before you eat we will cover them for you within this length of coverage.
Some reasons why you may want your speeches after your meal:
- This is traditionally when speeches are done if traditions are important to you
- Guests will have full bellies and be a little more inebriated (so, more likely to laugh at any jokes)
Should I have speeches between courses?
Recently there has also been a growing trend for different speeches to be given between each course of the meal.
We personally would NEVER advise this and when we have seen it done we can say that it hasn’t gone as smoothly as it does with all speeches being done either before or after your meal.
Here’s a few reasons why we don’t think it works:
- It makes the day a little disjointed and the speeches lose a bit of momentum as they’re not given after one another.
- It can make it tricky for your caterers to time things correctly and know when to clear tables!
- Most people prefer to just eat their meals
- How do you know when to pour a toast if you’re having one and the chances are guests won’t have any drink left by the last speech
We appreciate that it is your day though so whilst we have a lot of experience it’s important that you have your speeches whenever works best for the two of you
When should I cut my cake?
With regards to the timings for your cake cutting we see this most often just before your first dance so that evening guests can see it cut and it naturally gets people together in one place before going through for your dancing.
The only time we tend to see a cake cut before a meal is if it’s being served as your pudding