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rehearsal dinner speech

A Supreme Guide to Wedding Rehearsal Dinner Speeches

You have enjoyed all the pre-wedding events leading up to your big day, but you have one left: the wedding rehearsal dinner. You might have been to rehearsal dinners in the past and were moved by the heartfelt, sincere, speeches that were given at those pre-wedding celebrations. But who gives rehearsal dinner speeches, anyway? 

Now, it is your turn to take part in that special moment, but you are not sure who should give the unforgettable toast or what to say. No worries! Here are the answers to your rehearsal dinner questions. 


What is the Purpose of a Rehearsal Dinner Speech?

rehearsal dinner speech and toast

Delivering a memorable speech is an important part of the wedding rehearsal dinner. During the rehearsal dinner, a funny or heartfelt speech is given while raising one’s glass to honor the bride and groom. You and your guests are guaranteed to laugh or cry during the rehearsal dinner toast. 

Now on to your biggest rehearsal dinner question:


Who Should Give a Speech at a Rehearsal Dinner?

speech at wedding dinner

Although there are some typical rehearsal dinner speech traditions, there are no set guidelines for your toast. In other words, it is up to you to decide who gives the speeches at the rehearsal dinner.

However, if you want a guide to typical toasting traditions to steal for your wedding rehearsal dinner, here are the traditional candidates to consider for your dinner toast. 


The Groom’s Parents

First and foremost, the groom’s parents should give the toast to congratulate the happy couple. Traditionally, the groom’s parents take on the task to host the wedding rehearsal dinner. Therefore, it is customary for the groom’s parents to say a few words.

Again, it’s not mandatory for the groom’s father or mother to speak at your wedding rehearsal toast, but you probably won’t regret letting them make a speech, especially if they share funny stories about the groom that you’ve never heard before. 

It’s common for the father figure to speak, so check out some father of the groom speech tips here!


The Bride’s Parents

Don’t hesitate to ask your parents to say a few words at your wedding rehearsal dinner. Since the wedding is usually hosted by the bride’s parents, it is not customary for the father or mother of the bride to give a speech at the rehearsal dinner.

But nowadays, it’s not so clear who is responsible for planning and paying for certain wedding events, which means that the bride’s parents can also share a couple of words regardless of who hosts the rehearsal dinner. 


Other Family Members

Your other family members are up next. Other immediate family members such as siblings, aunts, cousins, uncles, and grandparents are also guests who are typically asked to give a rehearsal dinner speech.

Since these are the guests that you probably don’t see often, there is no better time for these loved ones to share a couple of kind words to congratulate you and your partner. Perhaps they’ll share a couple of memories or stories they have of you that’ll make your rehearsal dinner all the more memorable.  


Friends or Out-of-Town Wedding Guests

Many couples decide to extend the rehearsal dinner guest list to invite their friends and other out-of-town friends who they don’t see often.

Since the wedding speeches are reserved for the maid of honor and the best man, the rehearsal dinner is the perfect time for your other guests to jump in and express their happiness and best wishes for the soon-to-be-married couple. 


The Happy Couple

You and your beloved may also speak at the wedding rehearsal dinner, after all, the whole event is about celebrating you and your partner, the happy couple. It’s common for the groom to give a speech at the rehearsal dinner.

Perhaps you should take this opportunity to thank the hosts for planning the dinner and for making an unforgettable toast. Or maybe you want to add on to what other guests already said and respond to their toasts. It is also a perfect time to thank specific people who have helped plan and paid for your wedding expenses. 


Marriage Officiants 

Yes, your wedding officiant can also participate in the rehearsal dinner speech. Maybe you are close to your wedding officiant, and maybe they have been in your life for a very long time.

Certainly, your wedding officiant is in charge of the biggest task for your wedding, that is, officiating your wedding ceremony and making sure that you and your partner get legally married. That’s why the rehearsal dinner is the perfect time for your marriage officiant to remind you of the importance and the meaning of marriage. 


Who Shouldn’t Give a Rehearsal Dinner Toast?

best man speaking at wedding dinner

Well, this is really up to you to decide. As stated before, the bride’s maid of honor and the groom’s best man, usually wait until the wedding day to make their speeches. But sometimes, the maids of honor and best men chime in by making short speeches at the rehearsal dinner, too. 


When to Give a Toast at the Rehearsal Dinner

man giving wedding speech

According to Wedding Words, most speeches are usually recited right before dinner. But it also depends on what you have planned for the event or the rehearsal dinner schedule. 


Who Gives the First Toast at the Rehearsal Dinner?

rehearsal dinner toast

Typically, the people who are hosting the dinner are the first ones to make a speech. As mentioned before, the groom’s parents usually host and make the first rehearsal dinner speech. After that, feel free to say a couple of words or let other attendees congratulate you and your beloved. 


Tips for Giving The Perfect Wedding Rehearsal Dinner Speech

bride laughing at dinner speech

It is an honor and privilege to take part in the rehearsal dinner speech, but public speaking might not come naturally to you. But don’t worry; there is no need to stress out about giving the perfect toast or speech. We’ve got you covered! Consider the following tips that will prepare you for the dinner toast.  


Introduce Yourself

Whether you are the host, the bride, or an out-of-town guest, it is always a good idea to introduce yourself before giving a speech at the wedding rehearsal dinner. This way, you’ll let everyone know about your relationship with the happy couple. Remember to also thank everyone for coming to this special pre-wedding event. 


Keep it Short & Sweet

Consider sharing short stories that highlight positive traits of the engaged couple. Keep the speech under five minutes or the guests will most likely stop listening and reach for their phones. Just get straight to the point. 


Speak from the Heart

If you are just going to wing it and have no idea what to say, don’t fear! Just speak from the heart and share a few words that you know will mean a lot to the guests and the happy couple. 


Use an Anecdote 

You can share a funny anecdote about the bride and groom. Some examples include telling the story of how the couple met. If you’re not the couple, you can share a funny story about your first impressions of the bride or groom. If you’re the bride or groom, you can share the story of how you met your partner or your engagement story. 


Use a Funny Quote

Another wonderful idea is to insert a witty quote into your rehearsal dinner speech. Perhaps you can take this opportunity to roast the happy couple. But you don’t want to offend the couple, so don’t go overboard with humor.


Raising a Glass and Toasting Etiquette

toasting at a rehearsal dinner

When raising a glass for the dinner toast, keep the focus on the bride and groom. In other words, don’t make the event about you, unless you’re the couple. Also, make sure your glass is not empty before making the toast. Get everyone’s attention by clinking your glass or using a microphone. Next, raise a glass toward the couple and then invite the guests to take a sip from their glasses. 

The recipient of the toast, which in this case is the bride and groom, should never drink or raise a glass to themselves. They should remain seated and just enjoy the toast. However, the couple may also raise a glass to honor their hosts and their guests. But it’s not mandatory. 


Don’t Drink Too Much

You don’t want to be all clumsy and sloppy during the wedding rehearsal dinner speech. That’s why you should take it easy on the drinks during cocktail hour. Even if you’re nervous, it is never a good idea to drink excessive amounts of alcohol because you’ll end up embarrassing yourself or the soon-to-be-married couple. 


Practice, Practice, Practice

Practice makes perfect. Therefore, if you are going to give a speech at a wedding rehearsal dinner, it is a good idea to rehearse what you’re going to say. Write something down that you can then memorize. Consider reciting your speech in front of a mirror until you feel you are ready to recite it in front of everyone. You can also practice in front of someone who can also give you advice on how to improve your speech.

If you have stage fright, however, the nerves might get the best of you, making you forget what you had planned to say. Therefore, your other option is to read off the paper while giving your speech. This way, you will avoid forgetting to say some words or lines for your memorable speech. 


Wrap Up

Consider these tips for making a memorable wedding rehearsal dinner toast. Let us know which tips you’ll steal for your unforgettable rehearsal dinner speech. 

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