When Should Guests Give Speeches and Toasts During a Wedding Reception?

Wedding reception toast timetable

Photo: Laura Grier of Beautiful Day Photography

If you know who is supposed to give a toast at your wedding, you should probably figure out when they should do it, as well. People have varying opinions on when in a reception this portion of a wedding should take place, but remember that order is important for a big-scale event like a wedding. So when should speeches and toasts occur? Our wedding etiquette experts are here to answer your wedding reception questions in our daily post.

My fiancé wants to get all of the toasts and speeches out of the way before dinner at our wedding reception. My dad thinks they should come after dinner. I say people should give toasts whenever the spirit moves them. Who's right?

The best time to do the toasts is when guests have drinks and before dancing has started, which means during cocktails or after they sit down for dinner. (If you're pouring champagne, do it then.) Having the toasts after dinner may be tricky, because at that point, guests are usually ready to hit the dance floor. Letting folks wing it will seem messy and disorganized. Believe it or not, people like to know when things are happening. PS: This is the same reason why seating assignments and escort cards are so important. Guests like being told what to do! It's the sign of a well-planned wedding. Cheers!

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