How Do I Turn Down a Family Member That Wants to Speak at My Wedding Ceremony?

Etiquette

There are countless ways family members can present tricky issues for your wedding, such as this scenario: One of your family members has asked to say a few words during the wedding ceremony, but you would prefer that he not. What is the best way to tactfully let him know? Our wedding etiquette experts are here to answer your questions in our daily post.

How do I say no to a family member that wants to speak at the ceremony?

Most likely you are under some ceremony time constraints, so one option is to explain this and let him know that you would love for him to offer a toast at the rehearsal dinner, instead. Customarily, since the rehearsal dinner is a more casual and intimate setting, that's where family and friends share more informal memories and well-wishes for the couple. Another (more generous) option would be select a few passages, poems, or book excerpts to be read aloud during the ceremony and invite him to be one of your readers. (This is, of course, assuming that he's a competent public speaker and that you'd like to include this part of the ceremony!) Whatever you decide, stick to your guns—the ceremony is the most important part of your wedding day, and you and your groom should be able to do whatever you like and include whomever you like. However you let him down, make sure to do so in a way that won't leave any doubt as to how much you value and respect him.

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