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The best time for wedding speeches

Wedding speeches…I find that most couples go down the traditional route and have speeches on their special day, but when is the best time for wedding speeches?

There’s 3 options for when you can have your wedding speeches and there’s both pros and cons to each of these. Below I will list out each of the options below and what about that option is good or bad, to help you choose when to have your wedding speeches.

guest reaction during wedding speeches

Speeches before food


  • All of the speakers will be able to get their speeches out of the way before the meal, meaning that it will diminish the nerves and they can enjoy their food.
  • The tables are nice and clean / clear instead of littered with half filled plates, empty beer bottles / glasses and table decor is still in it’s place.
  • It’s lighter earlier in the day, meaning that it’s better for photos with the natural light coming through from the windows.


  • Your guests and photographer / any other suppliers involved in your day will be left hungry whilst they wait for the speeches to end.
  • Your caterers have to gauge how long your speeches will be to get the food ready in time for when your speeches end.

Speeches during the food

Having speeches between food courses is personally my least favourite option for a few reasons and definitely has more cons than pros!

Pros –

  • It breaks up the speeches so that they don’t last as long if one or more of the speakers have a lot to say / tell stories.

Cons –

  • It’s often getting darker so the light is different for each speech, which makes the set of photos look a little odd and disjointed.
  • It’s hard for the caterers to be able to time the food and keep everyones meal warm if speeches overrun.
  • It’s hard for your photographer to be able to eat a meal themselves as when their food is ready it’s often time for the next speech, so they’re either left hungry or come back to a cold meal.
  • Your photographer will have already been on their feet, working hard for hours by this point and would really appreciate a break! If speeches are in between courses they will have to rush around to check if the next speech is about to start.
  • It makes for a fractured experience as your guests could be mid chat, then told they have to be quiet before they can start that conversation again, probably forgetting that they were talking about in-between.
  • By breaking pop the speeches it makes them less of an event.
  • Tables will become more and more littered throughout each speech and look messy for the photos.

Speeches after the food

Pros –

  • No one is left hungry and agitated, waiting for the speeches to end.
  • Easiest option for the caterers as they can get your food ready for a scheduled time and the meals don’t have to be kept warm if speeches over run as everyone will have already eaten.
  • Everyone is more relaxed as they’ve been fed and had a few drinks

Cons –

  • It will be getting darker or already be dark outside by then, meaning that flash will likely have to be introduced to light people’s faces, instead of using the softer natural light if the venue is light enough.
  • The tables will be littered with all of the used glasses, plates, cutlery, napkins as well as all of the table decor will have been moved.

bride's reaction during wedding speeches

So when is the best time for wedding speeches to take place?

In my opinion either before or after the food is best because as you can see from the above, there’s a lot more cons than there are pros to having your wedding speeches in the middle of the food / in between courses.

wedding speechesBride crying during wedding speecheswedding speecheswedding speeches

I hope you have found this blog post useful. If you want to find out what I think is the perfect timeline for your wedding day then check out this blog post.

If you want to hear an awesome wedding speech, check out this video of Tom Fletcher from McFly singing his speech. I love it, not only because I was a big McFly fan in my teens but also because it’s a fun way to do a speech and get out the lovely words he wanted to say in a way that made him feel comfortable and all of the guests enjoyed!