If this is your first time giving a wedding toast (whether you're the groom, best man or father of the bride), you'll be forgiven for not knowing the correct format and etiquette of your wedding speeches.

  • Who says what?
  • Who thanks who?
  • What order do you speak in?

What a minefield!

And though some might consider these matters trivial, they're not the ones who are going to be handed a microphone in front of a room of expectant faces who are waiting for something hilarious, heartfelt or genuinely profound.

Fear not, gents!

We've gone and written a complete breakdown of the order of speakers and whom they toast, thank, plus all the added extras, so you can take all the angst out of delivering a top-notch speech.

Fearful of Public Speaking?

Check out our top tips on how to calm yourself down and deliver a belting wedding speech everyone will remember for the right reasons.

What is a Wedding Toast?

A wedding toast is the final part of the wedding speech, where the speaker will ask everyone to drink to... (insert reason here). Whether that be to a person, good health, or something weird and wonderful.

Wedding Toasts And Etiquette At A Glance...

1 Father of the bride

  • Thanks - Thank everyone for attending and the groom's parents for their help in organising the wedding (if applicable).
  • Toast - "To absent friends."
  • Extras - As the first speaker, the bride's father, who traditionally is considered the host of the wedding, will welcome all the guests, welcome the groom to his family and speak about the bride.

Check out our Father of the Bride Speech for all the lowdown on writing a killer speech!

2 Groom

  • Thanks – Thank the wedding party: bridesmaids, groomsmen, ushers, pageboys, best man, mothers of the bride and the groom.
  • Toast - "To the bridesmaids."
  • Extras - During the thank yous, the groom will present gifts to each member of the bridal party on behalf of himself and his new bride. It is also a modern tradition for the mothers of the bride and groom to be presented with flowers.

Check out our How to Write a Groom Speech for all the lowdown on writing a killer speech!

3 Best man

  • Thanks - Thank the groom on behalf of the wedding party for his words and gifts.
  • Toast - "To the happy couple, Mr and Mrs..."
  • Extras - The best man will relay any messages on behalf of the couple or venue/wedding planner, and also read any messages or well wishes from guests who weren't able to attend.
  • Oh... and also comedically rip the groom to pieces in front of his nearest and dearest.

Check out our Best Man Speech Ideas for all the lowdown on writing a killer speech!


It is becoming more common for there to be other speakers in the wedding party. This might include the chief bridesmaid, older relatives or the bride herself. This can be a great thing to do (unless you end up with 17 speeches when everyone really just wants to hit the dance floor/bar/bathroom). However, none of these speakers are required to make a formal toast at the end of their speech.

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Speech Roles

Father of the Bride

As well as fulfilling the role of host, the father of the bride acts as a warm-up to the other two to provide the comedy gold.

As an older head, the father of the bride will hopefully be a calmer and more assured speaker, welcoming everyone and using a few jokes to set everyone up for the best man.

Sometimes the father of the bride may even be a great raconteur who has a few good stories. However, on occasions, the father's speech can go on a little long. If you are giving a speech, aim for 7 minutes.


As the main man, the groom is tasked with thanking everyone for their help in making the wedding happen, sharing the journey of his relationship with his wonderful bride, before getting in a couple of swipes at the best man before he ruthlessly tears him apart in front of his family and friends.

Best Man

The best man is the star act and provides all the comedy banter, most of it aimed at the fool who gave him a microphone and room full of people to bear witness to his humiliating character assassination (we're not condoning this, we're merely pointing out tradition and giving mention to modern etiquette).

The best man will often act as MC introducing each of the speakers and during his speech relay messages for those that couldn't make it.

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