5 Tips To Write An Amazing Rehearsal Dinner Speech

5 tips to write an amazing rehearsal dinner speech for wedding festivals

The rehearsal dinner speech is an important part of the wedding festivities. In many ways, the rehearsal dinner sets the tone for the wedding as the wedding party, family, and friends gather to begin celebrating. This blog post is for anyone in the wedding party who might speak a few special words at the rehearsal dinner whether it’s planned or part of an impromptu sharing time.

By the end of this post, you will have some guidance on how to wow your wedding party guests.

The first question you may have is, “who gives a speech at the rehearsal dinner? Well, that is completely up to the couple to decide. Although traditionally the family of the groom hosts the rehearsal dinner, this does not have to be your plan. The rehearsal dinner can be hosted by the person or family that works best for you.

The key is to honor the people who support you and make them feel included in your wedding. Is there rehearsal dinner speech etiquette? Yes, certain people should be honored and a good plan for this dinner will set the tone for your wedding. But it’s also about making sure that the couple feels loved and all of your guests feel welcome.

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Personalizing Your Rehearsal Dinner Speech

The problem is it’s always tough to share personal memories and details with people you are just meeting for the first time. But don’t underestimate this moment. Welcoming your wedding guests and providing a connection point before the wedding helps everyone to feel comfortable and get on the same page. The few minutes that you spend giving your rehearsal dinner speech are actually invaluable.

The day has finally arrived, almost. Tomorrow is the big day. Your wedding day is tomorrow. But today is your rehearsal dinner. This is the day when you get to practice your ceremony. It’s also the day when your wedding party will travel to the wedding destination, get settled into the hotel or homes that they will stay in and get ready for the special day. After the rehearsal, and before everyone settles in for the night a rehearsal dinner is traditionally hosted by the parents of the bride.

Keep in mind that most of your wedding party may not only not know one another but some of them might be meeting for the first time. Sure, most of them might have met at bridesmaids’ day or guy time but think about those who may not have been able to attend for some reason. Also, family members are not typically invited to those events so they will very likely be meeting everyone at the rehearsal and dinner following.

Check our Wedistry board on Pinterest for more ideas! https://www.pinterest.com/wedistry/rehearsal-dinner/

The rehearsal dinner speech is a great opportunity to make everyone feel at home. You should have an audience of around 20-30 guests at the rehearsal dinner. You have some freedom to share what you would like about the couple and it’s always a good idea to introduce the elders of the family who are present like the grandparents and also welcome the family who is not officially hosting the dinner.

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How To Write A Rehearsal Dinner Speech

Keep It Short And Sweet

One of the worst mistakes that you can make when giving a wedding rehearsal speech is to speak for too long. Yes, you are the host of this event. Yes, you are paying for dinner. Yes, this is a once-in-a-lifetime occasion and emotions are at an all-time high. Yes, you love the couple and everyone who is attending dearly. But that does not mean that you should be the center of the show.

Remember to keep the focus on the bride and groom at all times. It may seem like you should say more at times but you don’t have to speak as much as you might think you need to. If you think that there is not enough speaking or engagement you can always think of other ways to fill this space, for example having guests to introduce themselves.

Introduce Family Members

That being said, another important thing to remember is to introduce family members. The key to this is that you be sure to mention certain people but not necessarily every person. If you have a large group attending your rehearsal dinner you won’t need to introduce every single person. But remember that you don’t want to show favoritism either.

For example, you could introduce all grandparents and parents of the bride and groom. You can also thank those who have traveled from other locations. But you don’t necessarily need to introduce every single family member who is in attendance and more specifically who live in the same location where the wedding takes place. You will have time during the wedding events to make more introductions. The key here is to honor those who deserve special attention and not to leave anyone out.

Share Your Best Story

When you are giving your rehearsal dinner speech, a great way to connect everyone and also help people to get to know the couple better is to share your best story about meeting the bride or groom’s spouse to be. This should be a story that is appropriate for all ages and again, this should be a quick story, maybe 1-2 minutes if you can get it down to that timeframe. The shorter that you can tell this story and help everyone to laugh and feel relaxed the better.

Don’t Be Afraid To Use Notes

Some might think that it is embarrassing to use notes but I’m here to tell you that you may want to use notes for your wedding rehearsal speech. A few reasons that you may want to use notes are: you don’t want to forget family members’ names. You are not used to making public speeches. And if you tend to get nervous using notes may help. Just remember not to read from your notes.

If possible, try to reference your notes just before your speech and glance at them as needed. If you are trying to decide whether you need notes or not think about how confident you are in remembering everyone’s names and just how confident you are in giving the rehearsal dinner speech in general.

Give Wedding Directions

Before you are finished addressing your wedding party, remember to give any directions to the guests from the wedding planner. This is another reason that you may want to use notes. If nothing else the details and instructions for the guests and wedding party can be tough to remember from memory. The wedding planner may want the photographer to take a few photos or may have directions for transportation back to the hotel.

Or more importantly, there might be a last-minute change in plans either the night of the rehearsal dinner or first thing in the morning of the wedding. The rehearsal dinner host wields quite a bit of power here because although the wedding planner is fully capable of stepping in to make a last-minute announcement, the fewer voices that are heard at this point the better. If the rehearsal dinner host can make important last-minute announcements effectively everyone wins.

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That’s it! Now you’re ready to get ready to write your speech and welcome your wedding party guests and family.

Now all you need to do is figure out what you want to wear when you give your rehearsal dinner speech!

Although the rehearsal dinner speech is short you will want to spend some time thinking about who will be attending, what you can say to make them feel welcome, and setting the tone for the wedding.

About the author Aaron Smith

Hi, my name is Aaron! I'm glad to be the founder of Wedistry, a collection of tools and tips to prepare couples for their wedding day. I am currently the manager of the Wedistry Blog and Wedistry for Wedding Parties on the App Store. Thanks for stopping by and I hope that you find this content helpful during your wedding planning process.

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