5 tips for writing 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 at the wedding party who might speak a few special words at the rehearsal dinner, whether 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 is, “who gives a speech at the rehearsal dinner? Well, that is completely up to the couple to decide. Although the groom’s family traditionally 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? Certain people should be honored, and a good plan for this dinner will set the tone for your wedding. But it’s also about ensuring the couple feels loved and that all your guests feel welcome.
Personalizing Your Rehearsal Dinner Speech
The problem is it’s always tough to share personal memories and details with people you are meeting for the first time. But don’t underestimate this moment. You are welcoming your guests, and providing a connection point before the wedding helps everyone feel comfortable and get on the same page. The few minutes that you spend giving your rehearsal dinner speech are 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 your wedding party will travel to the destination, get settled into the hotel or homes they will stay in, and get ready for the special day. After the rehearsal and before everyone settles in for the night, the bride‘s parents traditionally host a rehearsal dinner.
Remember 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 likely meet everyone at the rehearsal and dinner.
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.
How To Write A Rehearsal Dinner Speech
Keep It Short And Sweet
One of the worst mistakes you can make when giving a wedding rehearsal speech is speaking 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 show’s center.
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 there is not enough speaking or engagement, you can always think of other ways to fill this space, for example, by having guests 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 everyone. 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 family member in attendance who lives 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 with everyone and help people 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 you can tell this story and help everyone laugh and feel relaxed, the better.
Don’t Be Afraid To Use Notes
Some might think it is not very comfortable 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. Everyone wins if the rehearsal dinner host can make important last-minute announcements effectively.
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.
My rehearsal dinner speech was tailored to the attendees, and I thanked everyone who had given up their time to be a part of the event. I also thanked our guest during dinner at Victory North Savannah (http://www.victorynorthsavannah.com/weddings) on the day of my wedding.
That is so thoughtful! What a great idea.