Give a Speech, Take a Seat

The Wedding Guru Judy Lewis fields this week’s wedding questions. Today: What to do when your guests’ speeches make you cringe?

Despite all the planning you have done, not everything will go your way at your wedding. Sometimes you just have to give in and give up! Read on:

A bride asks: “I’ve heard of the best man’s speech, of the maid of honor’s speech, and the bride’s speech. I know that even when they’re too silly, too long, or even too off-color, they’re still traditional and you should listen and smile politely. But what do you do about the guest who feels he or she has an audience and has the right to clink a glass and offer up a speech? I think that’s really disruptive of the conversation other guests are having, and it breaks the flow of the party.“

» What to do when your best man has had one too many

Dear bride: I know you’re not going to be happy with my answer. Extemporaneous toasting does happen, and it can alter the mood of the event; however, these are your guests and — don’t cringe — you really should just listen attentively and appreciate their kind words! If you’re worried the speech-makers are unruly, here’s one tip I can give you: Speak to your emcee, best man, or maid of honor before the event and explain your take on off-the-cuff speeches. Tell them that, when the first impromptu speech is over, you would appreciate one of them to get on the mic and say something like, “Thank you, and now that the speeches are over, let’s get back to the reason we’re here — let’s party!”

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» How to conquer the bride’s speech

Readers, what are some of the more memorable speeches you’ve heard at weddings? Share your stories in the comments box below!

To submit your own question to the Wedding Guru, email Judy at

toast at a wedding

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