Don’t Do -THIS- During Your Wedding Speeches
If you prefer video form, I made a Wedding Tip Wednesday video for this on my YouTube channel and you can check it out here! But keep scrolling down if you prefer to read!
Planning the timeline for your wedding reception is tricky. You’re trying to make everyone happy. You don’t want cocktail hour to go too long. You don’t want your guests sitting around too long. Food being served late OR cold would not be ideal. Your DJ has ideas on when you should do your formal dances. And then every friend who has been to a wedding and your mother-in-law has an opinion on how the wedding reception should go.
Enter Ashley. Wedding videographer. With another opinion.
Why should you listen to me? Well, maybe you shouldn’t. You could listen to this advice and decide to bail on it. But at least I can feel better that you’ve heard the options.
Here it is:
Do not have your wedding toasts DURING dinner.
Here’s why. THE AUDIO. Do you have any idea how loud it is for the waitstaff to be placing plates on the tables and the general chatter while food is being served OR while it’s being eaten? Because I do! All of that ambient noise happening throughout the reception room will get picked up by the microphones. I usually have 5 different microphone sources during wedding speeches and in all of them there will be a buzz or hum or other distracting noise in the background if dinner is being served or if people are eating. Forks on plates. The glasses hitting the plate while someone picks it up. Knives clanging.
The other thing is, guests tend to be more distracted if there is food in front of them and toasts are happening. They’re wondering if they should eat or wait. There is more chatter among the tables if food is out. It kind of takes the attention away from the speeches being given. Sometimes it’s distracting to other guests, and sometimes even the people giving the speeches!
I would say that your best bet is to have your wedding speeches happen after introductions and formal dances and everyone has been seated. BEFORE dinner starts being served. People have just had the opportunity to snack and get drinks while they were at cocktail hour so presumably they shouldn’t be starving for dinner. If you’re worried about the time between cocktail hour ending and dinner being served taking too long, you could move your parent dances until after dinner to save a little bit of time.
Another option would be to have your formal dances before dinner and your speeches AFTER dinner. I don’t prefer this AS much because I feel like at that point it’s hard to get everyone back in their seats and ready to listen to the speeches. After dinner the bride and groom are usually ready to start visiting tables and guests are ready to get the party started. BUT, I *would* take having speeches after dinner over having them DURING dinner any day.
If capturing high quality audio of your wedding speeches is important to you, then I would encourage you to take my advice. Capturing the toasts and including them in the wedding highlight video is one of my favorite parts of the wedding day and is part of the story-telling process for me. So for ME, it’s really important to get the *BEST* audio I can during that part of the day.
If guest experience and shortening that time between cocktail hour and dinner is more important to you and you’re okay with hearing general chatter, silverware clanging, and buzz in the background of your speeches, then throw out my advice.
Honestly, don’t do this for ME. If you read this and you came to me in your wedding planning and said, “I heard what you’re saying and I understand the risks, but I really want my guests to be able to eat their dinner during the wedding speeches,” I’d say “Okay!” At least you know. At least you know that risks me not being able to get the –BEST– audio for you. And if that’s a risk you’re willing to take, then I’m okay with it.
As I say so often, decide what is most important to YOU. Weigh the pros and cons of each option, decide on your priority, and then make the decision based on that. You can’t make everyone happy, but if you’re following *YOUR* priorities, then that’s the best you can do. High quality audio is *MY* priority which is why I’m sharing this advice, but make sure you audit what YOUR priorities are too!
From Your Wedding Toast Lover,