There are so many traditions associated with weddings that it can be overwhelming! With input from Mom, Dad, aunts, uncles and grandparents you might start thinking that you are going to need two full days to get it all in and twice your wedding budget!
This can be especially hard for younger brides and grooms who haven't been to as many weddings to see what some of these traditions look like in practice.
I am here to tell you that while traditions are a big part of almost every wedding day not every tradition is for every couple so don't feel like your day will be ruined if you decide to change or just skip some of these traditions.
I'm not talking about traditions of different cultures or families, but all of the things that can seem expected at a western style wedding in Canada.
Everyone loves a good speech and everyone has been to a wedding where they have been bad or gone on way too long! These few weddings where speeches have gone awry have given a bad reputation to a good thing. Speeches add a great dimension of personalization and give a chance for people to say their bit and honour the couple. It also allows the couple to express their gratitude to all their guests, which is always appreciated.
It isn't hard to keep speeches under control though. The normal amount is five. The best man, the maid of honour, the bride's parents, the grooms parents and the bride and groom together thanking everyone. However, this is by no means the only way to do it. You can have less speeches or have different people give them. Just make sure you have equal representation of both the people getting married and that none of the speeches go on too long. If you tell people to keep them to around five minutes that is only 25 minutes and then even if some people go a little over that's still not bad.
If people are very uncomfortable speaking they can just go up and say a few words with a quick toast or in some cases having someone represent them can work too. If you think someone won't be comfortable speaking don't feel like they have to be the ones to speak just because they are in one of those roles I mentioned before.
If you feel like someone will do something inappropriate don't feel bad about giving them some guidelines of what you'd like and what other people will be doing.
The real issue comes in when too many people speak this is where things can get out of hand. If you have 10 speeches and even if each is five minutes you are coming close to an hour. Likely they won't all be five minutes and you could be well over an hour by the time it is all said and done. Plus this opens the door to more and more people feeling like they have a little something to add or a quick story. If you stick to speeches from just the main people it feels more like it's a special thing to speak and not an open mic where people are being interrupted by people telling inside jokes every few minutes.
They are special part of the day that honours the couple and gives a chance for people to say something nice
They can be very funny, touching and emotional
Create great photos of the reactions
Makes it feel more like a wedding
If they right guidelines and expectations are set they almost always run smoothly
Can go on too long or be inappropriate without the right guidelines
Some couples are embarrassed by attention
Here are a few of my favourite wedding speech photos!