Speeches and entertainment

Let's talk speeches

I've been in the wedding industry for a few years now so I do feel I have a lot of experience when it comes to the wedding day. Quite handy really, one because it helps with my profession as a wedding photographer, 2) because I often get asked by clients my thoughts about a specific detail about their wedding day and I'm always more than pleased to help, even if I'm not going to be photographing the wedding. I'm always very open and honest, it's my nature, it's the same with my knowledge as a photographer, if I'm asked a question, I always give my honest opinion.
It's quite amusing how some feel that help should only be to the advantage of the one being asked, the "what's in it for me" attitude!

wedding breakfast and speeches

Well, you won't find that with me so always feel free to ask, whether this be with regards to your wedding, planning or general question with regards to your wedding photography.
The reason for my thoughts in his small article, came about because a lovely Bride contacted me just the other day asking, whether they should have a receiving line (meet and greet) and  about the best time for the speeches, should these be before the wedding breakfast, during or after the meal? She said she had looked at several different articles online and was getting conflicting information.

chap at the table

Speeches, when?

I have photographed literally hundreds of weddings, and hundreds of wedding speeches, some before the meal, between courses and more often than not, after the wedding breakfast, which I personally feel is the best option.

Then all of your guests have been fed, had a drink and can enjoy the speeches. Sometimes, it can be helpful to have the speeches before the wedding breakfast if you have someone that has a few pre-speech nerves! I personally don't feel speeches during the meal works, the venue have to stall the next course if one of the speaker's runs on and it can impact on the timings for the evening guests arrival.

If you have a surprise for your Family and Friends during the wedding breakfast,  maybe you have chosen to have singing waiters or magician, I would say it's a good idea to let the venue know and also those taking part in the speeches, because this can really impact on timings, your evening guests arriving whilst the speeches are still in progress,  cutting of the Cake, your first dance or the evening buffet, I attended one wedding where the Best-man was determined to finish every last work on his cards, the guests were sitting for a further 45 minutes after the 30 minutes of entertainment, just something to think about. 

the wedding breakfast

One thing I would absolutely recommend, ensure all speakers have a way of ending the speech early if needs be, because timings do change and from experience, speeches can tend to become a little extemporaneous, (ramble on) if you aren't used to public speaking, feel incredibly nervous or maybe not naturally entertaining, everyone of your guests and family will absolutely appreciate your kind honest thanks and best wishes, there really is no need to feel pressured into providing a monumental speech, love conquers all.

Beautiful guest

What do I think with regards to the receiving line?

I thought, I would put this question to Google and just see for myself what information I could find. It was quite laughable when reading some of the suggestions, one speaking about the receiving line, mentioned the importance of spending a couple of minutes with each guest, making them feel welcome!

Now as I said, I'm real, one has to be open and honest...come on, this lovely couple are doing this whole wedding bit for the first time in their life, it's not the time to be giving flowery information, I have mentioned in one of my wedding tip blogs, about this subject, let's just think about this...Say you have 120 guests attending your wedding, it's usual for the receiving line to begin as the guest's enter the wedding reception, to sit down to await the Bride and Groom being welcomed all looking forward to a wonder meal, let's be honest here, you and your guests are probably quite hungry by this stage of the day, the venue have the meal prepared, and the Bride, Groom and Family all spend 2 minutes per guest!

This adds up to 144 minutes, that if there was 6 greeting the guest's and if you all had a stopwatch to check the two minutes! My thoughts here, should you wish to have a receiving line, have one of the Ushers, usher guests along or why not spend time between courses chatting to individuals at their table, so much more personal and relaxed?

Marquee and guests

I'm going to try my best to keep this theme running over the next few blogs, as I do feel I have a few ideas from experience as a wedding photographer that my help everyone with the big day!

It would be wonderful if you would add a like for me, its always nice to see.

"Photography is a journey; take it with fuji" Michael Gane - thefxworks