3 Reasons To Have The Wedding Speeches Before The Meal

Typically at a wedding, the speeches take place before the meal. Occasionally though, some couples consider holding the speeches during or after the meal. I always try to discourage this! Here are three reasons to have the wedding speeches before the meal.

1. Avoid Dirty Crockery & Glassware In Your Wedding Photos

The tables always look pristine before the meal, typically with clean white tablecloths and gleaming crockery, cutlery and glassware. It’ll be a different scene by the end of the meal. Even if the venue staff do a good job of clearing the tables, inevitably, there will still be the odd stray dirty napkin hanging around, not to mention empty glasses and bottles, and no doubt some stains on the tablecloths. Trust me, your photographs will look so much nicer if the speeches take place before the meal.

2. Get Over Any Nerves & Enjoy The Food

It’s not uncommon for at least one of the speakers to feel nervous before taking centre stage and delivering their speech in front of friends and family. Surely they will enjoy their food so much more if they eat after giving their speech. By then, the pressure will be off, meaning they can sit back and relax, and savour their meal.

3. Let Your Wedding Photographer Have A Break

Now for the horror story!

Back in my early days of wedding photography, I was a little naïve and said ‘yes’ to everything. I learned a few lessons the hard way! Let me tell you about Cathy and Peter’s big day…

A Long Day…

It was a beautiful wedding involving multiple lovely venues across Edinburgh, but it was also a very long day. The ceremony was early, at 10:30 in the morning, and the first dance was late, at 10:30 at night. When the meal was getting dished up, I was totally ready to take the weight off my feet, sit down and eat.

Well, I didn’t get a chance to do that.

Cathy and Peter’s speeches were held throughout the meal; during the starter, the main course and the dessert. In this scenario, myself and the videographer should have been served first. We weren’t.

The venue staff served the top table, followed by the guests (of which there were about a hundred). By the time the guests had been served, the top table had finished eating and were ready to give their speeches. A plate of hot food was placed in front of me just as someone stepped up to the microphone. Reluctantly, I pushed the plate aside, picked up my cameras, moved through to the function suite and photographed each speech.

The groom, alone, spoke for a full 30 minutes.

No Food…

At the end of each speech, I returned to an empty table. My untouched dinner had been taken away. I could have cried! I was so hungry, I would have gladly have eaten it cold. This happened three times, for each course. This was the longest wedding I’ve ever photographed and I ate nothing.

I accept that I’m at a wedding to do a job. However, I’m only human. I need to eat. My kit weighs nearly 8kg (the equivalent of a small dog or one-year-old child) and I normally clock up 10,000+ steps by the time the meal is served. I need to lay my cameras down for a little while and have a breather. I want to head into the evening reception feeling refreshed and energised, ready to deliver my best work for you. I’m guessing you want this too. Please let me enjoy a well-deserved break and a much-needed bite to eat. 🙂

Thanks for reading my three reasons to have the wedding speeches before the meal. I don’t know about you but I’m feeling hungry now!


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