Irish Wedding Toasts
The bride's father might also mention how he is happy he is to have gained so many new friends in their family through his daughter's new relationship, with some compliments thrown in to highlight the groom's family's finer qualities.
Finally, the bride's happy da will say how married life has its ups and downs, but also how it has brought many rewards into his own life. He might also mention a few brief (humorous) words of advice to the newlyweds on how they may avoid troubles in their marriage.
Summing it all up, he explains how he is confident of his daughter's future bliss, and he ends his short speech by proposing a toast to the health and happiness of the bride and groom.
The Groom's Speech
On behalf of his new bride and himself, the groom first thanks the bride's
father for his good wishes, and also for the reception, if he has funded it
(or partly funded it).
He pays tribute to his wife's parents, and thanks them for the wonderful "splash" (the wedding).
He thanks both mothers for their help and assistance. If he wishes, he may even present them with flowers or gifts.
He also thanks the best man for the role he has played, with some humorous jibe or illustration when appropriate.
He draws attention to the bridesmaids and compliments them on their grace, beauty and charm. He draws special attention to the role of the chief bridesmaid (maid of honour), thanking her for her assistance in getting his bride prepared and to the church on time.
If he likes, he may then present the bridesmaids with small gifts. He ends by proposing a toast to the bridesmaids.
The Best Man's Speech
The best man begins by telling of his acquaintance with the groom, his character, his antics (the one's fit to mention), his achievements and triumphs (not involving other ladies), and his heroic failures. There are certain to be many of the latter.
It's not unknown for the best man to make indelicate remarks about the bridesmaids or formal girlfriends of the groom which nobody takes seriously. This may, however, result in a dearth of attention from these ladies (and possibly the happy couple) later in the evening.
He says how the groom will be missed, or not missed, by the lads, how he should appreciate what he has found in his new bride and how he has every confidence in the future happiness of the couple. He must do this final part without laughing.
The best man then reads aloud emails, telegrams and congratulatory notes which may have arrived.
If there are too many, it's best to make a selection of the most unusual and important ones in advance and, for the remaining notes, to simply mention the senders' names i.e. "Similar greetings were sent by ... / have arrived from . . ."
The best man's speech usually introduces a lighthearted note to the proceedings and dispels the air of formality which characterizes the two previous speeches. To this end he is free to make fun of the groom, to joke, cajole and banter a little.
He is not, however, encouraged to slag (tease) the bride, no matter how tempting this may be.
Further speeches are frowned upon because they get in the way of the ensuing toasts. Toasts are traditionally done with a pint lifted.
you both, a beautiful pair
If you lie, may you lie only to keep a friend