Speeches…Before or After the Meal?

So you’ve got all the big bits sorted and now you are planning how your wedding will run. The speeches are such a special part of the wedding day and most couples don’t think about if they want them before or after the meal, they just go along with what the venue suggests. But I think you should think about what is really important to you as a couple and decide on how the speeches will affect the flow of your wedding. I’ve put together a couple little pro and con lists to help you decide.

Now “what about a speech in between each course?” I hear you ask. To me that is a big red flag. Can it be done? Absolutely if that is the only option, but hear me out – by the time the speeches start, both the photographer and videographer have been insanely busy. Giving them a decent break with time to eat something will mean you will get more out of them for the second half of your wedding. Also from a videographer’s perspective, speeches between courses poses a high risk scenario as tripods need to be set up and mics need to be clipped on before each speaker.

Check out one of our recent wedding videos. Harry and Olivia had a church wedding where the wording is a little bit less romantic than other types of ceremonies and they were such a fun an energetic couple, I knew the speeches would form the foundation of their video.

Right… On to the cost/benefit analysis.

Before the Meal


  • A smooth transition from the bride and groom being welcomed into the room to the speeches.

  • Once they are done you can enjoy the meal and have that extra glass of champagne if you fancy it.


  • You and your guests are getting hungry.

  • The videographer will need to limit their time filming the cocktail hour or even couple portraits in order to set up the multiple cameras and mic everyone up.

  • It is hard to predict when the speeches will be complete so there is added stress on the food service team to keep the first course hot.

  • If things run overtime (as most weddings do) your evening guests will need to watch your day-guests eating.

After the Meal


  • You or any other speech givers might not fully enjoy the food or drinks leading up to the speeches. It would be such a shame to decline a cocktail in an effort to stay sharp for the speeches.

  • If you are anything like me there is a risk of spilling gravy down your nice white shirt and it be unavoidably captured in the wedding video.


  • All your guests are full, relaxed, maybe had a few drinks. All of which makes them a better audience.

  • Your videographer has time to ensure all batteries are charged, they set up exactly where they want the cameras to be, and they can mic everyone up. If these things are rushed there is a risk of something going wrong.

  • Early evening guests can watch the speeches.

  • The final speech giver can seamlessly give instruction on the next event of the night.

If the decision was entirely up to me, I prefer the speeches to be after the meal but other videographers might have differing opinions and you guys need to do what feels right for you. Every wedding is different and either way, your wedding video will be fabulous. Its just something worth thinking about when you are in the scheduling phase. Best of luck!!

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