Speeches, or toasts, are a heartfelt part of an engagement party. The best of them will be touching, funny, or a combination of the two, and they usually happen once the celebration is well underway. While you can have any guest get up and say a few words, if you're wondering what the tradition is, keep on reading to find out who usually speaks and in what order during the engagement party.
If the bride's parents are hosting, which is typical of the engagement party, one of them—usually Dad—makes the first speech. He welcomes the guests and toasts his daughter and her groom-to-be, regaling the crowd with a sweet anecdote about the bride. If someone else is hosting, that person should make the first toast.
He goes next and toasts his bride-to-be and her parents, followed by toasting his own parents. He'll also want to thank the group for coming to celebrate the couple's happy news.
If a couple's friends are throwing the party, the celebration often has a more informal mood, and all the etiquette rules go out the window as far as who can make a speech (anyone) and in what order (what order?). The engaged couple should counter with a toast to the host.
Some tips for a great speech...
The engagement party is often a more informal event than the wedding itself, but that's not an excuse to get sloppy. For that reason, don't drink and toast. You may think downing a few cocktails beforehand will give you the confidence and skills to craft a magnificent impromptu speech, but that won't happen. Alcohol will more likely make you stumble over your words. Prepare a short speech ahead of time and save the drinking for your (post-toast) victory lap.
Even though you'll be figuring out what to say ahead of time, your toast doesn't have to sound stilted. Say what's in your heart. It'll sound natural and genuine. Watch the crowd dab their eyes with napkins. And remember that what's in your heart should be positive. No relationship is perfect so don't mention any bumps in the road the couple may have encountered on their way to the altar. An engagement is a time for joy and love, so talk about the good times and avoid anything negative.