Unlike a wedding, which has expectations and traditions regarding who gives a speech, engagement party speeches have more flexibility. Nevertheless, certain guidelines should be followed when giving an engagement party speech in order for it to go smoothly. Luckily, we have compiled a list of helpful tips and suggestions that will guarantee oratory success.
The Host's Speech
Traditionally, the hosts of the party are expected to give a small speech. The purpose of this speech is three-fold:
To introduce themselves and their relation to the couple.
To welcome the engagement party guests.
To congratulate the newly engaged couple.
Speeches from Friends and Family
In addition to the host's speech, other friends and family can feel free to offer their own words of congratulations to the couple. Guidelines are similar to that of the host, with the exception of welcoming guests to the party:
Introduce yourself and your relation to the couple.
Tell a quick story about the couple, an anecdote about the future bride or groom, or offer warm words of advice on marriage and the wedding planning process.
This is not the time for a full-on roast, but a good-natured (family friendly) jest or two is fine.
As with any party speech, limit your toast from two to four minutes in length. Even if you're a great speaker, after four minutes people will start zoning out and chatting among themselves.
End the speech by inviting the guests to raise a glass in a toast to the newly engaged couple and a "Congratulations." This cleanly signals the end of the speech and avoids the awkward moment of people wondering whether you have finished or not, and ends the toast on a high note. It also makes you look like a public speaking pro.
Speech from the Couple
It is also customary for the engaged couple to give a quick toast at the party. This toast fits in well toward the end of the party after everyone else has already given their toasts, and should include:
A heartfelt thank you to the hosts.
A thank you to everyone who came to celebrate their engagement.
A thank you to their future husband or wife, expressing how excited he or she is to get married to the love of their life, etc.
General Toasting Etiquette
There are a few important pieces of engagement speech etiquette to keep in mind:
When someone toasts you, it is improper etiquette to take a sip of your drink. This is considered drinking to yourself' and is frowned upon.
When someone else is giving a toast, be sure to listen attentively and smile, even if they are droning on endlessly. Giving a speech is hard, and it helps to look into a crowd of smiling, polite faces.
Clinking glasses together is not necessary, and can even cause a shattered champagne flute. A simple raising of the glass along with a Cheers' is just as effective.
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