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(Inappropriate) wedding speeches cause big day nerves

40% of newlyweds admitted that the content of speeches was a cause for concern on their wedding day with 1 in 10 confessing to handing out rules to speech-givers.

1 in 10 couples laid down the law and gave rules to speech-givers before the big day

  • 1 in 10 couples laid down the law and gave rules to speech-givers before the big day
  • 5% demanded to hear speeches before the wedding
  • Traditionalists at heart, 72% still deliver a traditional spoken-word speech
  • 86% of wedding speeches had a combined duration of 45 minutes or less
  • A further 5% demanded to hear all speeches before the big day.

Inappropriate stories from the past and offensive content were the top reasons cited for providing guidelines that outlined what speech-givers could, and couldn’t, talk about.

The latest research findings from Wonderful Wedding Venues, by Redefine|BDL Hotels (RBH), also found that we remain traditional at heart with almost three quarters (72%) of speech-givers delivering their words in a spoken form.

The remaining quarter took a more unconventional route, using PowerPoint presentations including snaps of the couple, props to aid story delivery, and performances to display their musical talent.

To uncover the realities of wedding speeches and to provide insight for couples planning their upcoming nuptials, Wonderful Wedding Venues quizzed married couples who recently tied the knot in one of the groupUK hotels.

The survey revealed how much time couples should allow for speeches on the big day, with the majority (86%) of combined speeches coming in under 45 minutes. 2% of weddings heard speech-givers take the mic for over an hour and 12% of weddings had speeches lasting between 45 minutes and an hour.


Key findings from the research included:

  • The average duration of all speeches combined was 30 – 45 minutes 
  • 5% of couples demanded to hear all speeches ahead of the big day
  • Only 1 in 10 couples worried about their own speech
  • 40% said that they worried about the content of the speeches prior to the big day
  • 14% worried that the father of the bride would say something either emotional or embarrassing, 14% worried that the best man would be rude of offensive and 2% were nervous about the bridesmaid’s speech 
  • 72% of speeches were delivered in spoken word
  • 14% use props, 12% present their speech and 2% put on a musical performance

John Stuart, Chief Operating Officer at RBH said: “Our latest research has helped us to understand how couples prepare their chosen speech-givers, and what they experienced from the speeches themselves.

“We hope that it’ll inspire couples planning their big day and give them a glimpse into what really happens when it comes to one of the most highly-anticipated parts of the day.”

Findings are revealed as the search continues for the nation's best speeches in the Wedding Speech Awards run by the 26 QHotels, now managed by Redefine|BDL Hotels. To view the speeches and vote for your favourite, visit the Facebook page or follow @QHotelsgroup on Instagram.

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