At most evening weddings, be they the formal variety or not, you will find that after dinner speeches are the norm. Then again the norm does not mean that it is written in stone and you will also find that wedding speeches are given before the meal is served. These speeches are sort of a leading up to, of the meal.
After dinner speeches however, have become more popular as of late for a number of reasons, one of them being that the guests also tend to be more relaxed and in a mellow mood. This is also conducive to having them seated in one place for the time it takes to deliver the after dinner speeches!
Of course this is not the only reason for having after dinner speeches instead of speeches before dinner, but it does help. You also find that with after dinner speeches people are more ready to be entertained, they are more relaxed and so they also tend to open up more and be more receptive.
And for anyone who has to give a speech, a more receptive audience is always a good start. After dinner speeches also give the speech giver more time to become nervous and to worry about their turn coming up!
However all that aside, after dinner speeches at a wedding can swing either in a very formal manner, or they can be informal, with this depending largely on whether or not the wedding itself is formal or not. The first person to normally give the speech is almost always the father of the bride.
He is then followed by the groom, and the best man. After that sometimes, again depending on the formality of the occasion and the wishes of the wedding party, the bride might give a small speech, and sometimes even the bridesmaid.
It is also not unheard of, for the father of the groom, or some other such relative of the groom to give a speech. Normally you will find that after dinner speeches don’t last forever and a day, and most speakers will be kind enough not to drone on unceasingly.
It is also not strange to find that there are about six to seven after dinner speeches given these days, and if these are all in a short vein, not to mention interesting and /or funny, it is not all that terrible for the guests to have to sit through. Besides, when you have after dinner speeches, you can always look forward to the plethora of wedding toasts where you can take in the bubbly more frequently!