A Toast

A Toast

What’s in a wedding toast? All eyes are on you. This is not the time to make a farce of the moment and pull a“Bridesmaid’s” sing-a-thon, who-sung it better. To avoid common mistakes: don’t pick up your glass until the very end; don’t cover your face with your notes; and don’t bring up reams of paper. Here are some additional tips to delivering a heart felt and memorable speech.

LEAVE THE EX’S BACK IN TEXAS If you remember one thing from this list, please remember this: Don’t talk about past lovers (yours or theirs), don’t talk about past proposals (even if they were turned down) and don’t talk about past spouses (“Mary is so much prettier than your last wife”).
NO SEX PLEASE, WE’RE GETTING MARRIED Everyone knows that sex is part of awedding night, but no
body wants to be reminded of it at the reception. And we certainly don’t want to hear about that drunken night in Cancún, or that morning in the conference room at work, when you walked in on the couple, ahem,updating their Facebook status.
STICK TO THE SCRIPT Tangents are not your friend. DON’T MAKE AMENDS While boasting about how close you are to the bride or bridegroom is déclassé, the opposite is even worse: apologizing for not being close enough. A wedding toast is no place for a laundry list of your failings as a friend or relative.
DON’T DRINK AND CLINK If you’ve had more than one drink, think twice before you clink. As any nutritionist would tell you, booze and a toast don’t go well together.
So what should you say? We advise to use a simple formula: 3-1-2. First, speak for a few minutes in third
person, sharing a funny story or a warm memory about the bride.“Let me tell you something about Becky you may not know.”or “I knew she had found true love that time she called me and said.” Next, say a few genuine words in first person, explaining your own feelings. “I have always admired my sister /friend for.”Finally, speak directly to the couple, using second person. “May you have a life filled with…”or “May you always find joy in…”
As for an ending, do as the British do for a wedding toast -raise your glass and offer a simple salutation,“Ladies and gentlemen, to the couple.”

Father of the Bride Wedding Speech

The following is an actual speech from the father of  the bride for a wedding on April 16th, 2011. This speech is an excellent example for a wedding speech. It incorporates both humor and sincerity and was very uplifting for the bride and groom. The delivery was perfect and length was just right. All names were changed and a few were omitted to ensure privacy.

While my wedding day is still the happiest day of my life, this comes pretty close! Donna and I both welcome and thank all of you for helping us celebrate today.  We have the making for one great party.

It took a lot of time from a lot of people to pull this thing off.  I want to thank everyone for all their hard work, support and planning the events leading up to to today.  Most importantly, I want to thank the parents of the groom for their son, Zack.  I never thought it was possible that anyone could love my little girl as much as I do.  I couldn’t have hand picked a better son in law.  Zack- you really raised the bar for the rest of my kids.

It really didn’t hit home that Natalie and Zack were getting married until yesterday when I was finishing our taxes.  While everyone knows I’m not losing a daughter, I’m gaining a son, nobody ever mentions the tax deduction. All you people out there who can’t wait to see the father of the bride brought to tears; well, you’re a day late! (this wedding was on April 16th – one day after the April 15th tax deadline).

Natalie and Zack, my hope is that you experience the same joy that Mom and I have had for the past 32 years.  My marriage advice to you is don’t listen to any advice; listen to each other.  Working out differences is how you grow stronger together.  At least that’s how its worked for us.  If that doesn’t work, there’s always “yes dear”.  Of course, that’s not going to stop me from giving advice from time to time.  After all, I am going to be a father in-law.

Finally, while I’m sure you are disappointed with the rain, don’t be. I truly believe they are tears of joy from above from those who could not be with us today. But they are here in spirit joining all of us wishing you both the very best. (The father of the bride referenced a couple of family members who recently passed.)

Natalie and Zack, mom and I love you both and can’t wait for those grandchildren!”

Wedding Toast Advice

Wedding Speech Guidelines

What makes for a quality wedding speech?

Below are a few guidelines to follow when preparing a wedding reception speech as a maid of honor or best man.  Obviously, every event is different and what works for one crowd may not work for another, but the following is a series of elements that seem to make for a good speech time and time again.

Have a plan
It is best to plan what you are going to say, but do not read directly from a card.  A lot of the sincerity in your speech is lost if it sounds like you are reading the evening news.  Jot down general notes so you do not get off track, but make sure you are speaking from the heart.  Speak loudly and clearly and don’t drink too much before you deliver your speech.  One or two cocktails to loosen up is fine, but no one wants to listen to a drunk person on the microphone.  Remember, it is the bride and groom’s day, let’s not bring it down.

Thank the hosts
Because most parents help with the wedding costs, it is nice to thank the parents/hosts. “Before we go any further, I think we should all thank the Smith’s for this beautiful evening.  I would also like to thank the Jones’ for the rehearsal dinner.”

Introduce yourself
Begin by introducing yourself. Be sure to mention how you know the bride and groom and how long you’ve known them.  During your entire speech, practice eye contact with the audience as well as with the bride and groom.  Try not to pace back and forth while speaking. TIP: For photo’s sake, it is really nice if you are standing behind and between the bride and groom while speaking.

Keep it short
As you begin the actual speech, remember this: a good speech should be short enough to be interesting, but long enough to cover the essentials.  You may want to begin with a joke about the bride or groom or marriage in general, but keep it tasteful.  You should keep all content rated PG for kids and grandmothers in the room.

Telling an interesting anecdote about the bride or groom is a great way to captivate the audience, but know what details are appropriate and necessary for the story.  Also, try to stick to one really good story as opposed to recounting a series of average stories. You are talking to an audience of people that all know the bride and groom for different reasons and not everyone is going to understand the inside jokes and vague references. Tip: There is a difference between funny and humiliating.  A sore subject can ruin the night for the bride and groom.  It is an honor to be selected to give a speech at a wedding, never abuse your position.

Add balance
Be sure to have balance in your speech.  If you are the best man, talk about the bride as much as you talk about the groom.  Same is true if you are the maid of honor.  Also try to balance humor with sentiment.  Remember, speak from the heart and let the couple know how happy you are for them and how honored you are to be speaking on their behalf.

In closing, ask everyone to raise their glasses and deliver a concise, but heartfelt toast: “To Jack and Jill, we wish them a lifetime love, laughter and happiness.”  The choices are limitless for a toast:  create a custom toast, research your options online or consult with a family member for a traditional toast that may reflect the couple’s ethnicity.  “I’d like to finish with a traditional Irish toast:  “May you be poor in misfortune, rich in blessings, slow to make enemies and quick to make friends. And may you know nothing but happiness from this day forward.”

Always remember, when giving a speech at a wedding reception, you reflect on the bride and groom. Utilize a few of the tips above and the bride and groom will really appreciate it.

If you have questions or need expert planning advice, contact Music By Design.