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.”

All About Wedding Toast Etiquette

Every wedding, and some of the related events, features people honored with the privilege of giving a speech. Most guests enjoy hearing the humorous stories and joyful blessings offered by the speakers, but poor planning can result in boring or embarrassing speeches that ruin the evening. Here is everything you need to consider when choosing people to give a wedding toast.

Who will you ask?

The first decision you must make is who will speak at your wedding. Traditionally, the best man and maid of honor, and perhaps the father of the bride and groom, give speeches at the reception or other wedding events. However, you may also consider asking another close relative or friend to speak. In addition, some people may ask you if they can say a few words. Do not feel obligated to respond with a yes. You only want people who are very important to you and who will give an appropriate toast to speak at your wedding.

What will they say?

While your speakers don’t have to let you read their wedding toast, you can ask for a general idea of what they plan on saying. If there are specific stories or topics you don’t want the speakers to mention, make sure you tell them ahead of time. Surprisingly, some people think it appropriate to share embarrassing stories. If you don’t want to be the blushing bride, give your speakers some guidelines ahead of time.

When will they give the toast?

You will need to create a schedule to share with your DJ and event planner. Typically, speeches occur before, after, or during dinner. Keep the guests in mind when creating this schedule. Also, consider which speakers may be better suited for events other than the reception, such as the rehearsal dinner or morning-after brunch.

Wedding Toast Advice

The wedding toasts are often one of the most entertaining and moving parts of the day, but without proper preparation (or fueled by a bit too much alcohol) they can be a total disaster. Determining who exactly will share a toast at your wedding reception is entirely up to you, (and the toasters, of course). Traditionally, the best man kicks off the toasts. If the maid of honor plans to share, she follows him up. After that, it’s time for the bride and groom to say a few words, followed by the bride or groom’s parents if they so choose. If you have another bridal attendant, family member, or friend that you’d like to hear from, you can schedule them in at any point.

There’s no exact formula for a great wedding toast, but here are a few do’s and don’ts to help you avoid a wedding day disaster…

DO be funny/DON’T be inappropriate: Humor is one of the best ways to win over the crowd and keep them engaged during your toast. Feel free to include a joke or tell a funny story about the happy couple, but keep it PG. Remember that you’re speaking to a diverse crowd of individuals, including people of all ages, beliefs, and tolerance levels. Avoid off-color jokes or overly personal (read: embarrassing) stories about the bride and groom.

DO make notes/DON’T read them verbatim: Planning ahead is a great way to guarantee success. Spend a few weeks thinking about what you’d like to say about the bride and groom or to the guests. Jotting down a few notes will help keep you on track, especially if you’re feeling nervous about speaking to a group, but make sure you only write down a few bullet points to keep you focused, rather than scripting your entire speech. No one wants to see you read, emotionless, from a sheet of paper. Prepare what you’d like to say ahead of time but leave room for improvisation.

DO be relaxed/DON’T be fall-down drunk: If you’re feeling overly anxious about sharing in front of hundreds of wedding guests, have a drink to calm your nerves. But remember: it’s never appropriate for you to take the mic while you’re fully intoxicated. No one wants to hear an overly emotional, abrasive, or nonsensical rambling in lieu of a speech. This is an important opportunity to support, encourage, and love the bride and groom; don’t ruin it by being irresponsible.

DO be thorough/DON’T talk forever: There are a few key things that should be included in all wedding toasts, regardless of who you are: introduce yourself, acknowledge/thank the hosts, share a personal anecdote about the happy couple, and actually toast the bride and groom with well wishes. What you share in between is up to you. This is your chance to express your love and admiration for the bride and/or groom, to thank them for being such a great friend, to celebrate their relationship, and to wish them well. It isn’t, however, an opportunity to give a detailed play-by-play of everything that’s ever happened in your life. Get to the point, plan ahead to be funny and poignant, and be brief.

More on Wedding Toasts