This entry is from our Expert Guest series where wedding and honeymoon professionals share their best tips on creating memories that last a lifetime.
A wedding toast is a little speech about the bride and groom, given by certain people in the wedding party, parents, or other special persons chosen by the wedding couple. If you are asked to make a toast, here are a few tips for making your toast memorable.
Observe the proper order. Typically, the best man will deliver the first toast, then followed by the maid or matron of honor. The bride and groom will typically speak last, side by side and taking turns thanking guests for sharing their special day with them. If the bride’s parents are hosting the wedding they will speak first, welcoming guests and thanking them for coming.
Introduce yourself! Remember most of the people at the wedding will not know who you are. Starting the toast with how you know the bride and groom is a great way to break the ice.
Keep it short and sweet, a few minutes max. This will ensure everyone can quickly move on to sipping and celebrating.
Respect the other person. This isn’t the time to talk about how you’re so happy he finally found the one after the many girls you both dated in college. Although you may think everyone will get a kick out of the story about how you used to get drunk and in trouble together, that story may be better left unsaid. Save those stories for the bachelor/bachelorette parties!
Don’t get drunk beforehand. You may think you need to throw a few back to calm your nerves,but alcohol fueled speeches can get incredibly awkward. Fast. Save the shots until after your speech.
Don’t talk about yourself! Remember this day is about the couple getting married, not you!
Prepare something ahead of time. Although winging it may seem like the easiest thing to do, writing something up before hand will ensure you don’t get tongue-tied when standing in front of 100 guests. (Psst, it’s okay to peek at those notes on your cell phone!)
Hold the microphone close to your mouth. I can’t tell you how many toasts I see where the person speaking nervously takes the mic away from their mouth and puts it by their side. Ahem, we can’t hear you!
Respect your audience. Including a joke is okay, but only if you think it will be well received by the audience. Always take into consideration the demographics of the guests at the wedding. Older guests will not find your dirty jokes humorous.
Close the toast with confidence. A toast should always end with well wishes for a happy future together. Now raise your glass and take a sip. Cheers!
Extra: Don’t give a toast unless you are asked prior to by the guest of honor. It’s not proper etiquette to grab the microphone and start giving an unannounced toast. If you have something special to say, pull the couple aside and tell them privately.
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