Give the Perfect Wedding Toast

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Wedding toasts can be a memorable highlight of the wedding reception. Although anyone with a close connection to the bride and groom can give a toast, the first toast is usually initiated by the best man or maid of honor, followed by the parents of either of the newlyweds.

More formal traditional weddings have the father-of-the-bride toast his daughter first. Be sure to have a firm understanding of the toasting order confirmed well in advance of the reception party. If you are hiring a DJ and expect him to announce the toast, be sure to discuss the flow of events in your planning meeting.

Giving a toast for a wedding is thought to be hard or stressful. If you are the best man, the wedding toast is just one of your responsibilities, but giving the toast doesn't have to be stressful. Just follow a few simple tips and most importantly, be prepared and everything will go smoothly.

Here are a few simple tips for writing a wedding toast[1] and tips for giving a wedding toast that will make it an enjoyable and memorable experience for all.

[edit] Tips for Writing the Wedding Toast

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Tip #1 Investigate/Gather Information
Make notes about what you know about the bride and groom. How you know them? How they have changed since they met? Also, talk to family and friends to gather information to add the personal touches to your toast.
Tip #2 Follow by Example
You can search the internet to get ideas and examples of toasts to get your creative side working. Look for quotes or sayings about marriage.
Tip #3 Humor
Be amusing, use a small amount of humor to "break the ice", though, don't try to "bring the house down."
Tip #4 Real Stories
Tell your connection to the bride or groom, such as a childhood story or a story from college. If married offer advice you have received or learned about marriage.
Tip #5 Be Nice
Portray the bride or groom in a favorable manner. Don't tell stories that would put the bride and/or groom in a bad light.
Tip #6 Well Wishes for the Couple
Offer well wishes to the couple, such as success and prosperity.
Tip #7 Nothing Embarassing
Keep it PG-rated at most. Do not tell embarrassing stories about the bride or groom, because they are probably also embarrassing stories that include you.

[edit] Tips for Giving the Wedding Toast

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The wedding ceremony is over, the guests have arrived at the reception hall, the toasting glasses are filled with champagne or another appropriate beverage. Let the toasting begin!

Tip #1 Practice
Practice makes perfect, read through your toast so you are comfortable with giving the toast. Practicing in front of a few people can help lower the nerves when it comes to the real presentation.
Tip #2 Show Confidence
Stand up straight, speak loudly, clearly and confidently.
Tip #3 Limit Alcohol Intake
Do not use liquid confidence, limit your drinks prior to giving your toast.
Tip #4 Don't Read from Cards
Write down notes, high points, or reminders on cards. If you use the cards, don't read directly from them. You want to have feeling and sincerity in your voice when speaking.
Tip #5 Make Eye Contact
Familiarize yourself with the location. Check the seating chart so that you can look at the people you are talking to and who you are talking about.
Tip #6 You're Almost Done
End your toast with asking for glasses to be raised and add a wish, blessing, cheer or congratulations for the bride and groom. "To the bride and groom" always works. Then lift your glass to all present, gesture toward the person you are giving the toast to, and gently clink their glass with yours if they are close enough, or clink your glass to those next to you and take a sip.

[edit] Suggested Toasting Order

Each wedding is individually crafted, so make sure you agreed upon the order well in advance and know your cue. Some formal wedding receptions will have a Master of Ceremonies that announces the toasts, while others may rely upon the DJ or Band Leader.

At formal weddings, the toast is usually given after the meal. If the couple is cutting a wedding cake for dessert, the toast is given after the cutting but before dessert[2].

For a less formal or afternoon wedding, the toasting often takes place after the couple's first dance.

During the Reception, the order might be:

  • The best man toasts the bride and groom
  • The groom toasts the bride and her family
  • The father(s) toast the bride and groom
  • The bride and groom toast each other

The bride and groom should also prepare to say a few words to each other and to those who have gathered for the occasion.

[edit] Related Guides

[edit] Resources

  1. Give a Great Toast
  2. Wedding Toast Tips