Try to remember a wedding you attended where you heard one of the best wedding toasts ever! While the toast itself might not have been out of the ordinary, it surely connected emotionally with you and left a lasting impression that you still remember vividly to this day.
This simple exercise goes to show that in order to create the perfect wedding toast you need to incorporate just a few basics:
- make it simple,
- keep it charming,
- go for sentimental, and
- be sure to always honor the newly married couple as they begin their new life together.
When it comes to giving a wedding toast, many people are terrified at the thought of being asked to do so because they most likely have seen their share of failed attempts in the past that ruined the moment. If you have been asked to give a toast, the first thing to do is calm down and really appreciate the fact the couple has chosen you to be a part of their wedding. Even if you feel a little nervous or apprehensive, this guide will help you to easily get through that task and come out the other end with flying colors.
Who Gives the Wedding Toast?
Wedding tradition dictates that the person you chose as the best man will be the master of ceremonies during the wedding reception and is responsible for starting off with toasting the bride and groom. Keep this in mind when selecting your best man, the more personal experiences he has with the couple, the more heart-felt and memorable that toast will be. Once his toast is complete, he will be responsible for handing off the microphone to the next person in line to help keep the reception moving along.
The order in which the wedding reception toasts unfolds is as follows:
- The best man will toast the bride.
- The maid of honor will toast the groom.
- The father of the bride toasts the wedding couple.
- Parental figures of the bride and groom toast the wedding couple.
- The wedding couple will then toast family and guests.
Be sure that you remind those who will be toasting far in advance so they have plenty of time to prepare their speech. Make certain they are also aware of the order in which the toasts will occur so they are not wandering into the bathroom when their turn is up.
When Are the Wedding Toasts Given?
If the wedding is a formal affair, the wedding toasts will be given right after the meal and before the husband and wife have their first dance. If the wedding is less formal, the toasts can be made right after the first dance, while the dinner is being served, or basically at any key point in the reception that feels right for you.
During the rehearsal dinner you have a great opportunity to allow others to give speeches and toasts. Although this is when the groom’s father usually has his speech, it is the perfect time to give the microphone to a person not listed to toast at the reception so they can have the chance to be heard. Since only close family and friends are at this dinner, it is the perfect setting for some very emotional toasts.
The Seven Key Elements to a Classy Wedding Toast
1. Get the Crowd’s Attention.
Trying to get everyone to focus when you are about to give a speech can be a challenge, so avoid clinking the champagne glass repeatedly because it can be dangerous and get annoying very quick. Stand up and speak clearly, this way everyone will in time hear you and quiet down and focus.
Example: “Hello ladies and gentlemen! May I have your attention please for a few brief moment as we toast the bride and groom?”
2. Get to the Point.
The best advice for anyone giving a wedding toast is to get to the point quickly. If you start drifting off to the days you and the groom first met in grade school and account every detail of your decades as friends, you take all the emotional power out of the toast. Guests want to eat, drink, dance, and party, so hit those key points and make that emotional connection right out of the gate.
Example: ”They say birds of a feather will flock together. You two are the most amazing, creative, loving birds I’ve ever met. I can not wait to see you guys fly.”
3. Be Appropriate and Complementary.
Leave the comments about any rough waters the couple may have experienced out of the wedding toast. Negative comments could upset more than the guests in attendance, not to mention take away from the couple’s big night. Keep the speech clean, avoid embarrassing stories, and focus on the bliss of their wedding day and future.
Example: “I’m lucky enough to have hung around with Jeff for many decades. As much as I realize Tami will take better care of him than me, I have come to the realization it is for the best!”
4. Always Be Sincere.
Regardless what your style may be, the entire audience, bridal party, parents of the bride and groom, and the guests of honor all want from that speech is you reiterating this is a very heartwarming event. Remind those in attendance about the love these two feel for each other, don’t go too deep into the meaning of love or your own personal feeling on the perfect love.
Example: ”To Jennifer and Tim, I have never met a couple more perfect together than you two. You bring out all the best in each other!”
5. Keep Practicing.
Don’t hesitate to practice your wedding toast with a friend or family member before the big day. If you want to surprise everyone with you speech, record your speech on your mobile device and listen to how you sound.
6. Keep Your Head Clear.
Try to steer clear of any open bar until after you have given your toast. Too many receptions have been crushed because a toast was given while the person had overindulged and then revealed embarrassing situations, spoke out of line, or insulted people in attendance. You will be grateful you avoided those drinks, especially with all those cameras taping your every word.
7. Mind Your Manners.
When you come to the end of the wedding toast, do not forget to raise the glass and take a sip. That will seal the deal and let others know to do the same.
What Will the Couple Do During the Wedding Toast?
This is simple, they sit back and smile and refrain from touching the drink until the toast is complete. When the time comes for the wedding couple to toast those in attendance, it should be more of a thank you speech than anything. Thank those who attended, who helped put the reception together, the parents, and anyone who had a hand in making the day memorable. Express how excited you are to start your new lives together, then seal the deal with a kiss.