Welcome to our first in a series of Wedding Wisdom Wednesday blogs. In our blog today, we wanted to share some tips on Wedding toasts.
In 24 years of entertaining at hundreds of Weddings, we have seen just about everything during toasts…from funny stories that had people on the floor laughing, to heart touching stories that leave people choked up and teary eyed. We have seen toast by people who put in very little effort (it shows), to ones that were way too long. Todays blog is not going to tell you what to write, as only you know the Bride & Groom well enough to provide meaningfu,l heart felt content. Remember this is why you were chosen by the Bride & Groom to perform this honor. The guideline is to help you write a personal and meaningful toast to the Bride & Groom.
- Time – I find that the best toasts are typically 2-5 minutes. Many of us have been at a Wedding where the toast just seems to go on forever. Either the stories go on forever, and you start to lose the attention of the other guests, or you may be killing it, but remember toady is about the Bride & Groom, not about how great of a comedy routine you put together. On the other hand, if a toast is too short, it looks like you didn’t put a lot of effort into honoring the couple who felt you were so important to them that they asked you to perform this honor. You don’t need a stopwatch and time your speech to make sure it’s not too long or too short, but if you follow the advice below, you should be pretty well within the 2-5 minute timeframe.
- Introduce Yourself – This is actually the first thing you should do in your toast, and I don’t mean say “Hi I’m John”. Many of the guests may not know you, and know how or why your are important to the Bride & Groom, so a short introduction lets them know why you were chosen to do this speech. You may start with something like…”Hello, I’m John, Brian and I first met in third grade when Brian came over to protect me from the mean girl who was taking my lunch money.” or “I’m Melissa, my sister has always been there for me when I needed her, and now that she is married…”
- Tell a Story – As the Best Man you know the Groom pretty well, same thing goes for the Maid/Matron of Honor. So after you introduce yourself, tell a story about and the Bride/Groom, It can be funny, meaningful, or just something that you two will always remember, and that maybe many people do not know. Keep in mind to keep this story appropriate, this is after all your best friends Wedding, so it is best to avoid talking about past relationships, the time you got caught with something illegal in Mexico, etc.
- Don’t focus on Just One Person – This is after all the celebration of the start of their lives together, so once you get finished telling everyone how much you and Grooms got into trouble when you were young, bring the Bride into the story. For example “I remember when Brian and I took a joyride in his dads Oldsmobile…when we got home his dad was waiting in the driveway, and chased us both down the street.” “Well all of that changed when he met Beth…I didn’t think anyone would be able to tame him, but you are his rock”.
- Don’t Forget to Toast – Make sure you end the toast, with an actual toast. You can use whatever you feel comfortable with, be it “Raise your glasses to the new….” “cheers”, “salute”, “To Brian & Beth”, but don’t forget to lead the guests in raising their glasses, and toasting to the new couple.
- Don’t “Borrow” A Toast Online – I can’t even begin to count the number of times I’ve hear the “May all your ups and downs be in the bedroom” or you ask the bride to put her hand on the table, and then ask to groom to hold put his hand on top, then say “Enjoy this moment as it’s the last time you’ll have the upper hand”. There are a few more that I have seen time after time. The most memorable toasts though are the ones that come from the heart and stir emotion, be it smiles, laughter, or tears. Only you can write the perfect Wedding Toast for the person closest in your life.
Do you have a story or advice for a Wedding Toast? Feel free to share your experience below.
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