If someone close to you is getting married, you’re probably going to want to make a toast the the happily wedded couple at their reception. Many people are natural speakers and can wing it, whilst others need help with public speaking. Regardless of which camp you belong to, when asked to make a speech for such a momentous occasion in life, we think it’s a great idea to have a few guidelines to ensure that what you’re saying to your just-married friends and their wedding guests ring close to their hearts with a few tickles for good measure.
Images courtesy of Sakura Photography
Here are what we think are the top ten tips to successful wedding toasting -
1. THINK IT THROUGH; MAKE NOTES
- A good way to connect with your bride and groom and their wedding guests is sharing some insight into your relationship with them. Guests always want to hear about stories of connection, and that’s also the quickest way to someone’s heart – through reminisce!
2. KEEP IT RESPECTABLE
- Yes, that story about your best bud, the groom, peeing in the bushes probably brings back lots of great memories, but it may not necessarily be the right story to share with a roomful of guests who may not know that side of him, especially his boss and his wife whom he has invited to his wedding! So do keep from embarrassing the couple on their special day, and save the stories about their recent nose jobs, broken hearts or first marriages from the podium.
3. WRITE YOUR TOAST LIKE A STORY
- Remember a beginning, middle and an end, so that as you toast the couple, your stories unfold like a good mini book or movie with a timeline.
4. PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE
- Some people are really great with winging it, but others rely on notes and that’s totally fine too. The key to making sure that you don’t sound like you’re reading from notes (which you are) is to practice practice practice. Get in front of a kitchen mirror, and if you can a willing audience, and rehearse your speech until you feel at ease with the toast.
5. KEEP IT SHORT AND SWEET
- Life stories are great but you probably want to limit sharing your stories to maybe one or two, depending on how long your stories are. This ensure that you have everybody’s attention and that nobody is fidgeting.
6. BE CLEAR-HEADED
- You know how they say it’s a good idea to calm one’s nerves with a little something from the bar? While it may seem like a good idea, it may not be the best course of action as nerves and memory, especially, and alcohol are not best friends. A little sip or two might do the trick to relax yourself for the toast, but anything more than that could lead to impaired speech, instability and a loss of memory of what you’re going to say. We think it’s best to stay away from the bar until after you’ve had your toast. After that, you can drink as much as you want! Safely, of course (;
7. ANNOUNCE YOUR RELATIONSHIP TO THE COUPLE
- Some of the bride and groom’s friends may not know who you are, so announce your relationship to the couple at the beginning of the speech to avoid any confusion.
8. THANK THE FAMILIES
- This part of the speech is often overlooked, but it is such an crucial tip to successful toasting. Make sure you thank both sides of the families but keep the list short and concise; remember your two-minute limit!
9. RAISE YOUR GLASS AT THE END OF YOUR SPEECH
- Make sure that you bring your toasting glass to the podium, as it’s a nice gesture to end your speech with the raising of your glass to the couple.
10. LIMIT THE NUMBER OF SPEECHES
- While it’s not actually the responsibility of the Best Man or Maid of Honour, it’s an important tip to remember for successful wedding toasting. There are usually only two speeches – the Best Man and Maid of Honour toasts. However, there are sometimes more than one BM/MOH, or more likely than not, the parents of the couple might insist on making a toast as well. While we’re sure these speeches are heartfelt and mean a lot to the newlyweds and those who speak, the more speeches mean the longer your guests will have to wait for their food. So do keep that in mind when planning for speeches during the toasting part of the reception.