Make the perfect wedding toast
Someone you love dearly is about to tie the knot at the perfect wedding venue and you are expected to make the perfect wedding toast. It sounds really simple. Until you put pen to paper and….nothing. You start to panic as your mind draws a blank. Your heart is pounding and your palms are sweating. How dare your friend to enter this new chapter in his or her life! How can they be so selfish to put this kind of pressure on you? Before you call your friend in a panic and denounce the matrimony as unholy, take a deep breath and relax. The following tips will have you spewing love filled memories onto paper in no time.
Making a good toast is not as daunting as it first seems. The key to a good toast is to be real. That’s right. Its that simple. By keeping it real and using words you use in everyday life, instead of trying to impress people with your new found vocabulary you obtained overnight searching the web, will make your toast heart felt and genuine.
Start working on the toast as soon as possible. You don’t want to wait until the night before the big day to bang out your words. Remember, this toast is to let the couple know how happy you are for them. You are going to need to put some thought into what you say. Think of the first time that you realized that these two people were meant for each other and include that story in your toast. Refrain from including anything that might be embarrassing for anyone in attendance, including the mention of any exes.
Having notes is a good idea but don’t read your speech straight from the cards. It will seem impersonal and you could come of sounding like a robot. Notes are great if you stumble and lose your train of thought for a moment but you shouldn’t be totally dependent on them for your speech. Instead, take the time to memorise what you want to say and spend a few hours practicing it.
Keep your toast to around two minutes. Two minutes may seem like no time at all but when you are speaking in public, it can be surprising long. Also, chances are your aren’t the only one at the wedding who has something to say to the lucky couple. Be mindful of other guest and wait your turn to speak. Your place in the lineup will depend on your relationship with the bride and groom.
There are also rules to be followed when it comes to formal weddings. Traditionally, the toast begin after the meal. The toast will begin after the cutting of the cake but before it is served.. In less formal weddings, the toast will begin after the couple has their first dance together. If there is a Toastmaster, follow his cues. If there is no Toastmaster, the best man usually coordinates the toast.
Here is the traditional order to follow:
The father of the bride will give a toast to the new family. If the father can’t be present then usually an old family friend will fill this role.
The groom will usually toast to the health of the bridesmaids.
The best man will toast to the health of both the bride and grooms parents.
When it is your turn to speak, take a quick glance around to be sure everyone’s glasses are filled, including your own. If you don’t drink alcohol, be sure to substitute it with grape juice or some other beverage but not water. Toasting with water is sometimes considered offensive.
Raise your glass to the person you are toasting and announce in a strong voice you would like to make a toast. Although many people signify this by clanging a fork against their glass, nothing will make a host cringe more than the sound of an eating utensil banging the side of their fine crystal, and besides that, it’s downright tacky.
Be sure to announce yourself and your relationship to the couple. Not everyone at the wedding will know who you are so by making this clear, you will avoid confusion. When speaking, look at the people you are toasting to but also make eye contact with the crowd from time to time. The wedding guest are also members of your audience and want to feel included.
Try to include a humorous story in your toast if you can. Comedic relief is always appreciated, especially if your audience is becoming emotional. Funny toasts are usually the most remembered and talked about, even years after the wedding. Remember to include a formal indication that your toast is drawing to a close. Something like “Here is to Mike and Molly. May they have many years of love, happiness and prosperity” will do. After waving your glass to all, tip it toward the couple, or even gently clink their glasses if they are seated close enough to you. You should also clink glasses with any other guest who are within your reach.
After you are finished, take a seat and wait for the next toast. Sometimes the bride or groom may offer a toast in response to your toast. If this happens, don’t raise your glass and remain seated. When the toast is done, smile and thank the person for their kind words.
Writing and giving a successful wedding toast may seem challenging at first but if you give yourself enough time and follow these steps, you will be finished with your task before you know it. Remember to practice, preferably in front of others, and memorize as much as you can about what you want to say. Be courteous and kind. Do not include anything in your speech that may be embarrassing or hurtful to anyone in attendance. An easy way to ensure this is, if you’re not sure how your audience will respond to what you have to say, then do not include it in your speech. Most importantly, remember this is only a toast, so don’t be too hard on yourself if you feel you may have blown it. The day was about your loved ones getting married, not about your toast.