Written by Wedding Planner Andrea Eppolito | Photo by AltF Photography
The wedding toast…It’s an honor to be asked to give a toast, and yet figuring out what to say is one of the most dreaded and nerve wracking things one can do. Written well and delivered with humor and empathy, a wedding toast can be one of the sweetest, more endearing moments of the day. Ramble on for too long or, worse, tell in appropriate stories, and well…You may hear the Oscar music play as you are escorted off stage.
After years of listening to, coaching through, and even giving a few wedding toasts of my own, I have some helpful advice for you....
THE TOP 10 DO'S AND DON'T OF MAKING A TOAST
1. Write It Down! While it may be tempting to wing it, you will fee much more confident if you prepare a few notes ahead of time to keep yourself on task. Just a short reminder of what you want to say is all you need!
2. Practice! Run through your speech a few times in the mirror. Time yourself and make sure that you keep your remarks short, sweet, and honestly sincere.
3. Talk about the COUPLE! It is both tempting and easy to focus on the spouse you have the closest relationship with, but this is a time to focus on the couple as a unit. Speak positively about them as a couple and note how their love has influences the lives of those around them.
4. Say Something Meaningful! Take this opportunity to say something sincere and personal, but void platitudes. We have all heard “She’s like a sister to me” and “I love him like a brother” Instead, comment on specific attributes by saying something along the lines of “she never fails to show up when I need her, making her a more than a friend, she is family. And I have no doubt that she is going to be a wonderful wife.”
5. Control the Mic - What good is a wonderful toast if no one can hear it?!?
6. Don’t drink your nerves away! It’s one thing to have a glass of wine during the cocktail hour, it’s another to do shots before you take the mic!
7. Don’t talk about yourself! Let people know who you are, and the connection you have to the couple, and then move on.
8. Don’t ramble on. Keep your toast short and sweet, staying under 2 - 3 minutes if possible.
9. Don’t tell private jokes or stories that guests cannot connect with.
10. Don’t get on a soapbox! Stay away from anything controversial like religion, politics, and - most importantly - previous relationships. Exes are off limits! Every day, in every way.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
To bring the toast to a close pick up your glass, and pause while you ask guests to do the same. Once everyone is focused on the couple with a drink in hand, simply say, "To the happy couple - Cheers!"
Remember - These tips aren't just useful for a wedding toast! Use them to guide you through saying something at engagement parties, showers, brunches, and event through the holidays.
Have any other fab toasting tips? Share them below!