If you have been asked to give a wedding toast at a wedding reception, chances are you are a close friend or family member of the couple. It is a great honor to be asked to speak on the most important day in their lives, and the task deserves much thought and consideration. Consider these tips to deliver a memorable wedding toast that is both memorable and meaningful!
Preparation is Key
Resist the urge to deliver your toast off the cuff. Delivering a good toast takes thought and preparation. Start by writing down thoughts of what you would like to say and any stories you think are applicable. Think about what wishes you have for the couple and what you hope they will remember about this day forever. Remember, this is not about you…this is about the couple. Once you have the bullet points, start crafting this into paragraphs.
Ask a trusted friend to read your toast, you may consider asking someone with a different personality than you. If you are the social butterfly or class clown, ask your more introverted friend. You may think your accounts of drunken nights together at a bar are funny, but a second opinion may alert you that it is in poor taste. Keep in mind, the couple’s parents, grandparents, and children attending the reception are all hearing your speech. Keep the embarrassing tales for the bachelor/bachelorette party. Keep it appropriate!
Once you have a rough draft, practice reading it aloud. Read it multiple times until you have a good idea of the flow and pacing of your words. Even those with public speaking experience may get nervous when getting up in front of friends and family; so, the more you practice, the more comfortable you will be. It is a good idea to have a written copy of your toast to read from, even if you think you have it memorized, physically holding a copy will bring you comfort and keep you from straying off topic at the moment.
A toast should be short and sweet, try to keep the total length to 3-5 minutes, any longer and you will start to lose the crowd.
Five Components of a Successful Wedding Toast
This should be a short bit thanking everyone for coming, introducing yourself and explaining how you know the couple.
You clearly have a history with the couple. After all, they have asked you to speak at this important moment. When coming up with past items to talk about, NEVER talk about past relationships or indiscretions. This is not a time to talk about drunken escapades or embarrassing tales (not too embarrassing anyway). Focus on the relationship and the history of your friendship. Make sure to include any memories that speak to the character of your friend.
A few words about how life has been so much better since your friend met his/her partner. You can add in stories about how they met, how your friend told you about their love, how you knew they were perfect together, or anything that focuses on their love story.
Talk about their Partner
Have a few nice lines about your friend’s partner. Compliment him/her. Talk about how they have completed your friend and any good changes they have brought to their life.
A memorable wedding toast will include well wishes for the couple’s future. You can infuse personality into this, focusing on any hobbies they enjoy or things they like to do together. If they met on a co-ed softball team, you can wish them many more years of no-hitters, or that your friend can finally get a base hit. A little humor without crossing the line is always good.
Make sure to ask guests to join you in raising their glass to the newlyweds, it is a wedding toast after all!