July 18, 2012

Tips for Toasting!!

Posted in Planning Tips and Information, Weddings tagged , , , , , , , at 10:39 am by JBEvents

Tips for Toasting

Over the years, I’ve observed many methods of Toasting ~ some were very good, while others were, well, embarrassing – not only to the Bride and Groom, but to all of those in attendance. 

Following tradition, the Best Man and the Father of the Bride (or other close family member) should offer a Toast at the Reception.  Others wishing to offer a Toast, should do so at the Rehearsal Dinner.   Many couples today choose to have the Maid/Matron of Honor offer a Toast at the Reception, and many times, the Couple themselves may want to say a few words, this is certainly appropriate.  However, it is not advised to open the floor for any and every one that may want to say something ~ not only because things could get out of control, but because many of your guests will quickly lose interest.  Keep in mind, this is a Wedding Reception and not a “Roast”!

While some people are much more comfortable speaking in public than others, everyone can feel confident to offer a toast to the special couple with proper preparation.  If you know that you will be called upon to offer a toast, there are a few common ground rules that you should follow.

 1.   Be Prepared.  This is actually a “rule” that should be followed by the Bride and Groom as well as the Toaster.  For the Bride and Groom, you should ask those that you wish to offer a Toast at your wedding several months in advance.  For the Toaster, as soon as you are asked, you should begin working on your Toast.  At first, just jot down some thoughts about the couple and then work those thoughts into a short, concise, heartfelt Toast.  Even if you are comfortable speaking in front of a large group, you need to Be Prepared.  This is NOT the time to decide you will just wing your way through it.

2. Keep it Short.  A good Toast should be between 1 – 3 minutes in length ~ with 2 minutes being the norm.  Anything over this will have guests losing interest and therefore begin talking amongst themselves which is extremely rude to you, the Bride and Groom and other guests that are trying to listen. 

3. Introduce Yourself.  Your Toast should begin by you introducing yourself and stating how you know the couple.  Remember, there will be guests in attendance that have no idea who you are and will be interested in knowing how you know the couple.

4. Be Natural.  Don’t try and be a comedian, just use your natural sense of humor.  Also it’s important not become overly emotional while delivering your Toast.   While there are times when a particularly touching story will be shared, try to maintain your composure until you have finished your Toast.

5. Speak Clearly.  A very common mistake Toasters make is speaking too fast or too softly.  You should maintain eye-contact with the couple, speak slowly and enunciate your words.  Also, unless you are in a room of less than 10 people, you should use a microphone when making your Toast.  Many people are not comfortable using a microphone, however, the guests in the back will not hear you if you don’t.  When using a microphone, make sure to hold it very close to your mouth.  In general, the microphone should not be more than 2 inches from your mouth, or it will not properly amplify your voice.  It’s also important to be careful moving around while giving your Toast, as it is quite possible to create static feedback by standing directly in front of the speakers or drifting outside of the microphone range.

6. Speak to both the Bride and Groom.  This is where I find that many people tend to forget that when offering the Toast, you are offering it to the Couple and not just the person you may be closest friends with.  While you may feel obliged to regale stories from the past, this truly isn’t the time.  Keep your focus on the couple, their love and your sincere wishes for their future.  

7.  Don’t tell off-color jokes or stories.  Your Toast is NOT the time to tell jokes that could be considered in poor taste.  This is also NOT the time to discuss previous relationships, or embarrassing stories about the night when you were all drunk or other similarly distasteful stories, or to use foul language, etc.  Remember, there are many people in attendance that would take offense at such things – i.e., Grandparents.  You certainly don’t want you or your Toast to be remembered for being inappropriate.

8.  Remember your Audience.  It is very easy to want to talk and reminisce about things that perhaps only a few people in the room know about, but for your Toast, you should focus on things that most everyone in attendance will understand. Save the inside jokes and stories for when you are with only those that would understand.

9. Practice makes perfect.  As previously stated, offering a toast is NOT the time to try your skills at winging it, rather, you should rehearse your Toast many times until you are comfortable reciting it from memory.  You definitely do not want to stand up in front of a group, and read your entire speech.  If you feel that you absolutely need “reminders”, then jot a few key points on an index card that can easily be held in one hand and only use it for reference if you feel you forgot something. It’s best if you try practicing your speech in front of a few different people so that you can have feedback on things you may want or need to change.

10. Thank your Host(s).  Remember to Thank the Hosts for providing the wonderful celebration.  If you are unsure about who is hosting the celebration, then it’s best to Thank both sets of parents as well as the couple.

11. Stay Focused.  While you may feel that having a few drinks will “help” you with your Toast, the opposite is actually true.  If you have taken the steps to be prepared and you have rehearsed, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.  Remember to smile, speak clearly, stay on topic, and keep it short and you will do just fine.

Most importantly ~ once you have finished your speech, remember to ask the guests to join you in raising their glass to Toast the Happy Couple!!!




For each petal on the shamrock this brings a wish your way.
Good health, good luck, and happiness for today and every day.


July 11, 2012

Kristin + Bobby = True Love Forever

Posted in Weddings tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 9:32 am by JBEvents

What a beautiful day for an amazing couple in a fabulous venue for a wedding!  Hopefully you will forgive me for all of the adjectives once you read and see what I’m talking about!

Kristin and Bobby selected Greensboro 1st United Methodist Church to exchange vows and the Lake Club at Reynolds Plantation for the reception. 

The church was beautiful and very spacious.  There is a very large Narthex area which has the feel of a mountain lodge – complete with a huge stone fireplace.  The staff (church hostess and sound technician) were so accommodating and helpful.  The brides room was  large and had an area perfect for hair/make-up services ~ which is so rare!

The girls arrived at the church to receive their hair and make-up services provided by Julie and Heidi of Formal Faces.  Everyone looked gorgeous. 

The bridesmaids dresses were STUNNING!  They were purchased at Wedding Angels and were tangerine with a floral rosette detail around the hemlines. 

Kristin’s dress was incredible.  The beading detail was just beautiful.  The sash that she added was the perfect touch!  She looked gorgeous!!!!

Capturing the images of the day was Adam Linke and Mickie of The Decisive Moment.  We loved working with them!!!  What a treat you are in for…as the images included in this post are from Adam!! {thank you so much for providing the gorgeous images}!!

It was also fun working with Jonathan Nye of Evolution Video again.  He is a great and extremely talented guy.  I’m happy to say he is one of my preferred vendors!!  I know that Kristin and Bobby will be thrilled with the video Jonathan is creating for them.

The Groom’s grandfather presided over the ceremony – making for a truly touching vow exchange.

The Lake Club at Reynolds Plantation is a Private Member’s-Only Club.  The venue sits right on Lake Oconee.  The main level of the venue overlooks the pools which are amazing.  One pool – which is more family friendly has these amazing tubular slides and the other pool is an infinity pool directly overlooking Lake Oconee ~ very serene.  I kept thinking how fun it would be to have a full Wedding Party Trash the attire session by coming down the tube slides…but I digress.

The entry foyer of the Club is in the shape of an octagon – which provides visual interest.  A round residential table in the center of the room held photos of the couple and a lovely towering centerpiece.   Early in the wedding planning process, Kristin purchased favor containers in the shape of shopping bags which were monogrammed with their names and wedding date.  When trying to determine how to provide guests their table assignments, I suggested she use the boxes and place the guests names and table assignments on them, so they become a personalized favor.  The boxes then served two purposes  – Escort Card and Favor.  They were filled with spiced pecans.  The boxes were topped with adorable ribbons in the citrus color theme of the wedding! This was a great way of making double use of an item!

Guests had a BLAST taking turns in the Photo booth provided by Majestic Photo Booth.  The guests were able to have photos to take away with them while another copy of the photos were placed in a scrapbook for the couple.  Guests wrote messages in the scrapbook which I’m sure will be entertaining to look back over in the years ahead.

The couple also had a booked filled with their engagement photos that guests wrote sweet messages in.  The photo books are such a wonderful way to share the engagement photos the couples have taken while also serving as a very special keepsake with the messages from those attending the celebration. 

One other method of guests providing well wishes, encouragement, and words of guidance were note cards which were in envelopes that had been decorated to include a specific Anniversary year when the couple should open the note.  What a wonderful way of providing a remembrance of those who celebrated your wedding day by reading their messages years later.  I have to wonder if Kristin and Bobby will actually wait the length of time indicated on each envelope or if they will “cheat” and open them all at once. I think if it were me – cheating would be involved!  🙂

Rhythm Nation from East Coast Entertainment, provided the high-energy entertainment for the evening.  Guests were having a great time dancing to the tunes!  It is always a pleasure to work with this group.  They are very talented as well as being easy to work with.

Le Petit Jardin  provided florals for the wedding.  Kristin wanted a somewhat rustic chic look to the decor.  Debbie used a variety of flowers in the decor, but Sunflowers were prevalent. Lanterns and hurricane vases were utilized throughout the decor. Glass spheres were attached to the chandeliers which hung down over the dance floor area.  They sparkled as the lights danced off them providing a magical look.

The wedding and groom’s cakes were provided by Cake Design by Debra.  The groom works for a brick company and so his Groom’s cake gave homage to his favorite sports teams as well as his occupation. The wedding cake mimicked  the bride’s dress with lace details covering the the top and sides with an accent bow.

A late night snack of Banana Pudding was offered to the guests in keeping with a southern touch. Judging from how quickly they disappeared, I would say they were delicious!

When it was time for the party to end, guests donned flower leis and had finger streamers to fling as the couple made their way to the waiting Horse and Carriage.  This was a fitting fanfare since the couple spent their honeymoon in Hawaii!

It was such a pleasure working with this couple and we wish them a lifetime of Happiness!!!

To see a slideshow of the wedding – please click the link below ~ compliments of The Decisive Moment!


Now, the professional images ~ with just a few of my snapshots thrown in!

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