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.


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