- WEDDING SPEECHES
HOW TO MAKE A GREAT
WEDDING TOAST OR SPEECH
bride and groom is a long standing tradition at the wedding reception. Unlike most toasts that are
just a few words followed with a symbolic simultaneous group drink (alcoholic or non)
concluding the toast, wedding toasts are usually a bit more like a short speech.
A simple, heartfelt 2 to 3 minute wedding speech / wedding toast will usually get the job done
The best man usually has the duties of acting toastmaster
and will usually organize the wedding toasting schedule for the wedding reception - in addition to
giving his own toast to the bride and groom. Once it is determined who
will be giving the wedding toasts, a schedule should be made so that everyone knows in
which order and when they will be making their toast.
There are numerous
wedding toasts that can take
place depending upon the wishes of the bride and groom...The best man and
sometimes the maid of honor will toast the bride and groom, the father of the
bride will toast the bride and groom, the father of the groom may also toast the
bride and groom, the groom will toast the bride and her family, the bride may
toast the groom and his family and the bride and groom may toast each other.
Wedding toasts may also be made by the officiate and other friends and family close to the bride and
groom. TIP: If the officiate is offering a blessing, all other wedding toasts should
follow the blessing.
If you are making a wedding toast
or wedding speech and if public
speaking is not your thing, following are tips to make your toast more
profession and panic free.
When to toast?
first wedding toast, given by the Best Man (or sometimes the Bride's Father), is made at
the wedding reception once everyone has arrived and has been served a beverage to toast with
is seated for dinner and has an available beverage for toasting. After
that, the schedule of toasts (usually occurring just prior to and throughout
dinner) is pretty much up to the bride and groom.
Plan and write your
wedding toast / speech in
advance. Whatever you do, do not try to make an impromptu
wedding toast. You will want your toast to be thoughtful and from the heart rather
than unprepared rambling.
If you feel that you are unable to write a wedding toast there are a number of writing
services available that can write the perfect toast for you. There are also a
number of books available with examples (or templates) to use where you can
simply personalize the toast / speech with the names of the bride and groom or
cut and paste portions of different wedding toast templates to create the
perfect wedding toast for your style.
Don't try to be funny, don't try to be witty, don't try to
be entertaining. Relax and be yourself and you will be great!
Although a truly great
wedding toast usually combines a
bit of wit and humor with heartfelt sincerity, you are not competing for the
"wedding toast of the year". So, if you feel uncomfortable about the wit
and humor part of the toast simply exercise some wisdom
and focus on sincerity. On the other hand, if you are
actually funny, witty and entertaining - go for it! However - and
this is a BIG however...
intend to relate a humorous story about the bride and groom as part of your toast, remember who
your audience is and why you are giving the wedding toast. Avoid saying anything
off color or that only a few people may understand - or anything that may
embarrass anyone. Remember, it is a wedding toast - not a roast.
Focus only on the good things - the bride and groom and the happiness of the moment.
Keep it short and sweet.
When toasting the bride and groom, a bit more is expected than the standard
quickie toast. A 2 to 3 minute wedding speech / toast should get the job
done nicely without losing everyone's attention.
Be a name dropper and
Use the names of the people that you are toasting.
Be sure to LOOK at the people when
you refer to them or toast them.
Break your wedding toast / speech
into pieces. Break your wedding toast into 3 pieces
- the opening, the main body and the closing. Breaking it into
small, easy to handle pieces will make your wedding toast
much easier to write
and much easier to remember.
Piece 1 - The Opening -
You will introduce yourself and briefly explain your relationship to the bride
and groom. You will then lead into the body of your wedding toast / speech.
Piece 2 - The Body -
This portion of the
wedding toast / speech could include a brief memorable story about
the bride, groom, or both. Or, it could include the retelling of a humorous
moment regarding the bride and groom. Or, it could start with a memorable quote
or words from a poem or song and then lead into something that relates to the
bride and groom and their relationship, and their wedding, and this celebration
of their marriage...
Piece 3 - The Closing -
Can be a simple heartfelt statement of best wishes for the bride and groom or it
could be a thank you to the bride and groom for inviting everyone to share their
special day. At the conclusion you will raise your glass (hopefully prompting
the other guests to raise their glasses) and you will drink to the bride and
groom. Again, be sure to LOOK at the bride and groom when you refer to
them or toast them.
wedding toast, you will
either simply take your seat or you will introduce the next in line for giving a toast
and then take your seat.
Practice, practice, practice.
Although it is normal to be nervous before giving a toast or speech, the more
you practice the less nervous you will be. Believe me, this it totally
true! First of all, completely write
down your wedding toast. Then, read the toast / speech out loud to
yourself to see
how long it takes to read. Then, rip up what you just wrote and start over
(just kidding). The next step is actually to rewrite your toast / speech until it sounds
like something you would actually say and is the length that you want it to be. Once you are comfortable with the length and the way the
wedding toast / speech reads,
read it to someone who has not heard it before to get their opinion. Assuming that no modifications
need to be made, practice your toast / speech aloud until you do not need your speech in written form. Practice in front of a mirror, practice
in front of the dog, practice in the shower - but be sure to practice!
Cheat sheets never hurt.
Regardless of how much you practice your wedding toast / speech, after you have
memorized your toast / speech you may want to have note cards that highlight
the main points of your toast - in the order that you intend to present them.
Although you will NOT want to use them during the actual toast / speech
you may want to review them before your toast / speech.
Finally, if you just can't get your brain wrapped around creating a wedding toast, there
are a number of wedding toast creation services that can help you create a
custom wedding toast. These services can be found in your local phone book
or on the Internet via one of the many search engines. TIP: Before
you invest in a service, check to be sure what you are getting, Some toast
/ speech writing services may provide do-it-yourself, "fill-in-the-blanks"
templates while others just fill in the blanks for you, while others
actually create a unique wedding toast for you.
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