Is Your Maid Of Honor Stressing?
Or are you that person designated to give a toast and need some pointers? Let’s start with the REASON for the toast…
The purpose of the wedding toast is to HONOR the person(s) to whom it is offered. You want to leave them feeling good about themselves – not hurt or humiliated. This doesn’t mean you can’t have fun by gently teasing or poking fun, as long as you remember that the purpose of a wedding toast is to HONOR the couple and to help celebrate their marriage.
10 KEYS TO MAKING A MEMORABLE WEDDING TOAST
1. Be yourself. If you try to do something that’s not natural you can come off sounding pompous.
2. Keep it short. A wedding speech should be under 5 minutes. 3 minutes is ideal. People often lose interest if you carry on any longer. Millennials and Gen Z have short attention spans!
3. Be authentic. You have a wealth of information you can use in your toast. Pull from humorous stories in the past you’ve shared with them.
4. Be balanced. Try not to get carried away. Trying to write stories out as a comedy routine can take it over the top.
5. End on a positive note. If you’ve been humorous, go serious at the end with praise. Talk about how you admire them, what their friendship means to you, why they’re perfect for their new spouse, or how you’ll miss them now that they’re married!
6. Poke fun at yourself before teasing someone else. By demonstrating that you can laugh at yourself the audience will be more willing to laugh with you as you poke fun at someone else.
7. Keep it “Nana friendly”. Try not to bring up past relationships that they may have had or what might happen on their honeymoon, etc. There will always the rogue best man with the unhinged sexual innuendo reference (woof) but this is a formal event, keep it clean!
9. End with direction. Focus your attention on the subject of your toast, raise your glass and ask the guests to join you in a toast to the newlyweds.
9. If you run out of stuff to say – END THE TOAST! Please don’t force us to listen to a 10 minute run-on sentence! We’re starving and ready to eat! A simple raising of the glass and saying “To the happy couple!” can help bail you out if you’re struggling to find something to say.
10. Prepare in advance. There is nothing you can do on the day of the wedding that will be as good as something you prepare in advance. Unless you’re a professional orator, then just do you, Chief!
*Bonus Tip: You DON’T need to begin the toast with the cliche “For those of you that don’t know me” intro! Us wedding professionals cringe at this and a professional MC should have already just introduced you and your relationship to the couple rendering the line redundant!
**Double Bonus Tip: Don’t “Gronk Spike” the microphone. It wasn’t funny in 2016 and it’s not funny this year either, plus you’ll end up on the hook for potentially thousands of dollars in damage and risk the entertainment vendor packing up and leaving early!
Hopefully these pointers will allow you or those delivering toasts at your event to be better prepared and able to offer a memorable tribute. If you want more information about toasting then check out “Wedding Toasts Made Easy” by Tom Haibeck. Featured image courtesy of Katherine Brackman Photography.