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At the time of writing this, we are in the thick of wedding season here in the United States. People are coming to wonderful ceremonies and celebrating the union of two people. There is cake and flowers and gifts to be thought of. For the unforgettable man, there is a toast to be made as well. For a lot of people the idea of standing in front of a crowd and giving a heartfelt speech will push them into drinking too much. We have all heard the stories of someone’s good buddy who was pretty hammered getting up and giving a long winded, often embarrassing, toast in front of friends and family. Let’s look at a few simple tips on dos and don’ts of giving an unforgettable wedding toast.
Do introduce yourself. Stand up and let the crowd know who you are and how you know the couple. This is important since chances are you don’t know everyone in the room and people want to know what your relationship is to the couple. This will help capture people’s attention for the next few minutes while you make your toast.
Do share a small anecdotal story about the couple. This story should be something that you were involved in or closely aware of. Some ideas are how the couple met, something special about the engagement, or a short trip down memory lane about their relationship.
Do keep it short! Nobody wants to listen to a long winded speech. The toast needs to be kept to no more than 3-5 minutes. You are not the star attraction of the day, so say your peace and then sit down.
Do make it from the heart. You should only be making a wedding toast if you are intimately connected with the couple. Typically the best man, maid of honor, father of the bride, or a very close friend are the people who make a toast. What you say should be heart felt and sincere. If you are really good at knowing when and how to be funny then throw in a joke, otherwise play it straight.
Do practice before the big day. A wedding toast to the happy couple is something special. Don’t wing it. Take a little time a couple of days before the event and write out some thoughts. Practice giving the toast so you know how things flow. Get it right before hand.
Don’t drink too much before giving the toast. Nobody wants to hear your drunk incoherent ramblings. You should be someone close to the couple to be giving the toast. Therefore, have the respect to give them a beautiful gift in a classic toast.
Don’t share embarrassing stories. The bride and groom are very ecstatic on their wedding day. Don’t leave them with a horrible memory on their special day by telling people about old flames, previous marriages, or anything else that may be best left in the past. Think before you speak.
Don’t share things in your toast that people won’t understand. If it is a ‘you had to be there’ kind of story or moment then it really doesn’t belong in the wedding toast. Things like that will only confuse people.
Just a couple of quick tips to make sure that you give the most unforgettable wedding toast and leave the man of the hour.
A wedding toast has a beginning, middle, and end. Give a quick introduction, share a story and add some well wishes, lift your glass and invite the crowd to join you in wishing the couple all the best and close it by saying “cheers”.
Make sure to speak clearly and slowly. There may be people of different ages, cultures, and languages present. You want to make sure that everyone can hear you and join in the toast.
Now you have a new guide in being that unforgettable man at the wedding who gave the new couple a warm and memorable wedding toast! So the next time you are at a wedding of a close friend or family member, raise your glass and wish them the best!
Photo credit: Ethan Hein