Have you ever been to a wedding or party, and have been asked to give a toast? This is a grand honor if you truly understand what a toast is, and it’s meaning. I was at an event recently when I overheard the best man say” I’m supposed to give a toast, and I have no idea what I am supposed to say”. Well, before we get into the true proper etiquette of how to toast at a wedding, I feel it is important that people truly understand what a toast is. A true toast is the act of raising a glass and drinking to honor someone or some thing. To start, you offer the proposal of a toast, and then give the reasoning and the speech behind it.
Now that we are aware of what a toast is, we need to know who gives the toast at a wedding. This is called the wedding toast etiquette. This is stuff that you need to know before going to a wedding so you know in what order things are suppose to happen.
When looking at wedding toast etiquette, we see that you are supposed to start off with the best man. This is the toast that he needs to come up with that is to be offered to the new bride and groom. After the speech is given, the groom (because it was his best man) is supposed to respond with some kind of thank you in response to the toast that was given. Because the best man always goes first, the best man spot is supposed to be highly honored.
After the best man goes, the other members of the bride and grooms family can give a speech or a toast if they want to. Typically the order of toasting is
- The best man toasts the bride and groom
- The groom toasts the bride and her family;
- The (two) father(s) toast the bride and groom
- The bride and groom toast each other.
Here are some really important tips to remember when toasting:
- Keep the toast 3-5 minutes long and maintain eye contact with the bride and groom as you deliver it.
- Stand and deliver! Sit down if it’s for you. If you’re giving the toast, you should stand up.
- First thing, announce your relationship to the bride and groom. Everyone may not know.
- Use personal anecdotes; how the bride and groom met is always popular. Or how you met either of them, if you’re not a relative.
- Don’t give a long string of characteristics. Rather choose a few adjectives, hitting the high points, i.e., she’s lovely, vivacious and kind.
- Use tasteful humor and don’t do “in” jokes that only a few will get. You want to include, not exclude.
- Stay PG-rated. There may be children there, and also it’s just good taste. It’s your responsibility on this important occasion to make sure you offend no one.
- End on a serious note. Finish with a wish, a blessing, cheers! or congratulations. “To the bridge and groom” always works. Looking at some of the resources below will give you other ideas to get you started.
- Practice your toast a lot beforehand. This is not the time to “wing it” especially if you plan to be imbiding beforehand.
- Do not mention past girlfriends, past marriage, or past relationships. That’s what the stag party is for.
- And don’t end with something negative which may slip into your mind if you aren’t prepared like, “And I hope theirs doesn’t end in divorce like mine did.
Toasting tends to stress people out when in fact it should be something fun and exciting. Just stick to the facts and the love and the words will flow and make your toast the best yet!
Thank you to Alex Fagundo of Candidly Elegant Photography taken at a wedding Linzi Events planned at Boca Grove Country Club.