Wedding Toast Etiquette

Your wedding is quickly approaching and so far, everything is going smoothly. You’ve picked a great venue, found beautiful invitations and things couldn’t be better. Now comes the time to make a decision regarding another major aspect of the wedding: the toasts. This is a much bigger decision than you might think. It’s one of the very few moments of the wedding where all eyes are temporarily off you, and instead, squared directly at someone that you’ve asked to speak. And you have no idea what they are going to say…

Fear not! Here are a few tips regarding who should be asked to give a toast at a wedding, as well as some simple rules to follow if you are one of these lucky individuals.

Who Should Give a Wedding Toast?

This is a very commonly debated item. There are a number of possibilities, and every situation is different. Two that are almost always asked to give a toast are the Best Man and Maid of Honor. These are typically siblings or very close friends of the bride and groom, so they are often the first two people to give toasts at a wedding. The Father of the Bride is always a common choice, along with additional parents or other close relatives (grandparents, aunts/uncles, etc.).

Rules for Wedding Toasts:

1. Keep it short: While this is an important portion of the evening, toasts should typically be on the shorter side (we suggest between 2-3 minutes is typically a good benchmark). People want to hear you speak, but no-one is interested in rehashing every story from your childhood.

2. Be polite: An inside joke here and then is all fine and good, but try to keep the wisecracks to a minimum. Obviously, don’t say anything obscene and have an understanding of the dynamic of your audience.

3. Have good eye contact: If you are looking down at notes the whole time, your audience is far more likely to get bored and uninterested. Engage them. Look at the bridge and groom when telling stories about them, but make sure to stay focused on the entire room.

4. Focus on the bride and groom: This is their day, so no matter how many great stories you have including you and one or both, make sure the focus is on them. It’s also important to remember to mention both in your toast. Even if you primarily know one of them, found some way to work the other in so no-one feels left out.

5. Toast the bride and groom: This may seem obvious, but toast givers often forget to actually toast the happy couple. Make sure not to omit this portion, as it’s the reason you are giving the toast in the first place.

Choosing who to give wedding toasts can be a difficult choice, but it’s one that is made easier by following these steps. At the end of the day, these are your wedding guests, so only you will know who is most likely to give a toast that no-one will ever forget!

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