The Dos and Don’ts of Wedding Toasts
Written by Julianne Cuomo, our Director of Celebrations.
After months and sometimes even years of wedding planning and preparations, your friend or loved one’s wedding day is here. But, it wouldn’t be a wedding without a few memorable toasts!
Wedding Toast Etiquette
Wedding toasts are the perfect way to show the bride and groom just how special their relationship is. Wedding etiquette suggests that the best man, maid of honor, bride’s parents, and groom’s parents give toasts (in that order). However, the bride and groom may adjust this according to their vision.
A simple “cheers” or ”congratulations” won’t cut it at most weddings. Therefore, in order to give a wedding speech that will be memorable for all the right reasons, here are 5 dos and 5 don’ts to keep in mind if you are chosen to give a speech at your friend or loved one’s wedding.
- Do be genuine and speak from the heart. Say what you truly feel, whether you opt to be funny or serious. Share a few stories and anecdotes that reflect the relationship of the bride and the groom.
- Do address everyone in the room. Even though the story may be about you and the bride, make everyone at the wedding feel included by introducing yourself to the crowd and telling your story from the beginning.
- Do include both the bride and groom in your speech. If you’re the maid of honor and you don’t know the groom very well, you can always say something like, “I’ve watched the bride over the past few years and have seen how happy the groom makes her.”
- Do keep a paper (or iPad) copy of the speech as a backup. This will make you more comfortable in case you get stage fright when the microphone is in your hands. Also, adding a paper copy of your speech to a wedding scrapbook that the bride and groom can cherish is a great idea.
- Do conclude the speech with a thoughtful toast to the bride and groom. Raise your glass and ask the crowd to join you in wishing the newlyweds a lifetime of love, health, and happiness.
- Don’t share embarrassing personal stories. Stories of wardrobe malfunctions or that epic night out on the town are best left for the bachelorette/bachelor party. Funny stories are great for keeping the crowd engaged, just don’t take it too far.
- Don’t just wing it. Take time to prepare your speech ahead of time and know what you’re going to say. You’ll be much more comfortable when it’s “go” time. Also, take the time to practice out loud so that you can time your speech (it should be no longer than 5 minutes).
- Don’t tell too many inside jokes that others won’t get. If you just “had to be there”, leave it out.
- Don’t bring up old flames. Talking about past relationships is asking for disaster. Think about it… “Although we thought she was destined to marry her high school sweetheart, we were more than pleased to see her with you and she seems very happy.” Need I say more?
- Don’t have more than one drink beforehand. You may want to relax some of your nerves, but there’s nothing more embarrassing than a slurred speech. If you’re important enough to the bride and groom to be speaking at their wedding, it’s important that you stay sober.
Remember, your friend or loved one picked you to speak at their wedding because they love you! They don’t expect your toast to be absolutely perfect – just do your best, come prepared, and speak from your heart.
Call Julianne Cuomo at (352) 402-4376 to start planning your wedding at Golden Ocala! Stay tuned for more wedding planning tips!