Congratulations, you have been selected to give a toast at your friends’ wedding! Are you nervous? You shouldn’t be. It’s an honor to be asked to toast the wedding couple and you’re probably being asked because you’re one of the most important people in their lives. We’ve seen hundreds of toasts here at French’s Point, so we’re offering you a few simple tips to help you know how to give the best wedding toast that will resonate with the couple and their guests long after the glasses have clinked.
1. Plan ahead, don’t wing it
Whatever you do, plan ahead. Spend ample time considering what you want to say and how you want to say it. You’ll have only a few minutes to make a point, so focus in on something specific that you want to note – the way the relationship has made your friend happier, for example.
2. Keep it short
Most people will lose focus with anything longer than 3 minutes so try to keep your toast between 2 – 2.5 minutes. It’s long enough to get your point across but not so short that it’s awkward. Keep in mind that less is more, so edit out unnecessary language or redundancies.
3. Follow the 3-part rule
Writing a great wedding toast is just like any other writing piece: you need an outline.
Introduction – Introduce yourself and explain how you know the couple. Chances are that you do not know all of the guests in attendance, so it’s helpful to start out by introducing yourself and interesting to describe your relationship.
Body – Tell a short story or give an example that epitomizes their relationship. Think about topics like: How did they meet? Where did they meet? Who introduced them? How did you know they were destined for marriage? How did they get engaged? Sometimes telling the arc of their love story works great!
Conclusion – Close with your well wishes for the couple. Make your closing personal, use a poem, a quote or song lyrics; something that translates the love you have for them and their commitment to each other.
4. Don’t get too personal
Be sure to avoid inside jokes that no one will understand. Also, definitely avoid any intimate details from their past that might embarrass them or cause them (or their family members) to feel uncomfortable. After all, this is their big day and you want nothing but happiness and laughter!
5. Do speak from the heart
Remember that being asked to make a toast at a wedding is a wonderful honor. Speak with warmth and kindness and from the heart and your toast is sure to be wonderful!
6. Remember to make a copy
Whether it’s the full toast or an outline of your thoughts, definitely have something in writing to guide you as you speak. If speaking in front of a crowd is not your thing, you’re not going to want to add pressure on yourself by trying to memorize your speech. Even the best public speakers use notes to help keep them on track, so you should, too.
Delivering a reception toast can be intimidating, but remember this is a loving environment and your job is to show your affection for the couple. That’s it! Look at the person or people you are dedicating the toast to, speak directly to them, and remember to talk slowly and clearly. After all, everyone wants to hear what you have to say. You’re the toastmaster!
All photos by Emily Delamater Photography