Wedding toasts are tricky. You’ve got a lot of different people to please, and couples are extra-sensitive on their wedding day—after all, they’ve got a whole room of the most important people in their lives looking at them. Because of this, there’s a lot of pressure on these speeches.
We’ve got some helpful tips to guide you towards a great wedding toast that you and your favorite couple will remember fondly for years, so grab your notepads and get ready for some key(note) advice.
Wedding Toast Tips
Give some thought as to what you’re going to say and jot down some notes, whether or not you plan on using them at the reception.
You might trip up your words or lose your train of thought if you “wing it,” so our advice is to, well, not.
Respect the couple on their wedding day by giving your wedding toast the thoughtful preparation it deserves. That means preparing it well in advance and rehearsing a few times in order to gauge the length and flow of your speech.
Trust us, both the couple and you will be grateful you did.
2. Be yourself
Be true to yourself. If you’re not naturally funny, don’t try to be. If you’re not one for mushy sentimentality, don’t go there.
Be honest and talk about why your relationship with the bride and/or groom is a special one and why you admire their partnership.
It’s as simple as that.
3. Keep it short
For those fearful of public speaking, you may be happy to hear that most wedding toasts are somewhere around three minutes long.
Remember, you’re performing a wedding toast, not a filibuster. All you really need to do is introduce yourself and explain your relationship to the couple, share a special memory or story about the pair (or the bride and/or groom separately), say congratulations, and wish them a long, happy future.
4. Say congratulations
You won’t believe how many people forget this essential wedding toast component. The whole purpose of a wedding coast is to wish the newlyweds well, so make sure this word makes it into your speech.
5. Look at the person you’re toasting.
Don’t stare down the couple, but keep in mind that they are the recipients of your speech and the most important people in your audience.
You are not putting on a show for the wedding guests, but toasting your good friend (or son, or daughter…), their new spouse, and their future. A little eye contact goes a long way.
6. Coordinate with the wedding planner
Make sure you know the reception timeline and general order of events—don’t even think about bugging the bride or groom with questions about when you’re “on.”
Speak with the wedding planner (or the person acting in this capacity—even the DJ or bandleader might know) so you know when and where you are supposed to give your toast, what kind of mic you’ll have, and where to place your notes if necessary.