Wedding Toast DOs and DON’Ts
Wedding Toast Tip: DO keep it short.
“I have to agree with Mark Twain: Brevity really is the soul of wit. If you want to tell the bride or groom about your deep and undying love and respect for them, write them a letter. The reason you speak in front of a crowd is meant to entertain. Short, funny or sweet, and short. That’s the way to do it.” —Kat Thomsen, 31
Wedding Toast Tip: DON’T pass around the microphone.
Don’t ever let there be an open mic situation—make sure the DJ or band knows exactly who is going to speak and when, and don’t let him give the mic to anyone who is not authorized to speak. Drunk guests can get very excited about speaking and make an uncomfortable situation spiral out of control.” —Jeannie Uyanik, Executive Director of event planning service C&G Weddings
Wedding Toast Tip: DO maintain the appropriate level of emotion.
“Do keep yourself together—no one likes a blubbering mess —but don’t be shy about expressing your emotions toward the bride and groom. The funniest, most touching toasts always come from the heart.” —Ranya Barrett, 31
Wedding Toast Tip: DON’T talk about the bride’s or groom’s past hookups.
“Back in our early 20s, when our very first friend got married right out of college, we didn’t know any better, and 12 girls (our entire group of friends) got up and roasted her. We took it a little too far and told a story about a time when one of her hookups (with another guy) went awry. Our friend was marrying someone seven years older than she, and his group of friends were much more polished than we were. Needless to say, it didn’t go over well—the crowd was silent while we laughed about our private jokes. They totally didn’t get it!” —Jen Weinberg, 33
Wedding Toast Tip: DO write it down if necessary.
“Don’t feel ashamed if you need to read it off of a piece of paper. Chances are guests will remember more what you said, not if you memorized it… When you are nervous, you tend to speed through speeches, and forget things, or sometimes even add more that isn’t necessary.” —Jim Dereka, 23
Wedding Toast Tip: DON’T have more than one drink beforehand.
“You want to be relaxed, sure, but there’s nothing more embarrassing (for everybody!) than a slurred speech. If you’re important enough to the bride and groom to be speaking on their wedding day, it’s important enough that you stay sober. I had one glass of wine before I toasted my sister just to calm me down, but anything more would have been too much.” —Jessica Duncan, 25
Wedding Toast Tip: DO make it personal (but DON’T make it about you!).
“Share a couple of heartfelt or funny experiences that you have shared with the happy couple over the years. Guests love to visualize the connection and share a collective chuckle or sigh. But don’t go into a long drawn out dissertation on your relationship with them, how you met, or even worse…how they ‘were’ your best friend but now belong to each other. Nobody wants to sense resentment…Ugh!” —Ali Barone, blogger for New York Wedding Maven and event planner for Ali Barone Events
Wedding Toast Tip: DO come prepared.
“Go in with a script or at least an outline, or it’s trouble. A good friend got up at his brother’s wedding and said, “I love you guys, God bless” and put the mic down. I have a similar story where a buddy got up, froze, stammered, and then said “Eh, f**k it, cheers.” —Matthew Frank, 32
Wedding Toast Tip: DON’T forget the groom.
“Always include both bride and groom in the toast. Some overlook mentioning the other half—many times out of nerves.” If you’re the Maid of Honor and you don’t know the groom too well, Thompson recommends saying something like, “I’ve watched the bride for the past few years and see how happy the groom has made her, and that makes me happy to see her smile.” —Debra Thompson, owner, Weddings By Debra
Wedding Toast Tip: DON’T get raunchy with your humor.
“Skip anything sexual. I always cringe when I think about the engagement dinner toast Jason Segel gives to Paul Rudd and Rashida Jones in I Love You Man, in which he alludes to what goes on behind closed doors. I’ve heard toasts go into some romantic gray area that allude to sexual compatibility, or first night jokes or comments. Even when it’s subtle it makes me so uncomfortable.” —Christina Draper, 31