7 Steps to Writing the Ultimate Wedding Toast
Whether you’re the maid of honor, the best man, or someone super special to the bride and groom who has been granted the honor of delivering a wedding toast during the couple’s special day, the toast speech is not something to be taken lightly!
What should you say? How should you say it? How long should your speech be? What's off the table? [Please remember that there are going to be parents – and GRANDPARENTS – present!]
You may have been mentally preparing the wedding toast speech for your best friend, sister, brother, etc…since elementary school, or since you became besties during your college era. And you have more to say than you can possible boil down into one wedding toast, because this is your person. They’ve been with you through thick and thin. We totally get it! However, writing the best wedding toast doesn't have to be hard, you just have to know what you're doing!
In this blog, the wedding experts at Lacework Films break down how to create the perfect wedding toast speech.
The Ultimate Wedding Toast Speech In 7 Easy Steps
1. Lay Down the Basic Framework
First and foremost, the wedding toast is an opportunity to offer your congratulations to the newlyweds by shining a light on what makes their relationship so unique, special, and everlasting. Keep in mind that this doesn’t always include revealing embarrassing and/or inappropriate stories from those college years where you and the bride or groom really bonded over tequila shots.
You have two audiences for your toast: the bride and groom and the wedding guests. To deliver a crowd-pleasing, they'll-tell-you-all-night-how-great-your-speech-was toast, keep both at the top of your mind.
Guests want to be entertained as you help them get to know the newly-married couple on a deeper and perhaps different level. The bride and groom hope you convey the sentiment and emotion of why they make a perfect match – not necessarily ALL of the details that played out before they became a couple.
2. Give Gratitude
Let the bride and groom, as well as the wedding guests, know how you feel about being included in the wedding day. Are you honored? Excited? Delighted? Why do you feel that way? Also, consider thanking the wedding hosts for a beautiful day.
Then, explain your relation to the bride or groom and even throw in your favorite story about him or her or the couple. This is where you'll start to bring in your personality. Are you naturally humorous? Do you have a knack for heartwarming stories? Let those special talents shine here! It’s what’s going to make your wedding toast unique.
3. Keep It Courteous
Obviously, this is not the time to use every awful person your friend has dated as evidence for how excellent his/her chosen life-mate is, but it is the time to share a few personal stories (just maybe not all of those tequila shot ones that we mentioned above).
You’ll want to talk about how happy you are for the couple, how much you knew your BFF was your BFF the second they traded shoelaces with you, you knew that their chosen partner was perfection when they showed up to his/her house wearing bacon-themed socks. Keep the speech “PG” rated – “PG-13” at most.
4. Be Sensitive
Ask the couple if there are any sensitive topics that you shouldn’t touch upon. You might talk or joke with them about something, but they may not need all 150 guests at their wedding knowing that joke (whether or not it is family-friendly).
Run your stories and jokes by a neutral audience to see if they are as funny as you think. And remember, a little humor is fine, but this is a toast, not a roast!
5. Make it Sweet
A great wedding toast explains how the bride and groom complement each other. What was the bride or groom like before they met each other? And then how did their new partner enhance his or her life?
Whether you’re closer to the bride, the groom, or you stand on mutual ground, the wedding toast is the perfect place to go over all of the facets that make them perfect together.
6. Practicing Isn’t Corny
Write out your toast and practice, practice, practice!
Don’t wing it, especially if you’re nervous. Give yourself time to prepare. Practice in front of an audience to check your timing and give yourself time to make edits.
Not only does this allow you to look your audience in the eyes but the more you practice, the more your emotions will subside. After the 20th run-through, the words, not the tears, will flow.
7. Wrap It Up
A great speech always ends with a cheers!
Ask the guests to raise their glasses while you say closing remarks with well and congratulatory wishes to the newlyweds.
A Few Final “Dos” and “Don’ts”
Do make eye contact with the bride and groom as well as wedding guests
Do KISS (Keep It Short and Sweet)
Do stay classy
Don't bring up past relationships (of the bride or groom)
Don't use inappropriate jokes or stories
Don't drink too much alcohol
Don’t keep the inside jokes if no one else will understand them
If no one gets it, they won't laugh at your punchline anyway