Tips on Toasts
So, your bestie’s tying the knot, and they want you by their side on their big day. Not only will you get to take part in all the fun and excitement of planning, shopping, showering, primping, and celebrating, but you’ll also probably need to make a toast.
Toasts are special opportunities to honor your relationship and a huge milestone in the life of your best bud, but the idea can seem overwhelming, and even if you don’t have a fear of public speaking sometimes it’s tough to know where to begin. Here are our tips to get started and perform flawlessly to get you past the cheers and tears and onto the dance floor.
1. Keep it short.
No one wants their food to get cold while you relive every single one of your shared high school shenanigans.
2. Make an outline.
Have an idea of what you’re going to say before you get to the mic – it can be hard to think on your feet in an emotional moment. Toasts seem to go the best when they start with an attention grabber like a one-liner or joke, have emotional and sentimental moments in the middle, and end on a high note with something funny to keep everyone’s energy up.
3. Address the couple.
You may have known the bride or groom for decades and have countless memories, but today is about both of them, so make sure you’re addressing their new hubby too.
4. Write it down.
Having notes will help you stay on track and hit all of your main points, especially if you’re nervous. Keep a printed version in your pocket or purse, and find someone else (like the wedding planner) to hold a second copy for you just in case.
5. Keep it clean.
Remember: there are usually grandparents and children in attendance. Most people appreciate a little cheekiness, but keep things appropriate for all audiences.
6. Make it personal.
Include personal stories that involve you. It’s nice for your audience (especially the ones who’ve never met you before) to get a sense of your relationship with the bride or groom, and why you’re there giving a toast in the first place.
7. Find a segue.
If you don’t know where to begin or aren’t a confident writer, find a great quote or poem that reminds you of the couple to start with, and then expand on it.
8. Be nice!
Some gentle ribbing over an inside joke can be cute, but full-on insult humor will just make the couple and the audience uncomfortable.
9. Don’t bring up exes.
10. Don’t speak with your mouth full.
Make sure to ditch your gum or finish your passed hors d'ouvre before you begin.
11. Stay sober.
By all means enjoy the cocktail hour, but don’t go so overboard that you’re not in tip top shape to give your toast. There’s plenty of time for that – remember, as soon as you’re done speaking, your next step is a sip.