Oct 8, 2008
Savvy Tip of the Week: Wedding Toasts
The Wedding Toast...Sounds like a great title for a movie, don't you think?
The wedding toast is the part of the reception that many wedding planners tend to hold their breath. Especially when it involves wedding guests who have indulged themselves a bit too much. This is one area where I sometimes get to flex my muscles but more often than not, I just signal the DJ to cut the mike as if there was a malfunction or something. :)
I ask all my clients up front, for information on who may need the plug pulled when it comes to toasting time. It eliminates embarrassing moments and allows me to prepare ahead of time. I have heard many stories of crying brides and angry grooms mixed with hurt feelings that could have easily been avoided if a few simple guidelines had been followed.
First, let's define what a toast really is:
a. The act of raising a glass and drinking in honor of or to the health of a person or thing.
b. A proposal to drink to someone or something or a speech given before the taking of such a drink.
c. The one honored by a toast.
Wedding toasts are certainly much easier to prepare than a wedding speech is. Toasts are much shorter and usually a lot less serious than the speeches. Traditionally a toast was made as a sign of communal agreement. It has since become a very important part of the wedding party and is a part of the wedding that often gets remembered for years to come.
A wedding toast usually starts off with a little story or a quote to set the scene. Then the person toasting will proceed to make the toast toward the end. Make sure that your introduction is appropriate and that it is appropriate to the person(s) you are toasting. If you're not good at writing, there are many prewritten wedding toasts available that you can either use or modify. One of the best guides for wedding toasts are Wedding Toasts made easy by Tom Haibeck. This book has since become the manual for many wedding toasts and speeches and was featured on Live with Regis and Kelly.
Here are the 9 essential tips for delivering a great wedding toast:
1. Wedding toasts are not wedding speeches. Keep your toast short and to the point, usually no more than one to two minutes.
2. When you're ready to make your toast, be sure to stand up so people can see you. It's customary to tap on your glass with a spoon to get everybody's attention. The only person(s) who remain seated are the one's who are being toasted.
3. Before toasting, give the guests time to refill their glasses.
4. Hold your glass in your right hand when proposing the toast and raise the glass toward the person you are toasting when you are finished.
5. After a toast, it is customary for everyone to clink glasses before sipping. People will follow your lead - show them when to clink their glasses and when to drink.
6. Keep the toast clean and appropriate for the audience. Humor is good, humiliation is not. Keep in mind that there are usually older people (grandparent's) and children present.
7. Speak slowly and clearly and make sure that everyone can hear you.
8. As your making your toast, look around the room at the guests. As you finish up, be sure to make eye contact with the bride and groom, or the person you are presenting the toast too.
9. Practice your toast before the wedding. Make sure you know what you are going to say and if need be, you can write it down and keep it with you, just in case you get stuck.
Wedding toasts are part of the celebration. Try and keep it upbeat. Don't get too emotional and give people something to be cheerful about.