After 250+ weddings we have seen a lot of toasts. While most have been pretty good, we have seen some amazing ones and we have seen a few cring worthy - kill the mic - ones. To avoid the latter at your wedding, be sure to choose folks who you know and love and trust. And also....send them this tip sheet.
1. The first of rule thumb for writing a great toast is keeping it simple. A good toast is funny but heartfelt. Keeping it simple will allow you to speak from the heart, and that alone makes it memorable.
2. When you are thinking about what stories to tell in your speech there are two things to keep in mind.. A) The couple's parent's are in the room. Now is not the time to break the news to them that their sweet angelic child was really a hellian. B) The person's very new spouse is in the room. Sure you may have known the bride or groom during their wild and crazy single days, but now is not the time to relive the walk of shame adventures you shared or really anything to do with any ex. Just dont do it! It's awkward for everyone.
3. While most information about toasts stress the importance of staying sober, I suggest staying soberish. Let's be honest. Liquid courage is a real thing. Have a drink at cocktail hour, and maybe a glass of wine at dinner, but then cool it on the alcohol until after your speech. This way you will be relaxed,the words will flow, but you will still have your wits about you.
4. Another question that comes up a lot is the reccomend length of a speech. I think 4-5 minutes is perfect. It will allow you to be warm and fuzzy with your sentiments but it won't put guests to sleep.
5. A big mistake I see quite a bit are one sided toasts. While yes, the toaster more than likely is closer to one person more than other, the toasts are actually to the couple. I think it is fine to explain your relationship to the couple, and share stories about how you fit into their lives, but keep the majority of the talk directed at the two of them.
6. Some general rules of public speaking also apply. If at all possible, hand write your notes. Do not rely on your phone or tablet. Batteries die, the room will be dark, and you dont want your pictures with a wierd glow shining up on your face. Be sure to stand tall, look at the audience and breathe!!
7. Lastly, when you are writing your toast (the night before the wedding) be sure to include an ending. You want a strong finish, something that wraps it up and leaves everyone in a hopeful spot about love and marriage.
Well I hope these tips help make the toasts at your wedding the funny, sentimental, memorable ones you have been looking forward to!