It might be one of the most important speeches you’ll give in your life—so no pressure, right?
You’ve agonized for hours over the perfect wedding toast speech to make the bride and groom’s day just a little more special.
The good news is that you don’t have to rack your brains trying to come up with wedding toast ideas.
Below, you’ll find 5 tips for how to write a wedding toast that will have everyone remembering your speech for years to come!
1. Talk About Yourself (and Why You’re Giving a Wedding Toast)
After thanking the hosts for a beautiful ceremony, it’s time to break the ice a little. Start your wedding toast with a subject that you know well: yourself.
When giving a wedding toast, being amongst mixed company can be one of the trickier aspects to overcome. People of all ages and backgrounds are likely to be in the audience (many of whom you’ve probably never met).
With potentially hundreds of eyes on you, there’s no guarantee that everyone will know how you’re connected to the happy couple.
Whether you’ve known the groom since freshman year of college, or remember when you and the bride sported pigtails in the second grade, there’s a great tale about how exactly you ended up giving a speech in this moment. This is the perfect opportunity to get some laughs (and smiles) from the audience!
2. Hit the Right Notes
Wedding toasts should be long enough to tell the story you want without overstaying your welcome—3 to 5 minutes maximum. This is less time than you think, so it’s important to have a plan in place.
Although it may not be as emotional as writing your wedding vows, wedding toasts are a great chance to give guests a deeper understanding of the bride and groom.
Your toast can be many things: funny, sweet, romantic, sentimental, heartwarming, joyful, etc. Decide on one or two tones and stick with them throughout the speech.
Consider joining up with other wedding toasters before the ceremony, so that together your speeches will take the guests through a roller coaster of positive emotions!
Above all, your speech should be personal, human, and authentic. While looking through examples of the best wedding toasts can help point you in the right direction, the final toast should largely be your own creation.
3. Practice Makes Perfect
We get it: just the thought of public speaking makes your mouth dry up and your knees uncontrollably quiver. While improving your public speaking skills is a great long-term goal to have, you can make a great deal of progress by starting early and rehearsing what to say in a wedding toast.
Practicing in front of a mirror is a great way to understand how you’ll come off to the audience. Once you’ve got a script, do a few trial runs in front of your friends and family. They can help you cut out any inside jokes that fall flat, or tell you about that one gesture you keep doing with your hands.
When all else fails, just keep a few easy tips in mind:
- Smile and use humor in the right places.
- Make eye contact with the bride and groom, as well as the audience.
- Work from an outline if you need to, but keep notes to a minimum during the toast.
- Be yourself and let your personality shine through.
4. Keep Everything Positive
Everyone should in a good mood while they take advantage of the open bar, so your speech ought to keep those positive vibes going. Just like wearing a white dress to a wedding, writing a depressing wedding toast is a major faux pas when it comes to wedding etiquette.
Try to maintain a happy and optimistic atmosphere throughout the entire speech. In the end, the wedding toast is a tribute to the bride and groom and a celebration of their relationship. The most important thing is to give them a happy memory of their wedding day with your speech.
5. End It with Elegance
The good news about how to end a wedding toast? It’s the easiest part!
Start by giving out more thanks than an actor who’s just won an Academy Award. The list of people to acknowledge might include:
- The bride and groom
- The bride and groom’s family and friends
- Everyone in attendance
- The staff helping to set up the wedding
- Your parents, for raising such an amazing wedding toaster
After that, lead the wedding guests in raising your glass and offering a celebratory toast to the bride and groom. Wish them well for the future and ask everyone in attendance to join you in congratulating them.
If you’re at a loss for words, just remember to keep it simple. Offer a brief, yet enthusiastic: “Ladies and gentlemen, to the couple.”
There… that wasn’t so hard, was it?
Have any great wedding toast examples that you’d like to share (or even any wedding toast disaster stories)? We’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below, or drop by our Facebook and Pinterest pages for more inspiration and wedding-related fun.