Toasting in style


A reception toast sets the tone for the celebration. It gives guests a chance to raise their glass for the couples new life together.

BACK TO BASICS According to the Emily Post Institute, a toast should be short and to the point. You don't want to drone on and bore the other guests, and you don't want to lose the focus of your speech. As tradition dictates, the best man toasts the bride, and often the maid of honor will toast the groom, but any guest asked to give a toast should try to incorporate details about both the bride and groom into their speech.

PLAY ON WORDS Recounting funny childhood stories about the bride or groom can be entertaining, so long as its tasteful. Remember: its a wedding toast, not a Comedy Central roast. Make the guests laugh once, then quit while you're ahead. Its tacky (and sometimes hurtful) to make fun of the couple or humiliate them in front of their family and friends, so keep the humor to an opening or closing line.
For more ideas, read up on proper toasts, modern toasts, and mad-lib toasts. Check out wedding toast sites online and watch YouTube videos of toasts for inspiration. There are also professional wedding speech writers who can help you write the perfect toast if you aren't as confident with public speaking.

TWI (TOASTING WHILE INTOXICATED) For some, public speaking outranks death on the list of worst fears. But throwing back a few beers or glasses of champagne is never a good way to alleviate pre-toast jitters. You might say something you'll regret during the speech, you might let a few profanities slip out, or you might just embarrass yourself as the drunk guest. So set the booze aside (except when you have to raise your glass) and save the drinking for post-toast activities.

POETRY IN MOTION Keep in mind that a toast doesn't necessarily have to be a formal speech. You do have the chance to get creative. If you feel comfortable doing so, try writing a poem or even a rap for the occasion.

SPEAK UP While there is a traditional order to the toasts, you can go off book at any time. Many couples even encourage other guests to make impromptu toasts after the scheduled toasts have concluded. Having the bride and groom toast each other can add a romantic touch to the occasion.


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