3 Simple Guidelines for a Successful Wedding Toast


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It doesn't need to be long.It doesn't need to be complicated.  But because a wedding toast happens at such an emotional and sensitive point in time, many people worry entirely too much about it, and make it a lot harder and more stressful than it needs to be.  Just follow these three simple guidelines and you'll do fine.

1.  Open with a joke:

Please remember that this is a toast, not a roast.  However, many who are adept at public speaking know to "break the ice" with an amusing anecdote or humorous story.  Whether you are the best man, maid of honor, father of the bride or anyone else who will be speaking, chances are that you know something interesting and funny about the groom or bride that no one else does.  Keep it short, nothing too embarrassing, and certainly keep it clean enough for a mixed group.  This is not your opportunity to try your hand at stand-up comedy, though.  The idea is to get the attention of the room focused on the moment, share a lighthearted laugh, and move on.

2.  Get serious:

The point of the wedding toast is simply to honor the couple.  That's why you are all assembled, so offer them your sincere wishes, put into your own words, expressing exactly how you feel and showing that you're not afraid to say it.  Think of a short phrase that's easy to remember which will trigger the rest of your words.  You don't need to worry about an overly eloquent speech, nor should you try to "wing it" and struggle with spontaneous creativity.

3.  Raise the glasses:

As a wedding DJ and videographer, I"ve witnessed hundreds of receptions, and you may be surprised at how many folks get caught up in the moment, become too nervous from a fear of public speaking (which is mostly the needless pressure they put on themselves), or lose their notes entirely or can't read them in the dim lighting of the room.  If there are champagne, cider, or other drinks in hand at the reception, remember to raise the glasses in tribute.  That's it!  Some of the best wedding toasts I've ever heard have followed this easy outline.  Good luck with yours.
Cameron Carpenter wrote this article.

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