Wedding toasts date back to the 6th century when, in ancient Greece, the host (the bride’s father) would take the first sip of a common pitcher of wine to ensure it wasn’t poisoned. Now, no one is asking you to test potentially poisoned wine, but sometimes giving a toast does feel like torture. If you have a speech to make, get ready to take that first sip and wow everyone with your words.
Just make sure you…
Don’t go into your speech blind. Make sure you’ve practised it out loud, in front of someone who can give you some honest feedback.
2. Are sober(ish)
We know you might indulge in a little in liquid courage, but just don’t get sloppy (a slurred speech will be memorable for the wrong reasons).
3. Aren’t reading it
Try to memorize the main parts so you can speak a little more comfortably and casually. But do bring up notes, just in case.
4. Speak from the heart
What’s the main thing you want to convey? Stick to that. No need for something fancy or wordy.
5. Make eye contact
A speech always feels more intimate and genuine when the speaker looks up to make eye contact. If nerves are getting the best of you, just focus on whomever you’re speaking of.
6. Keep it short and sweet
Nothing is worse for guests than enduring a long-winded ode to the newlyweds. Tell speech-givers at your wedding to keep things short and sweet – three to four minutes, tops.
7. Keep it PG
No need to bring up embarrassing stories of years past. That was better suited for the bachelor/bachelorette parties.
8. Don’t have to be funny
If humour isn’t something that comes naturally, don’t force it. Googling “wedding toast jokes” means you’ll be telling the same jokes heard at every wedding.
9. Avoid inside jokes
Personal stories might be humorous for you and the toast recipient, but the rest of the crowd may be bored rather than entertained. Avoid “Remember that time we…” type statements.
10. Don’t say the dreaded phrase
One of the most overused – and annoying – phrases in a toast is “For those of you that don’t know me…” Don’t say it. Chances are the speaker is being introduced by the MC or appears on a wedding program. There is no need for this phrase in a toast. Ever. Spread the word.