As wedding photographers, we’ve sat through a lot of wedding toasts. Most beautiful, but some terrible! Toasts are meant to be a heartfelt and memorable moment during the reception, where friends and family come together to raise their glasses in celebration of love and unity. Whether you’re the best man, maid of honor, a close friend, or a family member, delivering a wedding toast can be both an honor and a nerve-wracking experience. To ensure that your toast is a shining moment and not a cringe-worthy memory, we’ve compiled a list of dos and don’ts to guide you in crafting a beautiful and memorable wedding toast.
Wedding Toast Dos
Keep it Concise
A good wedding toast is concise and to the point. Aim for a toast that lasts around two to five minutes, as anything longer may lose the attention of the audience and the couple. Nothing is worse than a speech that rambles on. Even if it’s heartfelt, people’s attention will begin to wane.
Personalize Your Message
Share anecdotes and stories that are personal and meaningful to the couple. Highlight their love story, special moments, or qualities that make them unique as a couple. If you’re only close to one of the people, it’s okay to skew it more in one direction; just make sure you bring it back around to the couple.
Practice Makes Perfect
Practice your toast beforehand to ensure you deliver it with confidence and clarity. Rehearsing will also help you identify any potential stumbling points or awkward phrasing. You don’t have to memorize it, but the more you know your toast, the smoother it will go. Try practicing in front of a mirror as well!
Be Positive and Heartfelt
Wedding toasts are meant to celebrate love and happiness, so keep the tone positive and heartfelt. Express your well wishes and genuine affection for the couple. Toasts aren’t the time for anything negative. If you have a few jokes that you’re not sure about, we suggest running them by the bride and groom ahead of time to see what they think.
Raise Your Glass
Toasts are called that for a reason! Once you’re done speaking, end it by raising your glass to the happy couple. Invite everyone to join in the celebration with a cheerful “cheers to the happy couple” or another appropriate ending.
Acknowledge Both Partners
It’s not uncommon for the toast-giver to be closer to one person in the couple. It’s totally okay to focus on the person you’re closer to, especially if you’re the maid of honor, best man, or parents, just make sure to acknowledge or include the other partner at some point as well. After all, it’s a celebration of their love together.
Wedding Toast Don’ts
Don’t Make It About Yourself
Avoid turning the toast into a platform to talk about yourself. It’s fine to share a funny story that you’re a part of, but remember that the day isn’t about you. Keep the focus on them and their love story.
Avoid Inside Jokes
While some humor is welcome, inside jokes that only a select few understand can alienate other guests and make them feel left out. Remember, inside jokes are only funny to those that are included in them, and even when you try to explain them, they often lose their humor.
Steer Clear of Inappropriate Humor
Every couple has their own sense of humor, and if you’ve been selected to give a toast, chances are you know them pretty well. Not every joke is appropriate at a wedding, though, and while the bride and groom may find something funny, their elderly grandparents or bosses may not. Refrain from using off-color jokes, embarrassing stories, or anything that could make the couple or the guests uncomfortable.
Don’t Overindulge in Alcohol Before Toasting
Nothing is harder to watch than an overly intoxicated person giving a toast at a wedding.
While a drink or two can calm nerves, too much alcohol can lead to slurred speech and an inappropriate or rambling toast. Keep your composure and remain respectful.
Skip Giving Too Much Information
A wedding toast is not the time to discuss personal or sensitive matters that may not be suitable for a public setting. Avoid controversial topics like politics, religion, divorce, or private matters.
Writing a last-minute toast can lead to a rushed and unprepared speech. Give yourself ample time to craft a thoughtful and meaningful message. We recommend writing it at least a week ahead of time. This gives you time to perfect and practice it. The couple may even want to read it ahead of time, so this gives them ample opportunity.
Are you looking for a photographer for your Toronto wedding? Contact AGI Studio today! Our team of talented wedding videographers and photographers would love to capture every moment of your special day, from the vows to the toasts. Cheers!