How to Write the Perfect Wedding Toast
Writing the Perfect Wedding Toast
Do you know what the number one fear among high schoolers is? Public speaking.
OK, I just made that up. I have no idea what the number one fear among high schoolers is, or where public speaking falls. But it sounds like it could be legit, right?
There are a lot of people who get extremely nervous talking in front of crowds, myself included. The good news for us is, most of the time public speaking can be avoided in adult life if it just isn’t your thing. Unfortunately, there are a few occasions where you have no choice but to stand up and raise your voice to the crowd. Someone close to you getting married is one of those occasions.
Maybe you’re the father of the bride or the maid of honor. Perhaps your childhood best friend has asked you to be his best man, and you just know the point is going to come when glasses start clinking and the expectation for you to speak presents itself.
And it’s possible you have no idea what you are going to say.
Take a deep breath and remember that no one is going to be grading you on your public speaking skills when the time comes for you to make the perfect wedding toast. In most instances, the crowd is already primed for tears or laughter, having made a few visits to the open bar before you take the mic. You can use that to your advantage actually, reminding yourself that half the crowd is probably inebriated anyway – it’s kind of like imagining your audience naked!
There are really only a few key components to a great wedding toast. The first is to be genuine in what you say. Maybe that means talking about your friendship with the person you are there to support or reflecting on how you knew this pairing was for keeps from the start. Share anecdotes from the past, choosing a funny story to tell the audience about the time the groom had to call his bride for help with a flat or the way the bride talked about him after their first date.
Depending on your relationship with the couple, don’t be afraid to poke a little fun at them – but make sure it is nice and respectful fun. Remember, this is their big day, so going into full on roast-mode isn’t appropriate. A little lighthearted teasing though? It can work, under the right circumstances.
Whatever you do though, don’t mention ex flames. Just don’t. Under no circumstances is it acceptable for a wedding toast to reflect back on former loves either the bride or groom had. Everyone knows who these people are, but they aren’t what the wedding day is about. So going there just makes everyone in the room uncomfortable.
Beyond that though, there really aren’t many hard and fast rules about making a wedding toast. The real goal should be to write something that is reflective of how much you care about the individuals in this pairing and them as a couple. Don’t try too hard, don’t announce you are a terrible public speaker and please don’t force yourself to go on for 10 minutes waxing poetic about your 20 year friendship.
If you’re nervous, keep your toast short and sweet and remind yourself that no one is really there to see you anyway. This day is about the bride and groom, so a few simple words of love are really all you need to get through the anxiety of having all eyes on you.
Definitely practice ahead of time and write down notes if you need them, but otherwise – have fun with it! This is your chance to publicly tell this couple how happy you are they found each other. Embrace the opportunity and remember to smile!