Wedding Toast Tips
Performing at thousands of weddings over a long career I have heard it all and seen it all in terms of speeches and audience reaction. So in this article I will lend some advice on what I believe can help you achieve a successful toast.
I will not tell you what to say, let's leave that to the poetic and heartfelt writers. What I will do is give you some helpful pointers that could very well make the difference in this honor that you have been given.
So here goes :
FOR STARTERS: it's more than likely that the DJ or band have already introduced you so PLEASE don't start your speech with the words "For those of you who don't know me". Try something original like "Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen, Friends and Family. To the many friends I know and to the new friends I look forward to meeting tonight, My name is ........"
BRING YOUR GLASS WITH YOU : you'll want to have something to raise up in toast to the newlyweds.
WHERE TO STAND : Pick a spot as close to the Bride and Groom as possible but where you can be seen by all and stay put, don't wander around. (makes the videographers really happy) . If there is a sweetheart table that seats just the Bride and Groom, Best Man should stand off the Groom's shoulder , Maid of Honor off the Bride's. If Mom and Dad or relatives give a toast, a nice place to stand is just behind the couple.
HOLDING THE MIC ; If you have a strong voice, hold the mic 6 inches from your mouth if soft spoken 3 inches. Listen for your voice through the speakers. The closer the mic , the better you will be heard. DJ or band will control the over all volume. Practice holding the mic in advance if necessary.
HOW LONG ? : Under 5 minutes, everyone will love you but the average successful toast is 5-8 minutes long. REMEMBER, AFTER 10 MINUTES YOU WILL START TO LOSE THE CROWD.
Better to be brief and have everyone's attention. If you go too long the tables farthest away will start talking. While this is certainly rude, that's what happens when they lose interest in what you are saying. Toast givers with pages and pages get the worst response.
SHOULD I BE FUNNY ? You can certainly try, not everyone can pull this off. If a joke bombs, don't feel bad, make light of it.
SPEAK FROM THE HEART AND INCLUDE BOTH BRIDE AND GROOM : Often times we build our speech around the person we know best with funny stories from our past. Always include some words for the spouse. A sincere "I have never seen him/her happier" always works. Most great toasts start off with some ribbing of the Bride and Groom but if you remember the advice from Owen Wilson in the movie Wedding Crashers : a little something heartfelt works every time.
BE TASTEFUL : Ok here is the most important tip I can give you. This is directed mostly at the Best Men out there. These are the people that have occasionally made us cringe over the years. Keep in mind that the Bride's entire family is listening. Save the really embarrassing speeches for the Bachelor party. DO NOT bring up past relationships .
IN CLOSING : Keep in mind that in most cases the Bride and Groom have spent the extra money to include a champagne or wine toast. That makes it your duty to ask everyone to raise their glasses in toast to the happy couple.