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The Do's & Don'ts of Wedding Toasting Speeches
When asked to be the best man or maid of honor, one might be ecstatic. After all, it is a huge honor! On the other hand, some people agree to it, but scoff at the position in private. It involves devoting a lot of your time (and some of your money) to the wedding: planning the bachelor party, organizing the bridal shower, assembling wedding favors and all the decorations and assisting the bride and groom with whatever they need. You also have to remember that come the big day, you'll be standing in front of all the guests and giving a wedding toasting speech. For some, this is an overwhelming task. So sit back, take a breather, and remember these helpful tips when giving your wedding speech.
Wedding Toasting Speech Do's
Do introduce yourself. Clearly state your name and your relation to the couple. Such as, "Good evening, everyone. I'm Erica, and Christina and I have been best friends since High School." Not every guest will know who you are. By introducing yourself you are letting them know your relationship to the couple and catching the guests' attention that it's time to settle down for the speeches.
Do write it down if you think you may forget it or may get nervous. Some people freeze up speaking in front of large crowds, forget what they were supposed to say, or ramble. Don't worry about writing your speech down because people remember what you say, not whether you memorized it or not.
Do practice what you plan on saying. If you're familiar with what you plan on saying, it will be much smoother when it's time to give the toast. Remember to make eye contact (even if it is with just the bride and groom), project your voice and be confident.
Do keep it short, sweet and to the point. Rambling is definitely a don't! If you start to hear crickets, you'll know it's time to wrap it up. So keep it, short, funny or sweet, and short. (5 Minutes or less is ideal)
Do add a little humor (if you wish). Something light, in good taste and easy to follow is all you need to get a laugh. A sense of humor is great for keeping the crowd engaged; just be tasteful when delivering the punchline.
Do refer to an anecdote. How you met the couple is popular. Guests love to hear stories and share a collective laugh or sigh. Just remember to keep it short and sweet.
Do focus on the couple. It's their big day and you're proposing the toast to them! Make sure you wish them well. And don't forget to toast them both - not just the bride and not just the groom.
Do end on a happy and more serious note. Think heartwarming and sentimental. End with a poem, a lyric from a song or something like, "I've known ___ for the last __ years and watched how happy ___ has made him / her and that makes me happy to know he / she has truly found the one. Congrats on finding each other and I wish you many more years of happiness together."
Do Remember to raise your glass at the end of the speech and ask the crowd to join you in wishing the new Mr. and Mrs. a lifetime of love, health and joy.
Wedding Toasting Speech Dont's
Don't curse. Your buddies aren't the only guests. It's likely there will be elder, more conservative people and small children. Be sure to mind your manners.
Don't confuse funny with humiliating or embarrassing. Sure, there were funny memories when you were drunk at a frat party in college. This isn't the time to roast your friends, its a time to celebrate them.
Don't drink too much. At least before the speech anyway. A drink or two beforehand might loosen you up, but you'll just look sloppy if you're too drunk. You were important enough to be picked to toast them, it is important to stay sober until after the speech is over.
Don't refer to past boyfriends/girlfriends, or previous hookups. Or how YOU kissed the bride back in college.
Don't mention inside jokes. It may be amusing to you and the couple, but chances are the other guests won't know what you're talking about.
Don't mention anything sexual, even if it is subtle or in passing. You'll not only make the bride and groom uncomfortable - but you'll make the guests uncomfortable too.
Don't forget to say "cheers!" with a beautiful set of champagne flutes!
© 2013 Erica Tevis, Little Things Favors
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