Whether you're the bride, groom, best man, maid of honor, a mother, a father, grandparent or close friend - toasting at a wedding is important, touching, and even a little nerve-wracking for the speaker. If you're going to propose a toast at the next wedding you attend, you want everything about your speech to be perfect. So pay close attention to proper toasting etiquette
First things first: you don't want to stand up at the wrong time and be humiliated in front of all the guests. It's a good idea to research the order of wedding toasts
prior to the rehearsal dinner and the wedding. The rehearsal dinner is just as important as the wedding and consists of just as many toasts. Traditionally, the order of toasting at the rehearsal dinner goes like this:
1. The best man toasts to the bride.
2. The bride toasts to the groom.
3. The groom toasts to the mother of the bride.
4. The father of the bride toasts to the groom's parents.
At the wedding reception, the best man again begins the toasting ceremony
1. The best man toasts to the newly wedded couple.
2. The groom toasts to his new wife and her family.
3. Both the fathers of the bride and groom toast to the couple.
4. The bride and the groom toast to each other.
If you're just a friend or family member wishing to give a toast to the couple, wait until everyone else has finished their toast and sat back down. Try to remember the following:
- Make sure everyone's champagne flutes
are still full. You don't want guests raising empty flutes!
- Before beginning your speech, state your relationship to the bride/groom.
- A toast should be no more than five minutes long. If guests seem to become antsy, bored or annoyed, it's probably time to stop.
- Maintain eye contact with the couple while you speak.
- Stay classy. Be tasteful in your choice of words, keep it PG, do not mention past relationships, and try not to drink too much beforehand!
Finally, go out with a bang. You want your speech to be something memorable. You don't have to end on a completely serious note; something humorous yet kind will still touch everyone's hearts. Ending with a quote is very popular, but a simple "congratulations" or "cheers" works just as well. And remember, practice makes perfect!
© 2010 Kelsey Bowen, Little Things Favors
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