Tips For The Wedding Toast
The role of “Best Man” most closely resembles that of an undercover special agent — while the spotlight is on the bride, it’s your duty to make sure everything runs smoothly and according to plan. Among the many responsibilities of a Best Man include the ever important wedding toast.
While it may seem intimidating to stand up and speak in front of a large crowd on someone else’s special day, remember that you were named Best Man for a reason, and that should give you enough confidence to proceed.
Do Not Wing It
A successful wedding toast is rarely made on the spot. Preparing your speech in advance will not only make it a better speech, it will also eliminate any wedding-day anxiety because you will have had time to fine-tune and rehearse it.
The best way to start writing a wedding toast is by freely writing any thoughts about the bride and groom and your relationship with them that come to mind. Spend 20 to 25 minutes just doing this part. Some questions to help you along are:
- How do you know the couple?
- How would you describe each of them? What are the first five adjectives that come to mind?
- What was the groom like before he met the bride?
- How has he changed knowing her?
- How did they meet?
- How did the groom tell you about her?
- If you are married, you may wish to think about marriage advice you’ve received or have learned.
- Are there any particularly amusing stories that illustrate the bride and groom’s personalities?
Once you’ve written all of your thoughts down, follow the next steps to craft them into the perfect Best Man’s speech.
While the bride and groom obviously know who you are, there will likely be guests who have never met you. Begin by introducing yourself to the room. Kindly ask for the room’s attention, tell them your name and relationship to the groom and/or bride, and explain that you would like to say a few words to honor the newlyweds.
You can include a quick joke or quote about marriage during this part, but don’t get too far into your speech without thanking the people hosting the ceremony, which traditionally will be the parents of the bride. If the bride and groom are paying for the wedding, then address them and tell them how happy you are to be present during their special occasion.
This is where you’ll include the memories and thoughts you wrote down during the brainstorm. Give your thoughts on love and marriage, recount the story of how the bride and groom met, or focus on how you’ve seen them both grow during their relationship. Keep the speech balanced and speak about each of them instead of just focusing on one. Here are some specific tips on giving the toast.
- Don’t drink too much before giving your toast. One or two might calm your nerves, but too much and you run the risk of looking like a fool.
- Don’t speak too long — people don’t want to hear you ramble. Pick the most interesting and poignant details to share.
- Speak loudly and clearly.
- Tell a funny story, but don’t humiliate or embarrass anyone.
- AVOID EX-GIRLFRIEND STORIES AT ALL COSTS!
- Keep the speech PG for the children and grandmothers in the room.
- Stand up straight.
- Speak from the heart.
Wrap the speech up with a wish, a blessing or traditional toast for the bride and groom. Raise your glass and offer congratulations.
Remember, write all of this out and rehearse it several times before the wedding. You can keep notes on an index card or your smartphone, but don’t read from it. Instead, make paraphrase it and deliver it as naturally as possible.
In Case You Forget Your Words
If you start to choke while you’re giving your speech, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with a simple “Congratulations (bride and groom’s name)” and best wishes for the future.
What Really Makes You The Best Man
After you’ve delivered your toast, take your seat, smile and enjoy the rest of the event. Now’s the time to drink, because, being the Best Man that you are, you would have already arranged transportation to keep guests safe. Remember, a premier Cincinnati limo service will have more than just the bride’s limousine; they’ll have a pristine fleet of luxury vehicles including sedans, vans and SUVs, so arrange all of your transportation when you book the limo.
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