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Tips for a Great Wedding Toast

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Making a toast at a wedding reception is a special part of celebrating the union of the newly married couple.  It is your opportunity as their honored guest to share memories and send them off with great wishes.  While taking the stage, all attention will be on you as you share your thoughts and feelings.  If things don’t go well during the toast and an awkward moment erupts, the following day, it could be the topic of all Facebook posts and possibly even a money making YouTube video. No Pressure! If you have been given the nod to make the toast at a wedding, here are tips that can help create a moment that can truly celebrate the couple and keep you out of hot water and out of social media as well. Likewise, if you are considering candidates for your wedding toast read these tips and consider if your selection may end up on America’s Funniest Home Videos.

1. Don’t give a toast toasted.  Everyone looks forward to the reception as a time to let their hair down and relax after the ceremony.  It is a party where the open bar looks appealing after the stress of walking down the aisle and before you get up in front of everyone to speak.  However nervous you might be to give the all important toast, don’t make the mistake of getting toasted before.  Although the ever so eloquent words you have written down on paper may come out easier after that shot, it is very likely that words you didn’t write down will also begin flowing in your extra relaxed state  – Words that you might not remember until you see the video the next day.  Be sensible and stay away from the bar until after your toast.

2. Be Funny, Not Mean.  Sharing memories you have created with either the bride or the groom is a great part of the toast, but don’t share things that will only end up sounding mean and making you look like a terrible friend.  Events that were funny are much more appealing to guests.  No one wants to see the bride or groom looking hurt or uncomfortable while you are telling a story about one of them.  Instead find something humorous to share that doesn’t embarrass the couple to the point of hurt feelings.

3. Make It Personal.  Although sharing funny stories about the bride and groom is perfectly acceptable while giving a toast, at some point, making it personal is also an important component.  Giving reasons for why the couple is meant to be together for example or how special it was when they first met makes for great material in a toast.  Sharing how you know the bride or groom and how much the wedding means to you is also a great way to personalize the toast and make it memorable for the bride and groom.

4. Fake It, If Necessary.  This may be a match made in someplace other than heaven from your perspective.  The man that your best friend is marrying might be something other than spectacular to you.  But, the toast isn’t about you or your opinions.  Bit the bullet for the sake of your friend and deliver a toast that is complimentary and positive.  Focus more on your friend and the great person he or she is, if it makes your speech more palatable to you.  If you find that you are not able to fake it and just can’t come up with words that will send the couple off with glad tidings then it is best that you excuse yourself from the
toast all together and save your friendship.

5. Keep It Short.  The toasting portion of the evening is just a small part of all the events that take place during a reception.  Taking your place in the spot light should be short and sweet.

6. Write It Down.  Planning your toast ahead of time is essential in order to avoid the pitfalls outlined above.  Deciding if a story is funny or mean, calming the nerves or making your toast personal are all great reasons you should take the time to write out your toast and know ahead of time what you want to share.  Getting up in front of everyone with only a glimmer of what you want to say can lead to you grasping for stories that might be embarrassing or don’t paint the bride or groom in the best light.  Not being prepared can also be a temptation to visit the bar one to many times prior to your toast.

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