Tips for a great wedding reception toast
Making a toast at a wedding reception shouldn’t be a very difficult task. But for the person giving the toast, as well as wedding professionals and others involved in the wedding, it can cause a good amount of nervousness. I remember a toast disaster given by an inebriated best man who talked about his ex-wife and failed marriage for more than twenty minutes. Needless to say, the bride, groom and all their guests will remember this toast – but for all the wrong reasons.
With a little preparation, the wedding reception toast can be one of the best memories of a wedding.
Here are a few tips for giving a good toast:
Prepare – Make sure it’s clear who will be making the toast. Ask the bride and groom to decide who is special to them. Sometimes they haven’t given enough thought to the toast or to who will handle the job. The “toastmaster” is usually the best man, but other members of the wedding party and family may also offer toasts. One wedding I went to a few years ago had several toasts offered at their reception. The first toast was given by the best man, then the microphone was passed among the other close guests. Several toasts were given by family members and friends. It only lasted about ten minutes but added to the intimacy of the evening. This sharing of memories and well wishes was a great part of the reception and served as a memorable beginning to the couple’s new life together.
Review – Speak with the person who will be conducting the toast at the reception. Usually the wedding planner will see him or her the night before at the rehearsal. Review the toast with them. Be prepared to offer some suggestions. Although the toast shouldn’t be read directly, it is best to have an outline on an index card so they can refer to it during the reception if they should become lost.
Personalization – Including a family tradition or childhood memory, if appropriate, can be a nice add-on to the toast. Ensure the bride and groom have a special wedding toasting set that marks the occasion can also add some personal charm to the toast and can be a great rehearsal gift.
Resources – Short poems, memories, and blessings are all good sources of inspiration.
So what makes a good toast? Remember the basic elements: brevity, a little humor, personalization, and most important, sincerity.