With summer just about here, that means wedding season is kicking off as well. If a close loved one is getting married that makes the event even more special, but it could also mean you could be called upon to make a toast. Whether you’re best man, maid of honor, parent of the bride or groom, delivering the perfect wedding toast can be difficult. It’s a great honour but can be a little stressful. But if you want to ensure your toast goes off well and sends the new couple off right, here are a few tips for delivering the right toast.
Don’t wing it.
As with any significant task, going in with a plan is always the best practice. Yes, wedding toasts are meant to be fun, light and enjoyable, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t benefit from a bit of pre-planning. You don’t have to work out every work perfectly, but come up with a message for your toast and a few talking points. If you go in just thinking you can wing the whole thing on the spot, you could find yourself rambling on without making much of a point. Craft an outline and solid idea of what you want to say.
Easy on the drinks.
Weddings are a time for celebration, and while you should always be responsible, it’s okay to indulge a little. Certainly, the fact that you need to give a speech shouldn’t dissuade you from enjoying the day, but it might be a good idea to hold off a little until after the speech. One or two drinks is fine, but overdoing can really make for a poor speech delivery and an awkward moment. Hold back, give your speech and then feel free to join the festivities. That will save you from having regrets the next morning.
Make it about both of them.
There’s a good chance that when you attend a wedding, you’ll know one person in the married couple more than the other. You might even be a relation of the bride or groom, feeling a closer connection to them obviously than you do their partner. However, the wedding is about both of them and you’ll need to remember that in your toast. Sure, you’ll probably have more personal stories to say about one of them, but be sure not to ignore the other person. Talk to both of them in whatever way you can and make it about the couple rather than the individual.
A little humor is always nice.
Of course, any speech is made a little better with some humour. The speech works best when it comes from the heart, but don’t be afraid to keep things light as well. If you don’t see yourself as a particularly funny person, just think about stories that might be amusing. However, on the same token, too much humour or the wrong type of humour can be bad. Keep the jokes appropriate and don’t try for wall-to-wall jokes. There’s a good ratio of humour and heartfelt you can find.
Keep it short.
As much as your speech might be on your mind most of the night, you know that it’s not the real reason everyone is gathered here together. There are other people that need to speak, food to be served and dancing to be done. And of course, you want to enjoy your night as well, so there’s no need to take up too much time. Keep the toast short and sweet. You won’t to be able to get across what you have to say without overstaying your welcome. Aim for somewhere around 2-3 minutes, but anything over minutes is too long.