How to Give an Excellent Wedding Toast

It’s wedding season, you may be called upon to give a toast. Allow me to suggest that you:

  1. Be Brief – I cannot remember a toast that was too brief.  I’m sure it’s possible, but I can’t remember one.  Even the mother of the groom or some other important person can give a powerful complete toast with three strong sentences.
  2. Honor the Importance of the Event – You may go to four weddings this year (I have eight) but the people getting married are hoping this is their only bite at the apple, or at least their last bite at the apple. Put a little time into thinking about what you will say, and say it in a respectful way.
  3. Joke Less and be more Sincere – I’m sure people will disagree with this, but if you’re toasting your friend or son saying something like, “He was a great friend or son” will usually be true and never be awkward. If they farted one time, it might be hard to convey the humor or set the scene appropriately. You may tell a joke 0r share an anecdote, but only if it fits the toast. You do not have to say anything funny.
  4. Actually Write the Toast Down – If you are worried about the speech at all and you want it to be good and short, the pen is your friend.  Even if you just have a brief anecdote to share any writing or pre-toast preparation will cut out a lot of  “umms” which are a natural part of amateur public speaking. If you have a lot to say write it out then take out the parts that are second best.
  5. Not Describe Writing the Toast During the Toast – So boring.
  6. Cry if you Need to – If you’re being sincere and focused on the couple it just adds power to the speech.
  7. Don’t Talk about Yourself Too Much – You aren’t getting married. They are getting married.  Talk about them. This is a hard rule for me to follow, but the logic behind it is sound: you aren’t getting married. They are getting married.  Talk about them.*

 

 

*This is what I’m talking about when I say three strong sentences.

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