You have knocked on our door many times over the years with this exact question, “How do I do a wedding toast?” You follow this question with, “Help!”
Right now – lots of postponed weddings are happening and many toasts are being given to joyful brides/grooms.
In fact, our daughter is getting married to a great guy on Saturday… so this topic is top of mind!
Components of a good wedding toast
- Honor the couple getting married.
- Include a nod to the parents and family(s) of the couple.
- Share a personal anecdote about the couple using dialogue. Give the story some flavor.
- Provide some sage wisdom (optional)*.
- Keep it short.
*Sage wisdom – If you do it, be minimal! Is the couple really listening to you at this moment? That said, you will give the couple a copy of your remarks (if you wrote them down) and they can enjoy your insights at a later date.
Delivering your toast
Do you read your remarks … or memorize your comments … or wing it?
You have one more 4th choice – outline your comments and speak extemporaneously (prepared and presented conversationally without notes).
We promote the 4th option and the 1st.
- Why it is ok to read your wedding toast/speech: You are emotional. It is your child, or your best friend, or even your parent who is getting married. You are not the hired entertainer. Go ahead and read it. You’ll stay on track. BUT… please read “from your heart”. Try to look up on your first and last sentences and provide eye contact in-between as well.
- Or go with Option #4 – You’ve written something on paper but you’re giving your toast without notes. For this approach practice out loud ahead of time. Get the flow and order of thoughts clearly in your head so that you talk to your guests with confidence and heartfelt emotion.
- Please don’t wing it. These speeches can be good, but can fall short of what you really want to say and long on tangents.
My toast to you: “Please raise your coffee cup or Yeti. Here’s to you – our great blog readers. Thanks for your support of our work and for sharing in the joy of Courtney and Kevin’s upcoming wedding!”
Next week: I’ll share our wedding toasts. 🥂
Author: Karen Cortell Reisman is Founder of Speak For Yourself®, a communication consulting firm, and the author of 2 books on how to communicate. She lives in Dallas, Texas and can’t wait to embrace this future Son-In-Law into her family.
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