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10 Tips for Giving a Wedding Toast. See more on the David's Bridal blog.

10 Wedding Toast Tips to Give the Best Toast Ever

Advice for toasting the newlyweds at the reception.

So, you’re giving a wedding toast? That’s awesome! Whether you’re the maid of honor, a parent of the bride, or a close friend of the couple, we have some wedding toast tips to help you prep your words, calm your nerves, and pull off this all-important public speaking gig.

It is best to follow the sample outline below for the best wedding toast speech:

  1. Introduce yourself
  2. Share how you know or are related the couple
  3. Share why this day is so important
  4. Add funny or cute story about the couple
  5. Offer a fun or unique piece of advice
  6. Well wishes or good hopes for the future
  7. Raise a glass to the new couple
  8. Introduce the next speaker

Once you have finished drafting your speech it is always best to do a trial run and have another member of the bridal party or a VIP guests give you feedback. It never hurts to get a little feedback to see if there are any tweaks you need to make before making the toast on the big wedding day.

1. Celebrate rather than mortify

Remember: You’re giving a wedding toast, not a wedding roast, and the ultimate goal is to honor the people getting married. So feel free to share a funny story, but make it one that’s appropriate for the all-ages audience—including grandmas.

2. It’s not all about you

Start off by introducing yourself and share how you know the couple in case some guests aren’t familiar with you. It is best to give specific context such as “I went to college with the bride” or “For those of you who don’t know me, my name is _______ and I went to high school with the bride” Then, move on to the two getting married. This isn’t the time for humblebragging.

3. Talk about both people in the couple

You’re there to celebrate a marriage of two people, so even if you’re closer to one than the other, make sure you address them both (and bonus points if you can speak about not only the two individuals, but also them together as a couple). If you are not as close with one part of the couple as you are with the other get a few little insights from a close friend and add those personal touches to your wedding day speech.

4. Make sure other guests get it

If you’ve been friends with the bride or groom for years, you’re bound to have a few inside jokes together, and they’re probably hilarious—to the two of you. Since you’ll be the only ones who get them, stick to material that lets everyone laugh. If you do want to tell an inside joke it is best to explain why you are telling the joke, what the significance is and why it is appropriate to share on the wedding day.

5. Keep it short

Aim for 3-5 minutes or less so no one starts nodding off or getting fidgety—especially if you’re one of many making toasts at the reception. When you keep the speech to a shorter time you capture and hold the attention of everyone at the event which the entire purpose of giving a speech. Make sure you practice your speech in the days before and time yourself so you know you are within that ideal 3-5 minute timeframe.

6. Jot down a few notes

After you have an idea of what you’re going to say, write some key words or phrases that’ll help keep you on track and jog your memory, should you suddenly draw a blank. You can go old-school with an index card. Try your best to NOT read your speech off of a phone or tablet – it does not look great in the photos later.

7. Practice out loud, in front of a mirror

Audibly voicing your thoughts feels different from saying them to yourself in your head. A day or two beforehand, stand in front of a mirror and act out the entire thing, from start to finish, and it’ll come more naturally when it’s showtime.

8. Know when to go

Are you speaking before dinner or after the first dance? Make sure you’re aware of your cue so you aren’t caught off guard with a dinner roll in your mouth. If you have any say in the schedule, make your toast early-on—that way you can get it over with and get on the dance floor.

9. Make eye contact

Nerves? When you’re giving your wedding toast, focus on just a few people, like a reception table full of friends and definitely the couple. Just speak as though you’re talking directly to them, and all the strangers staring at you will disappear.

10. Finish by raising your glass

As you wrap up your thoughtful words, invite everyone to raise a glass—the actual toast part of the speech—to the happy couple, then take a sip and you’re done! You might need to introduce the next speaker so make sure you know the lineup of speakers.

Want special glasses to commemorate the occasion? We have all kinds of toasting flutes, including personalized ones from $2.55 each!

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