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Do's & Don'ts of Giving a Wedding Toast

Weddings are a very emotional and sentimental for everyone involved, not just the couple. Family and friends often take the opportunity to offer a toast to the happy couple at the wedding reception. Now, let me tell you, I've seen and heard my fair share of toasts all the way from a quick congratulations to a 30 minutes slideshow, so please listen up as I offer the do's and don'ts for a wedding toast.

Do:

  1. Make it meaningful. If you're giving a toast at a wedding, chances are you're very close to the couple. Make the toast special and meaningful to both.
  2. Put some thought into it. Don't just "wing it". Put some thought and consideration into what you want to say. This is one of the happiest days of the couples' lives. Don't stumble and "um" your way through a toast because you didn't prepare.
  3. Keep it short. I mean, 5 minutes, tops. Wish the couple well and move on.
  4. Address both guests of honor. There are 2 people at this wedding. Don't go on and on about what a wonderful person just one of them is. If you don't know the other one very well, just acknowledge what a great couple they make and how happy they are together.

Don't:

  1. Tell inside jokes or talk about stories that only you and the bride or groom will understand or find funny. People get bored by this because they have no idea what you are talking about.
  2. Ramble. Make a few bullet points about what you want to say and stick to it. Your audience can tell when you are rambling just to fill your time with words.
  3. Read word for word. Again, make a few key bullet points and expand on them. Speak from the heart and to the couple. Nothing is worse than seeing the top of your head the entire time you are giving the toast because you are reading from a piece of paper (or your phone!). Look at the couple and toast TO them.
  4. Tell embarrassing stories. Please don't embarrass your friends on their wedding day. Their parents don't need to know about that time they were "soooooo drunk". It's embarrassing for all involved, so keep these stories to yourself. Keep it classy.
  5. Talk about exes. Exes are in the past for a reason. They don't need to be mentioned at a wedding. Clearly, everyone has moved on, so you should too.