As a planner, I have heard literally thousands of speeches and toasts at weddings over the past 12 years. Some have been touching and others frightful.
The key to giving a good toast or speech is, first and foremost, it must come from the heart. If you‘re naturally funny then that will shine. If you’re naturally compassionate then that will come through. Don’t force the comedy, there’s nothing worse trying to make a joke that only half the guests will understand; or worse yet, making a joke that’s inappropriate all together.
That brings me to my next point; make sure you know who you are talking to. I have heard many a toast that was inappropriate to the point it was offensive, not only to the couple getting married, but also to the guests. As the person giving the toast, you have to remember grandma, Aunt Ida and others who are in the audience. Watch what you say. If you want to be crass then do that at the bachelor party in Vegas, not at the wedding reception.
It’s also important to remember when you give a toast to the couple, you are giving a toast to both the bride and the groom, not just to one or the other. You may know one person better than the other and, if that’s the case, keep the toast simple. Wishing them a lifetime of happiness and expressing the joy that you feel because they are together may be just enough to get your sentiments across. But going on and on about how you used to play cops and robbers as kids and then recounting the tale of when you pledged your fraternity, quite honestly, is of no interest to the guests. No one really cares….
What guests do care about is how long your toast is going to be. Guests actually dread the toasts…simple reason; all too often they go on way too long. A simple way to keep the toast short is to stick to the basics of wishing the couple happiness and then pass on your blessings for a bright and beautiful future. Compliment them on their love for each other and raise your glass. A good toast is one that is short (two minutes or less).
If you stick to these simple suggestions guests will remember your toast because it was to the point, simple and did not force any bad jokes or long stories on them.
Until next time – Cheers!