WEDDING & EVENTS
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Dos and Don’ts of Wedding Toasts

Wedding Toasts Dos and Don’ts!

I have seen a lot of different wedding toasts, some are good, some are bad, some bring me to tears, others make me cringe.

I thought I would share a little helpful information for those giving the toasts because I know from experience how hard it is to give a good toast and the pressure that many people feel. I am also including some times for couples to consider in deciding who is giving toasts, how and when on the wedding day.

Couple waiving at guests during a thank you toast at their wedding at Gardener Ranch

Gardener Ranch wedding with photography by Julie Cahill Photography

DOS

  1. Keep it between 2-4 minutes

Wedding days are LONG! Toasts are often one of the final things before dancing so people are ready to boogie! The best toasts are simple and short.

  1. Briefly touch on how you both know each other

Most guests will not know who you are or how you know the couple. Start by sharing a brief description of your relationship. This can include a sweet story of how you first met. Just remember, the toast shouldn’t be all about you 

  1. Speak to both members of the couple

Even though you know one person way better than the other, make sure you are speaking to both members of the couple. Some ideas of things to share are:

  • The first time you were with them as a couple
  • When you first knew they were perfect for each other
  • What you love most about them as a couple
  • Be complimentary, share specific qualities you love about them
  1. Make them laugh AND cry

Our favorite toasts include stories that make us laugh and moves us to tears. All the guests love hearing funny and sweet stories about the couple. Make sure to avoid inside jokes that everyone can’t enjoy together.

  1. If you are stumped, include a beautiful quote or scripture that speaks to them

If you are having a hard time writing your toast or remembering stories, include a quote that reminds you of the couple or that is great advice for the future. Avoid generic advise that is not meaningful and generally avoid advise unless you’ve been in  a long strong relationship which doesn’t apply to many young adults. 

  1. End the toast on a high, joyful, hopeful note

At some weddings all of the guests will have champagne and at others they will just toast with whatever they are drinking. Either way, don’t forget to invite everyone to raise their glass!

Guests toasting to a couple recently married in an intimate vineyard house setting in Carmel Valley CA

Intimate Wedding at the Vineyard House at Folktale Winery in Carmel Valley. Photo by A Tale Ahead Photo

DONT

  1. Have too much to drink before giving your toast

Please do not cause the couple and their guests (and planner!) stress by trying to give a toast while intoxicated! It truly takes away from how special the moment is.

  1. Talk about sex

I seriously wish I didn’t have to include this in the list but believe me I have heard some things so just please don’t make raunchy or inappropriate jokes, Grandma is in attendance and just because you may joke about it as buddies doesn’t mean the wedding is the time and place to act like the close pals you are. 

  1. Wing it

Of course, you do not have to write and read the toast word for word but please have a plan.

  1. Reference any previous significant others, fiancés, or spouses

Just don’t. No further explanation needed. 

  1. Share stories/make comments that leave them feeling embarrassed

This is their wedding, NOT the appropriate time to make them feel embarrassed! You should especially avoid jokes related to the wedding night or honeymoon, keep in mind grandma is there.

  1. Reference them having children if they are have not explicitly said they want them

Many couples do not plan to have children or may not be able to. Avoid speaking about them as parents unless you are certain they do plan to have/adopt children! We hope these tips help you to give a simple, heartwarming and personal toast!

 

Couple sitting at a sweetheart table gazing at each other

The Barns at Cooper Molera wedding. Photo by Barkis & Co

Advice For Couples handling toasts: 

  1. Try to keep toasts to a minimum

While toasts may be your favorite part of the evening chances are many of your guests don’t find 6 different toasts entertaining for a long period of time. I suggest you keep the toasts under 4 people. Three is ideal.

2. Give your speakers some guidance

If you have someone that you think may speak for a long time or say something that may embarrass you give them some guidance or idea of what your expectations are. Do it in a loving way but it is better to be upfront and clear on expectations than to be angry afterwards. 

3. Give your planner a heads up

Have someone speaking that you are worried about – tell your planner in advance so she can be prepared. Not that we would ever interrpt or take away a mic but maybe if we know something can go wrong we can help mitigate it!

4. Plan on saying a very short thank you

Everyone came to celebrate you two, plan on saying a super short and sweet thank you to your guests collectively at the end of dinner. It doesn’t need to be long or elaborate but people love hearing from you as a couple. It wouldn’t hurt to also acknowledge those that really helped you with the wedding, such as parents, or a particular friend that really helped. 

5. Never open toasts up to anyone

This is chaos, please don’t do it. Trust me. If you have a lot of individuals that want to give you a special toast then do it at the rehearsal dinner or have a casual welcome party that everyone can attend and open it up there.

 

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