Wedding speeches are a time honored and much loved tradition that has been a part of pretty much every celebration we’ve been a part of. Giving a wedding toast can be an absolutely nerve racking experience and at some point in your life, the odds are that someone is going to ask you to give a toast on his or her special day. It is an honor, but also a huge responsibility! We have seen some really wonderful speeches, but I am sorry to say that we have also seen a few not so great ones. In order to help you do the best job possible when it is your turn to get up in front of a crowd and honor one of your favorite people, today we are sharing tips on how to set up your toast for success.
Photo Credit: The de Jaureguis
Preparation is Key
It is extremely important that you carve out some quality time in the month leading up to the big day to write your toast. We suggest that you NOT procrastinate until the week of the wedding to do this. It is definitely not the kind of thing that you can or should just wing and hope for the best. The couple has asked you specifically to share at their wedding, that alone makes this kind of a big deal. On top of your responsibility to the couple, don’t forget that this thing will likely go down in history. If your couple has chosen a videographer, or if someone decides to bust out their camera phones, your speech will be with you (and the couple) forever, so we encourage you to do it right! Start with writing down some of your favorite things or memories about the person, and weave together your speech from there.
Photo Credit: Megan W Photography
Think of what you want to communicate in your speech. The main idea is to keep it meaningful and focused on the couple. Make it personal by telling a story about him or her (or the couple as a duo) that makes them look good. Note that you can be a part of the story, but remember the toast shouldn’t be focused on you. Avoid poking fun at the person, unless all the speeches are meant to be a roast (which is usually not the case at a wedding). It’s true that everyone loves a funny toast, but we encourage you know yourself, and only be funny if in real life you are pretty funny. If you aren’t someone who normally doesn’t make jokes, then this is probably not the time to start! Lastly, inside jokes are not recommended (unless it is something that is widely known among the guests and will be explained for those who aren’t “in the know”). We want this thing to be personal, but don’t forget your setting, you want to make sure what you are saying is something that everyone can enjoy!
Aim your speech for about two-three minutes. No speech should really be any longer than four minutes (you will lose everyone in the room, maybe even the couple – trust me on this one…). By keeping your speech short and sweet, but with substance that everyone can enjoy, you won’t run the risk of losing the room. To help keep it in the proper time slot, make sure you time yourself and know how long your speech will be.
Photo Credit: Josh Gruetzmacher Photography
Wrapping It Up
The couple has asked you to honor them for a reason, so make sure you are prepared and practice it in front of an audience (maybe your close friends or family). Keep it personal and meaningful with hints of humor and don’t forget to cut out the fat! Remember you are saying this in front of people and by being genuinely you, you will come off as the most sincere. So, shake off the nerves because these tips will definitely do the trick for giving a wonderful toast!
Photo Credit: Ronca Productions