Let me guess: you’ve got a well-intentioned best man and maid of honor.
They know you, they love you, and wedding etiquette calls on them to stand up and toast you at your wedding reception.
Beware. These beloved friends or family can morph into your worst nightmare. Don’t let them hijack your wedding reception with an embarrassing, meandering, or never-ending toast.
In fairness, your best man or maid of honor doesn’t want to embarrass you or scandalize your family, but beer and a microphone can be a dangerous combination. A nice, warm three minute toast can quickly devolve into a dozen minutes of booze-drenched awkwardness if you’re not prepared.
Provide your event’s toasters with the following guidelines as provided by Toastmasters International.
- Keep it short and sweet. It is important to get to the point and make people smile. A few minutes is all you need.
- Be careful with humor. Avoid the risque. Under no circumstances should you embarrass the person being toasted.
- Practice. At the very least, jot down a brief outline of what you want to say. If you’re prone to nervousness, you might want to script your toast and time it.
As the bride and groom, this is your party, so I encourage you to say something like this to your toasters:
“Thank-you for being my [best man/maid of honor]. I am so honored to have you share this day with me in such a meaningful way. I wanted to be sure you knew that we’d like you to make a brief toast after dinner. You okay with that? We’d like you to keep it fairly brief, 3 minutes … 4 max. Share something special you see in our relationship and wish us well. I know I don’t need to say this, but please, nothing off color or embarrassing.”
Really say something like this to be sure everyone’s on the same page, or simply print this page off and hand it your toasters (or share the link with them).
Now, let us all raise a glass to honor this beautiful couple. May God richly bless your marriage
[Check back next week for an actual script for a nice wedding toast. Your best man and maid of honor will love it! In the meantime, check out our wedding services here!]