Being asked to speak at a wedding is a great honor. If you are a best man or maid of honor you can expect to offer a toast to the happy couple. In addition, parents who host the wedding usually welcome the guests and thank them for coming. Finally, a word from the couple may also be appropriate. What a nice touch for a groom to welcome the bride to his family and say how honored he feels to have her hand in marriage!
There is a lot of advice about what to say and what to avoid when giving a toast. Overall the most important thing to remember is to honor the bride and groom with your words. Don’t risk embarrassing the couple or anyone else in the room trying to get a laugh. Practice your toast (you want it to be thoughtful), keep it short (2-5 minutes), and give genuine compliments to the couple and well wishes for their future.
Below is a great outline for writing a toast:
§ Introduce yourself in one sentence.
§ Express gratitude for being part of the couple’s special day in one sentence.
§ Tell a short story with a beginning middle and end—(can be funny) that reveals a charming quality about the bride and/or groom (keep it short!!!!)
Share a quote that is touching, thoughtful, or spoken by the individual and share how it relates to the couple (for example: It reflects your hopes for their future, it is an example of the kind of love their relationship reflects, it is special to the individual couple/family or especially descriptive of a unique characteristic they share that brings them close together.).
§ Compliment the bride.
§ Compliment the groom.
§ Always end the toast on them—to their marriage, to good health, to long lasting happiness….
§ Raise your glass and invite the other guests to join you in congratulating the couple.
If you focus your attention on the couple instead of your nerves or attempts at humoring the crowd, they will appreciate your thoughtful words and sincere congratulations. Happy toasting!