Write the Perfect Wedding Toast in Just 15 Minutes
It's that exciting yet dreaded moment by maids of honor and best men: the wedding toast. What to say? How to say it? How long? What's off the table?
Writing just the right wedding toast doesn't have to be hard, you just have to know what you're doing. This formula will help you write the wedding toast everyone will be talking about months later in only 15 minutes.
First a few words about the toast itself. The wedding toast is an opportunity to offer your congratulations to the newlyweds by shining a light on what makes their relationship so special.
You have two audiences for your toast: the bride and groom and the wedding guests. To deliver a crowd-pleasing, they'll-tell-you-all-night-how-great-your-speech-was toast, keep both in mind.
Guests want to be entertained as you help them know the newly-married couple on a deeper and perhaps different level. The bride and groom hope you convey the sentiment and emotion of why they make a perfect match.
Taking The Stage
Let the bride and groom as well as the wedding guests know how you feel about being included in the wedding day. Are you honored? Excited? Delighted? Why do you feel that way? Also consider thanking the wedding hosts for a beautiful day.
Then, explain your relation to the bride or groom and even throw in your favorite story about him or her or the couple. This is where you'll start to bring in your personality. Are you naturally humorous? Do you have a knack for heartwarming stories?
At my wedding, my husband's best friends reenacted the first online conversation between my husband and me (thanks Google for saving every word!). It made me want to die, but my guests loved it. They got to share into the very first conversations of our relationship. It gave our guests an insider's look at how we came to be and they roared with laughter as one friend played my husband and the other played me.
As you're planning your story, think about how you want your audience to feel as you're delivering it. Is it meant to be funny? Or sweet? This will help you know exactly what to say and how to say it.
The Sweet Stuff
A great wedding toast explains how the bride and groom complement each other. What was the bride or groom like before they met each other? And then how did their new partner enhance his or her life?
It's Almost Over, Thank God!
Finally, a great speech always ends with a cheers. Ask the guests to raise their glasses while you say closing remarks with well and congratulatory wishes to the newlyweds.
Use this formula and you'll have the perfect wedding toast in no time.
Just a few final "Dos"...
Do make eye contact with the bride and groom as well as wedding guests
Do KISS (Keep It Short and Sweet); recommend 3 minutes
Do stay classy
Don't bring up past relationships (of the bride or groom)
Don't use inappropriate jokes or stories
Don't drink too much alcohol
Keep the inside jokes in if no one else will understand them. If no one gets it, they won't laugh at your punchline anyway.
Now, here's a cheers to you and your perfectly-written wedding toast!
**This blog post first appeared in my Huffington Post column at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kristen-rocco/.