A wedding toast is a celebratory speech made at the reception to congratulate the happy couple who have just married. Usually the toast is given by the father of the bride, the best man, or a close friend or relative of the bride or groom.
To honour the big day and the new couple without embarrassing yourself or them we’ve put together some ideas to help you write and give a great wedding toast.
Even if you’re a witty raconteur, it’s worth writing down your thoughts about the couple to frame the toast you give. A wedding toast should be warm, personal and brief, no more than 5 minutes. Remember that your words will be remembered by the wedded couple forever, so go gently with any teasing you do. Never give a wedding toast if you’re drunk. Never. Be true to yourself, don’t pretend to be a comedian when you’re really the sentimental type.
Practice your speech so that you feel comfortable. Remember that your body language is important too, so smile, behave confidently (even if you are feeling nervous). Start the wedding toast by offering a compliment about the ceremony that has taken place. Was it touching, unique, memorable? Find your own adjectives.
Give context by introducing yourself and explain your relationship to the couple. This is especially important if you don’t know some of the guests. Even if you know most of the attendants, it is a good practice to give a frame of reference. Keep this introduction of yourself short, a wedding toast isn’t about you.
Share some sweet history by explaining to the room how you know the bride and/or groom. Always include both the bride and groom in your speech, no matter who’s side of the wedding party you are part of. Share a brief story of how you met and how you came to know the happy couple in their relationship or if you’re attending a wedding anniversary – tell how you have chosen their silver wedding anniversary present and what challenge it has been for you but thanks to the Internet you managed to do it.
Asking some questions can help you consider additional material for the wedding toast
What do people say about them as a couple?
What do I think of them as a couple?
Do they share interests?
What are the individual and combined positive qualities of the bride and groom?
Do I have any interesting anecdotew about the couple to share that is evidence of their positive qualities?
If you struggle to find words, consider quoting meaningful lines from a movie, song, poem or book in your toast to express your joy at the couples wedding.
Love and laughter
It is perfectly appropriate to be funny and include humour in your speech, but not at the expense of the bride or groom on their special day. Keep it light-hearted and universal when it comes to humour in your wedding toast. If you have a story that neither bride or groom would want their grandmother to hear, then don’t include it. Also leave out any ‘inside’ jokes that only a few people will understand. It is wise also to leave out jokes about the honeymoon or previous partners.
The ‘Turning Point’ for bride and groom
Share a moment when the couple knew they were meant to last forever, or a moment when you saw in your friend that he or she had found “the one.”
Wrap it up with a kind wish or a blessing for the couple. The internet is full of inspirational quotations.
Your final task is to ask the wedding guest to join you in the wedding toast. Lift your champagne glass, turn to the happy couple and say “To (name of bride) and (name of groom)”
Sample Wedding Toasts
“Here’s to the new husband and here’s to the new wife. May they remain lovers for all of life.”
“May thy life be long and happy, thy cares and sorrows few; And the many friends around thee prove faithful, fond and true.”
“May your love be added. May it never be subtracted. May your household multiply and may your hearts never be divided!”
“[Groom], take [Bride]’s hand and place your hand over hers. Now remember this moment and cherish it because this will be the last time you’ll ever have the upper hand!”