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How to Make the Perfect Wedding Toast Without Burning Yourself or the Wedding Party

How to Make the Perfect Wedding Toast Without Burning Yourself or the Wedding Party

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It’s been said people are more fearful of public speaking than they are of dying. We’re guessing it’s because they’re afraid of doing both – at the same time. But as the Best Man and/or Groom, it’s time you put your fears aside, step up to the plate and take a swing at making “The Toast.”it’s a delicate art form. And when done properly can enhance the event as well as your reputation (if you’re the Best Man AND single, we don’t have to tell you how a fabulous Toast will impress the ladies).

Are there are more rules of etiquette about Toasts than there are ruffles on a bridesmaid’s dress? You bet. But don’t panic. We’ve cut through the clutter to bring you some sensible and easy-to-follow guidelines to get you through it like a pro.

Before we begin, there are two hard and fast rules concerning Toasts. When giving a Toast, always stand. When you’re the one being Toasted, never drink to yourself.

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s first concentrate on The Best Man.

Anyone can offer best wishes to the Bride and Groom. from the Father of the Bride to the guy serving the chicken.

But the Best Man is the only one REALLY REQUIRED to make a Toast. And for obvious reasons, people look forward to your Toast more than any other.

But you have questions, and we have answers.

#1: Am I making a Toast? Or a Speech?

To us, the difference is a matter of length. And no one likes a Rambler except a classic car collector, so stick with a Toast, and make it short and sweet. A good rule of thumb is between one and three minutes. Look at it this way. If a Toast is drinking to someone’s honor, then most everyone loves to be Toasted, but hardly anyone wants to be Speched.

#2: When’s the best time to make my Toast?

We all know that his family is paying for the rehearsal dinner, hers for the wedding. And if the ones with the checkbooks want to say something first, let ‘em. A smart way to go is to find a quiet moment with the Father of the Bride. Shake his hand, thank him, and tell him how fabulous everything is. Then tell him of your plans to make a Toast. Ask when he thinks a good moment would be, if he’d like to go first, etc. He’ll appreciate this gesture. And after what he’s paying, he deserves the gesture as well.  A little addendum here:

Just like finding the perfect mate, timing is everything. So when IS the best time? Everybody’s got an opinion on this, and there are pros and cons to each. So the best advice we can offer is to narrow down several windows of opportunity, and do it when the timing seems just right. At cocktail time or around coffee and dessert were favorites during the Rehearsal Dinner. But after the wedding and during the reception? That one takes a little more finesse.

Some experts say while everyone’s eating (and when you have the biggest crowd). Some prefer during the cake cutting. If there’s live music, others suggest during their break, when you’ve got the stage and microphone. All good ideas. So go for it when the moment seems right.

#3: Call To Order:

Have you nailed the perfect moment? Excellent. Now, let’s rope this group in. STAND next to the Bride and Groom (or have you already forgotten rule #1?), and get them to sit down. Tap your spoon firmly against your glass (important to mention here not to whack it so hard that it breaks…you don’t need that kind of attention). As the room begins to quiet down, announce (oh, so politely):

“Excuse me folks, but if you could find your seat for just a moment, so we can Toast the Bride and Groom.”
Unless you’re in an airplane hangar, that should be enough to get them moving toward an empty chair. Once they’re settled down, thank them profusely.And now big guy…you’re on.

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