The wedding toast is an important part of the wedding reception. Being able to perform the toast is considered a high honour, and most people jump at the chance. At the same time, it can also be nerve-wracking. What if it goes wrong? How are people going to react if you make a mistake? Most importantly, are people going to laugh at me? It is enough to make anyone get the shakes. In order to make sure that the toast goes well, there are a few steps that you can follow.
1. Remember Good times
Make sure that you talk about the good times with the bride and groom. Forget the time that they argued and didn’t make up for a fortnight. It is also best to avoid talking about former relationships: those are best left in the past. Instead, talk about funny times the couple have had together, or when they were stuck at the top of the fairground ride for an hour. Whatever you say should focus on the couple’s fond, happy memories that are the basis for their relationship.
2. Avoid Bad Jokes
The toast is traditionally a time when the groomsmen, and sometimes the bridesmaids, remember their old comedy routines. However, it isn’t a good idea to try out bad jokes, weak puns, or innuendoes. Instead, you need to keep the toast light hearted, with a few laughs, but nothing strained. If jokes occur, they should happen naturally as part of the toast, rather than being forced into the speech with a shoehorn. It can be tempting to try and get a laugh, but you could find that this falls flat, and the rest of your speech will then be struggling to recover from that failure.
3. Keep the Speech Easy-Listening
One of the biggest mistakes that speakers make when it comes to the Wedding Toast is to over-emphasise the sentimentality of the occasion. You might be feeling emotional, and the bride and groom certainly will, but pouring out the whole of your emotion will not go down well. Just like the radio, you don’t need anything dark and serious, or inane and annoying. Instead, just be down to earth and straightforward, reminding everyone of why they are there, and even shedding a tear, but don’t burst into heaving sobs. This will just dampen the mood.
4. Prepare in Advance
Another big mistake which toasters often make is thinking that they can somehow ‘wing’ it. Even if you know the couple back to front, and have a basic idea for the way you want the speech to go, lack of preparation is likely to lead to disaster. You might not have much time to think about your speech, but if you work hard to get it right, even a few simple notes will keep you on track, and help you deliver a toast which is as enjoyable as it is memorable.