Today, before the dance floor opens for everyone and the partying truly begins, it is traditional for the best man and maid of honor to propose a toast to the newlyweds.
The Wedding Toast is a tradition that dates back to Ancient Greece, where warring neighbors would call a truce by marrying off their children. At the table, the bride’s father would be the first to take a sip of the wine being served, to show guests that it was not poisoned by any neighboring enemies. Overtime, the purpose of the toast tradition has changed, and today it is used to wish the newly married couple happiness and love for the rest of their lives together.
When you give your toast to the bride and groom, there are a few rules of thumb to follow so that no one gets uncomfortable or confused. For instance, while it is okay to make funny jokes about the bride and groom and relate the funny story of how they met, you may want to reconsider mentioning the time that they overindulged over Spring Break in college. Keep in mind that parents and grandparents will be there, and the last thing they want to hear is how the one of the newlyweds passed out in Mexico City and woke up in some location. Next, make sure that you don’t get overly sentimental. While it is important that the toast is not only laughs, you don’t want to give a speech that consists mostly of tears. You need a mix of laughter and sentimental thoughts, with the former being the majority.
You and the couple are probably very close friends or relatives, which is why they chose you to be the maid of honor or best man. So, you don’t need to tell all the guests how close you are. Instead of starting a toast with, “the bride is one of my closest friends,” instead tell the story of how the two of you met. It’ll be much more interesting to everyone in the room. Also, make sure that every story you tell leads to the main point of your toast: to wish the newlyweds a lifetime of happiness. While it is nice to include funny moments or heartwarming stories, try to avoid inside jokes that no one else will understand and make sure that the stories are not all about you. After all, it’s the bride and groom’s wedding, not your wedding.
Before the big day, make sure to check that your speech is no longer than three minutes long. It is better to have the audience begging for more than begging for it to end, especially where there are multiple toasts.
Finally, don’t be nervous! You’ve got this! If you follow these simple guidelines, you’re sure to have a speech that wows everyone and you’ll be getting compliments for years to come. Plus, the bride and groom will feel extra special for having such close friends who wish them a lifetime of happiness.