Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Toasting Etiquette

{Photo credit: Alana Kucharski}

Knowing you have to give a toast at a wedding or rehearsal dinner can be a daunting task, especially if you aren’t too confident when it comes to public speaking. Or maybe you’re wondering if it’s appropriate to give a toast since you’re not in the wedding party. Read on to have your questions answered and to get some helpful advice on all things toasting!

1.     Traditionally, the groom’s parents will make a toast at the rehearsal dinner—though it isn’t unheard of to hear from family members or friends in the wedding party. At the reception, the best man and maid of honor give the toasts.
2.     Practice! Don’t wing it—make sure you prepare ahead of time. You want to be comfortable enough with your toast so that you don’t have to read off a sheet of paper.
3.     Add some personality. Talk about something funny that happened to the couple recently.
4.     Give equal consideration to the bride and the groom. This is easy to overlook—especially if you’re closer to one member of the couple. Stay balanced.
5.     Make eye contact with the bride and groom. This will show sincerity.
6.     Make it personal and avoid sweeping generalizations and clich├ęs. Talk instead about the couple’s relationship and the defining moments in their relationship.
7.     Keep it short. The guests may become restless if you start to exceed five minutes.
8.     End with an upbeat conclusion.
9.     Remember, grandparents and children may be in attendance. Keep your toast appropriate for the entire audience.

Things to avoid:
1.     Cursing
2.     Slouching
3.     Talking too quickly
4.     Bringing up ex-boyfriends or ex-girlfriends
5.     Drinking too much beforehand

We'd love to hear from you! Tell us about the best or worst toast you've heard at a rehearsal dinner or wedding?