Anyone who’s been to a wedding has heard someone give a wedding toast at the reception. Usually it’s given by the father of the bride, the best man, or a close friend or relative of the bride or groom.
There are all kinds of wedding speeches. The most common is the best man speech and the father of the bride speech. If you have been chosen to write and say a speech at a friends or family members wedding, don’t worry. No matter what kind of speech you have been asked to give, don’t stress over it (click here for some ready-made speeches). Writing a speech is actually easier than most other forms of public speaking, since most likely you will know most of the people there. Here are some quick tips to make it easier:
- Briefly introduce yourself and your relationship to the couple, especially if you don’t know at least 50% of the guests.
- Use prompt cards. The guests won’t expect you to remember all your lines, especially if you’ve been drinking a bit too much. Don’t read from the prompt card, just hit the key notes on it.
- Keep your speech brief.
- Avoid being rude or sarcastic. There will probably be quite a few young people or children at the wedding.
- Open the speech with a joke or funny memory of the couple. This will usually bring a laugh or two and encourage you to keep going.
- Use proper wedding etiquette, aka thanking people for coming, helping, any key organizers, the bridal party, people who may have come a long distance to be there, the caterers, and of course to comment on the bride.
- Lastly, if you do happen to forget your prompt cards or the speech altogether, just speak from the heart.
- End the toast on a high note, giving them well wishes.
- Do not give a wedding toast if you’re drunk. Period. If the wedding toast is being recorded by a photographer or videographer, visit the restroom before you give the toast to straighten your hair and clothing.
- Don’t mention previous girlfriends, boyfriends, or spouses in a wedding toast. Don’t talk about the cost of the wedding or wedding gifts. Don’t talk about future plans the couple may have confided to you. This includes pregnancy and children. And don’t make jokes about the honeymoon.
Keeping these tips in mind will guarantee you have a successful wedding toast to the couple and guests. But by any chance you still have questions, here are some resources that can help.