So, you’ve anxiously agreed to be the Best Man or Maid/Matron of Honor at your best friend’s or relative’s upcoming wedding and you’ve also been assigned the important task of giving a wedding toast or speech at the reception. Writing a good wedding toast is a job that should not to be taken too lightly. The Best Man’s and Maid/Matron of Honor’s wedding speeches are your moment to shine by adding a fun, personal touch to the wedding reception that should create a fond memory.
As someone that performs weekly at Kansas City wedding receptions, I’ve seen and heard a number of wedding toasts and wedding speeches, from very emotional and endearing to funny and extremely creative. Most have been impressive and entertaining in their own special way and, of course, unique to the Bride & Groom.
Some, however, could have been better had the presenter taken a few minutes to research the very basic structure for delivering a good wedding toast or wedding speech.
What follows are 10 tips to help you give Kansas City’s best wedding toast or wedding speech based on years of personal observations.
Tip #1 – Know What You’re Going To Say: Invest in a stack of 3×5 cards and jot down bullet points of the highlights of your wedding speech or toast. Do not write it out in it’s in entirety. A case of nerves can make the temptation to read your speech verbatim too great and that can be extremely tedious for the listener. And, above all, do not fool yourself into believing that you can “wing it.” You’ll not only risk forgetting important things you wish you had said, but “winging it” can also lead to meaningless rambling and, worse yet, saying something you might regret.
Tip #2 – Know Your Audience: Know that you are speaking to the Bride & Groom’s family members and closest friends. Some may be strangers to you. Although a touch of humor is a great ice breaker and attention grabber, it may be best to steer away from jokes that cross into the sometimes sensitive areas of old boyfriends/girlfriends, embarassing private stories, religion, politics or sex. When in doubt, pretend YOUR Grandmother is sitting front row center.
Tip #3 – Introduce Yourself: Whenever you speak before a group, it’s always a good idea to introduce yourself and to let the audience know why you’re speaking.
Tip #4 – Show Appreciation: Thank the host(s) for inviting you and acknowledge those that helped make the Bride & Groom’s wedding day so special.
Tip #5 – Tell How You Know The Newlyweds: Tell how you came to know the Bride and/or Groom and how long you’ve known each other. It’s a great back story and personal touch that the guests are sure to enjoy.
Tip #6 – Share Why The Bride & Groom Are Perfect for Each Other: A Best Man or Maid/Matron of Honor’s wedding toast or wedding speech is an opportunity to celebrate two people that got married, so include an unmistakable trait or interest the couple share in common that will lead them to a happy marriage.
Tip #7 – “Cliff Notes” Can Be Your Friend: At a loss for words? In a pinch, a simple search on Google can help you find the perfect, short line of poetry or famous, romantic love quote from someone that has already said it “best.” A well selected quote can also inspire you to come up with a few words of your own.
Tip #8 – Give Advice Sparingly: Some Best Man and Maid/Matron of Honor wedding toasts or wedding speeches offer some sort of advice. If your toast includes advice, stay away from the type of humor mentioned in Tip #2. Keep it light. Words of advice should be given in a manner that will make the Bride and Groom smile.
Tip #9 – Refrain From Overindulging: Drinking alcohol in excess, prior to the Best Man or Maid/Matron of Honor’s speech or wedding toast, will not make this important task any easier or less stressful. It won’t make you funnier, either. Really! At a Kansas City wedding reception, most toasts will take place early in the evening; right after the Bride and Groom have been introduced or immediately after dinner. There will be plenty of time, afterward, to indulge in your favorite adult beverage. Staying sober will assure that you don’t say something that will embarrass you, the Bride & Groom or their guests. Remember, your Grandma is still watching!
Tip #10 – Don’t Forget To Conclude Your Toast: Often times the Best Man and Maid/Matron of Honor will get caught up in the moment of the wedding toast to the Bride and Groom and forget to give their speech an ending that provides the cue for the guests to raise their glasses and drink. Don’t forget to conclude your wedding toast or speech with the obligatory “Please raise your glasses to…” or “Here’s to the…” or the ever essential “Cheers!”
Bonus Tip – Less Is More: Try to keep your wedding toast or speech to 3-5 minutes to avoid guests “tuning out.”
It’s easy to research wedding toasts and speeches on-line. A quick Google search will produce a number of sites with wedding toast examples, free wedding toasts, and free Best Man and Maid/Matron of Honor wedding speeches.
If you want to appear as an expert at toasting, you won’t find better or more valuable wedding toast and speech information than what Tom Halibeck provides in his book “Wedding Toasts Made Easy.” Tom also gives you the added convenience of downloading his book directly to your computer. If you’ve waited until the last minute to prepare, “Wedding Toasts Made Easy” is your absolute best solution.
Here’s to you and to delivering an unforgettably fun wedding toast! Cheers!