Cheers! Preparing for Wedding Toasts and Speeches

Congratulations, your wedding is well under way and its time to start thinking about the smaller logistics like cake flavors, ceremony entrance order and your wedding toasts / speeches. Typically engaged couples select their parents, Best Man and Maid of Honor or Best People to give these special toasts during their wedding reception. Sometimes there are two or three toasts, but we’ve seen up to 10 toasts in a row! Each couple is different, but all couples can benefit from some tips and ideas for selecting who will give toasts, and preparing them for that special moment.

making toast

TIMING

If you have two to three people giving toasts, it’s certainly OK for them to take a few extra minutes to give their special presentation. We recommend keeping it under five to seven minutes when possible. This would be 15 to 21 minutes or so, which is just long enough to keep guest’s attention before they start itching for the bar and dance floor.

If you have four plus people giving toasts, consider one of two options. First, ask them to keep it to four minutes or less. This will help shorten the time of the overall toasts and get you into dancing and party time sooner. We recommend trying to keep this part of the wedding under 20 minutes, or up to 30 minutes at most. The second option is splitting up the toasts with a few before dinner and a few towards the tail end of dinner. The only trick to this method is making sure the toasts before dinner don’t take too long. Many Coordinators will face the wrath of an angry Catering Chef trying to serve a hot dinner that is delayed by someone giving a much longer than anticipated speech.

CONTENT

There tends to be an order suggested by Wedding Planners that is typically designed to go from “Sweet and Tender” to “Lets All Get in a Good Laugh Before Dancing!” The typical order is going to be:

Parent(s) of the Bride

Parent(s) of the Groom

Special Friends or Wedding Party

Maid of Honor

Best Man

The reason the Maid of Honor and Best Man go last is because they have the closest relationship to the Bride and/or Groom outside of their immediate family/. Quite often they are also Maid of Honor and Bride’s Sister, etc… So these people are meaningful, but also very aware of their role, but sometimes might take it a little too far. Chatting with your Toast Givers about any preferred content, or, content that should be left out, is totally OK! We all know that story about that time you got arrested with your Best Man at a high school party, but perhaps the Best Man had a drink or two and is ready to tell everyone the real story…. which leads us into the next section…

ALCOHOL AND PUBLIC PERFORMANCES

Whenever Wedding Planners meet the Couple and their Wedding Party to rehearse the wedding ceremony, quite often they’ll give the wedding party some tips or tricks for ensuring a smooth wedding day. Once of these suggestions is “lay off the heavy booze till after the toasts.” There are many reasons for this, most of all the importance of being present for your loved ones on their special day. But also, for protecting your dignity, and that of the couple. All too many times have we seen couples get into drunk fights, Maids of Honor fall into the cake, or the Best Man give a little TOO much info about the Groom during his toast. Sharing for laughs is one thing, but embarrassing someone cause you tipped back a few too many is never a good look.

READING THE ROOM

So you Mom’s side of the family is super conservative, but your fiance’s side of the family is a wild bunch of go-getters. How do you meet in the middle? Talking with your family and wedding party about keeping it clean is always OK. We’d like to think “oh, it was just a joke..,” until after the wedding when Aunt Barbara wont ever talk to you again for your choice of friends and sinful ways. Trust us, we’ve seen it all. So it is safe to say, read the room. Don’t over do it if the crowd clearly isn’t meeting you half way.

THE BEST TOASTS

Toasts can be many things to many people. Funny, Heartbreaking, Stoic, Romantic, and so much more. Communicating your goals to your friends and family can be a tough ask, but giving them a little guidance on your family, guests and, most importantly, your goals for those special moments will ensure toasts and speeches that stay with you throughout your marriage.

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