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How to Give a Great Wedding Toast

Wedding toasts are a staple at almost every wedding reception. We’ve all seen some pretty great, and some not-so-great speeches. Whether it’s a heartfelt speech from the Father of the Bride, or a lighthearted toast from the Best Man, wedding toasts are a great way to reflect on a couples relationship, and celebrate this new milestone in their lives.

However there is a lot of anxiety surrounding toasts. Some people get nervous speaking in front of large groups, some couples fear a long-winded speech by an overzealous relative, and some might be wary of the stories their friends might tell from their college years. We’ve seen a lot (and we mean a LOT) of great speeches, so we’re here to give you our tips on how to give the best wedding speech ever.

DO: Keep it short and sweet

We’ve all sat through long, longggggg speeches. We recommend keeping speeches under 5 minutes (max!). While it might not seem like a long time, most weddings have 4-5 speeches and listening to 30+ minutes of speeches brings the party to a halt. No one wants to see guests’ eyes glaze over as you enter minute 10 of your toast. Keep it quick, and then get to dancing!

Brooke Shannon Photography

DON’T: Forget to consult the couple

Most wedding are a family affair, meaning there will most likely be some older guests (hello grandma!) as well as some little ones. Before you decide to tell that story about the time you and the bride got a little too drunk, check with the couple before you add that to your speech.

Apollo Fotographie

DO: Talk about the couple

Don’t forget that the wedding is about two people getting married. Don’t only tell stories of you and the groom and forget to mention the bride at all. Tell a story with both the bride and groom, talk about their wonderful relationship, or what you hope for them in their marriage. Make it about both of them!

Eric Le Photography

DON’T: Wing it

Unless you are great at improvising, write out a speech. The couple will thank you for having something prepared – trust us!

Photography by Hok

DO: Come prepared

Make sure your speech with you before you head to the wedding (having two copies wouldn’t hurt). Speeches that are printed on paper or on note cards look best in photos. The glow from an iPad or phone is not flattering in pictures. Make sure you email a copy of your speech to yourself in case something happens to your paper copy! Your speech can be reprinted or read from a device in a pinch.

Nicola Leigh Photography

DON’T: Be afraid to say thanks to your guests

Some couples like to say something to their guests at the end of speeches. It’s a great way to say thank you to all the people who have traveled to see your big day. Don’t be afraid to jump up to say a quick thank you to everyone.

Janine Licare Photography

DO: Hire a great DJ

We can’t stress enough how important having a great DJ is. Most DJ’s will double as your Master of Ceremonies (MC). They will make sure everyone who is giving a toast is ready to speak, they will double check on how to pronounce their names, and even give a couple tips on how to hold the microphone.

One Love Photography

DON’T: Forget to add some humor

Remember – toasts should be fun! Don’t be afraid to tell a light hearted joke or two. Have a cute and comical story about the couple? Now is the perfect time to share it.

Michelle Chang Photography

DO: Enjoy yourself!

Being asked to give a toast at a wedding is a great honor. Enjoy your time up there, and that you can be a part of the couple’s special day! Don’t forget to have fun!

Apollo Fotographie

"Madeline + Elliston Staff, We wanted to say thank you for everything that you helped with leading up to our wedding and for all that you did to make the day go so smoothly! We couldn't have asked for a more perfect day! Our guests had nothing but wonderful things to say about you and your staff. The venue was beautiful, the food delicious and the service excellent. We're so glad we chose Elliston for our wedding venue, and we can't wait to come back and visit for years to come!" - Jenn & Sam - July 15, 2016