Wedding toasts can be touching, funny . . . or embarrassing. If you’re the best man, maid of honor, or have been asked to give a toast at a friend or family member’s wedding, you should prepare ahead of time so that your toast is memorable in the best way.
Take these steps to help you prepare a toast that celebrates the newlyweds and adds to the merriment of the wedding.
How To Write a Toast
Whether you give a toast at the rehearsal dinner or on the wedding day, follow these steps to write the perfect wedding toast! Whoever gives a toast can benefit from these tips.
Discuss your Toast with the Couple
Before you begin writing, check in with the couple to see what they’re looking for in terms of length, content, and themes. It is also a good idea to ask if there is anything they don’t want you to talk about, just to be sure that you don’t share any stories or personal details that they want kept private.
The wedding is all about the bride and groom; be sure to honor their wishes and give a toast that will make them happy. While you may want to give a funny toast, the happy couple may prefer that you keep it serious. Before you start writing, ask the bride and groom what is on and off-limits.
While it’s good practice to check with the bride and groom on what content is fair, you shouldn’t give away all of the details of your toast either! Get some information from them without letting them know what your speech is all about so that it’s still a special surprise on the wedding day.
Pick a Theme
Will your toast be funny? Anecdotal? Heartfelt? Figure out what kind of toast you want to give, taking into account what you’d be good at (not everyone is funny) and what you think the bride and groom would be happy with.
Once you know the general vibe of your toast (anywhere from funny to serious), you can hone in on a more specific theme. It might be tied into a story about the couple, or something about the journey of their relationship. General themes might be something along the lines of “love always finds a way” if they faced obstacles like long distance, “love at first sight” if they have an idyllic love story, and so on.
A toast theme doesn’t need a cute name like the last two examples – just have a general idea of the message that you want to get across in your speech!
If not everyone at the wedding knows you, it’s a good idea to introduce yourself and say how you know the happy couple. This is an easy start to your toast, and will set the context for the rest of your speech.
Introducing yourself is an obvious start. It might even inspire the rest of your speech – perhaps as the best man you’ll tell the story about how you met the groom and it will tie nicely into his relationship with his new spouse.
Setting the context for your relationship with the couple helps the wedding guests better relate to your toast, and it can help you get writing!
Tell a Story
Spend some time reflecting on your friendship with the couple and, if you can, think of a story that emphasizes their relationship and why they’re good together.
You may be closer with the bride or the groom, but try to make sure to include both of them. If you do share an anecdote, make sure it is appropriate and relate it somehow to their marriage.
An anecdotal toast is often the best kind, especially if you can tie the story into some message about the couples relationship or their future successful marriage. Consider stories about their first date, the first time your friend told you about their new love interest, or other stories that are emblematic of their relationship.
Keep in mind that you may have to curate your stories a bit to keep them appropriate and within the happy couple’s requested content.
If you’re having trouble coming up with a theme or a story to tell, it may be time to brainstorm. Use these prompts to try to come up with some ideas for your wedding toast!
- Your favorite memory with the bride or groom
- Your favorite story about the bride and groom’s relationship
- A story of how you met the bride or groom
- A story about how the bride and groom met
- How the bride or groom first described their new love interest to you
- Qualities that you admire in the bride or groom or in their relationship
- A story that best represents them as a couple
- Something the bride or groom taught you
- How you knew that they were meant to be together
- The story of their engagement
Focus on the Couple
Don’t make the speech about yourself. A wedding is about two people: the bride and groom (or the two brides or two grooms at a same sex wedding). It’s okay to discuss yourself in relation to the couple, but make sure that they are the focus, not you.
It’s also worth noting that your speech should be about both the bride and the groom. It may be easy as the maid of honor to give a toast to the bride, and for the best man to toast the groom. Even if you are closer with one member of the couple, be sure to include both in your sentiments.
Wish them Well
Your speech should end with a toast to the couple, wishing them luck in their marriage. This doesn’t have to be long, but you should be sincere in your well wishes when you raise a glass to the newlyweds.
Wedding Toast Writing Tips
Use these tips to improve your toast writing process!
Start Writing Early
Don’t wait til the week of the wedding to write your toast. Start brainstorming ideas early – if you’re the maid of honor or best man, you might even start coming up with ideas as soon as your best friend asks you to fill this role!
Don’t procrastinate if you want to give a great wedding toast. You want it to be unforgettable for the right reasons, not the bad ones.
Keep it Short
There’s no need to write a novel. Keep your toast short and sweet. No one likes a toast that goes on and on, especially at a fun wedding where guests want to hit the dance floor or move on to the next wedding reception activity.
Write Multiple Drafts
You don’t have to just write a single speech and stick with it. Write a few different versions so that you have options, and you can see which you like best. If you aren’t sure if you want to go funny or heartfelt, you could write both versions and decide which is better.
Practice Giving your Toast
Practice your speech ahead of time, maybe to a mutual friend to get a new perspective. They can help you identify any awkward moments or jokes that fall flat, or they may have ideas to improve upon your already great speech.
Bring notes the day of, because even if you do memorize your speech it’s a good idea to have prompts in case you get lost. Depending on how confident you are in your ability to memorize and give a speech, you can write out your whole speech or just write short prompts to keep you on track.
A notecard can also be helpful when giving a toast because it gives you something to do with your hands!
Wedding Toast Don’ts
There are some definite don’ts for giving a toast.
Don’t bring up their past relationships. It never works, and can often offend the bride, groom, or their family members.
Don’t tell inappropriate stories, keeping in mind the parents and older family members present. You want to present the happy couple in their best light on the big day, not make fun of them for a past mistake or rowdy night.
Don’t get too drunk before your speech. While liquid confidence may sound like a great idea, especially for nervous public speakers, it’s not. You don’t want to appear drunk or slur while giving a toast.
Don’t swear. It’s best to keep it clean during your toast. The happy couple likely have older family members present who may not appreciate foul language, and at the end of the day it’s simply better to give a classy, curse-word free wedding speech.
Raise your glass to the happy couple with the perfect toast! Use our tips, dos and don’ts to make the most of this chance to share your love for your best friends on their wedding day.
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