Soiree Special Events

Friday, December 21, 2007

Soiree Classroom: How to give a wedding toast

Have you ever been asked to be a maid of honor? Or perhaps a best man? If so, you know how daunting the task of writing a toast can be. It's very important to write it in advance, though....I can't tell you how many best men decide to 'wing it' then stumble through and end up with something very generic ("I love you both. Congratulations!").

Oftentimes at weddings, these toasters will tell me (doe-eyed) that they haven't written anything and don't know what to say. Of course we do our best to help in any situation, so I usually rip off a page from my workbook, grab a pen from my pocket, and walk them through it. Here's the advice I dish out to nervous toasters:

1. If there is no wedding planner, introduce yourself to the DJ or bandleader and find out where he wants you to stand. Check with the photographer, too. Remember step 1 from the cake cutting lesson? Think about the background that will be in all your photos. If there is a planner, they should tell you these things.

Lori's grandfather didn't think about the DJ when he cut the challah:2. Think ahead and bring your champagne glass. Set it down nearby if you have too many things to hold.

My brother somehow managed this:3. Hold the microphone UP TO YOUR FACE. One of my biggest pet peeves is when toasters hold the microphone near their waist and expect it to pick up their voice.

My dear grandad wasn't aware of #3:Jessica's mom did a great job at #3:
4. Introduce yourself. A simple "Good evening. My name is John....Ben and Stephanie asked me to be their best man today and I am honored to be here."

5. Tell everyone how you know the bride and/or groom. "Ben and I attended middle school together. Mrs. Harrison's 7th grade history class was probably the most boring class I ever took, but I always looked forward to it since Ben sat next to me. He's been my best friend ever since and has been the closest thing to a brother I've ever had."

6. Explain how you met their spouse. "When Ben told me he met this really fantastic girl, of course I was skeptical. I didn't think anyone was good enough for my Ben. However, a few weeks later I had the chance to meet Stephanie and I could truly see why Ben was so excited."

7. Describe why they are better as a couple then they are as single people. "Ben is the kind of guy that is always trying new things and pushing the envelope. Stephanie is a perfect complement...always smart and practical about things. They bring out the best in each other and really do make a perfect couple. I'm so happy they found one other -- it was meant to be.

8. If you have a humorous story, make sure you give enough background but keep it concise so it's funny without being too long. AVOID jokes about past girlfriends, drunken nights, or anything related to the bachelor party.

9. Speak directly to the bride and groom. "Ben and Stephanie, you both have been great friends to me and have set a wonderful example for me and my wife, Judy. I wish you all the happiness in the world together."

10. "Cheers"

If you're too lazy to write your own toast, you can pay The Perfect Toast $155 to write it for you!

Special thanks to Rodney Bailey, Linda Wallace, Roman Grinev, & Marilynn Spindler of Sandi Foraci Photography for the photos in this post.

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