Don’t Go Down In Flames Giving A Wedding Toast

Watching a TED video on what people fear most, it’s interesting to note that speaking in public ranks high on the list of people’s fears.  So if you’ve ever had the honor of being tapped to give a wedding toast at a friend’s wedding, don’t think of it as a death sentence.

Toasting flutes for a more elegant wedding toast

Who gives the wedding toast speech?

The best man and the maid of honor, and the parents, and chosen family members or close friends are invited to give a toast. Parents who foot the bill are also the host of the event and should thank and welcome everyone. The best man’s speech is an old tradition, while the speech from the maid of honor has worked its way into the celebrations in recent years.

On the day itself, right before you open your mouth, you’ll experience tremors running up and down your spine. You’ll be beset by a coughing fit, and find yourself breaking out in a cold sweat. The feeling that you’re falling off the face of the Earth is real. But not to worry, these are normal, anxeity-driven reactions.  If this is your first time giving a speech, the added pressure from the expectant faces looking at you can become overwhelming, and the funny wedding speech you’ve written and practiced flies out the window.

What should you do? First, release that death grip on the microphone. Take a slow, deep breath.  Let it out evenly, and do it again. Ok? You might lose your mind for a moment but there’s a way to get your groove back, but only if you avoid blurting these lines, which you should never say when making a wedding toast.

The Drunken Best Man Wedding Toast or The Drunken Maid of Honor Wedding Toast

You’re the best man and you say:

“I’m so drunk right now, why I remember the time the groom and I ended up_________(insert risqué behavior)

You know the drill. Digging around for embarrassing memories cuts both ways. Said memory is considered funny if and only if  it’s adorable and draws out coos of endearment because it’s cute, like the time you and the groom were in first grade and pranked your neighbour with 50 live fluffy yellow chicks  and got caught. And if you’re drunk, you have no business giving a toast.

The Funny Wedding Toast. Or Not.

“You stole my bride/groom.

Wedding toast jokes are great ice breakers and help you get rid of the last nasty bits of awkwardness. But if you’re like Mark ( Andrew Lincoln) in Love Actually who had been pining away for Juliet (Keira Knightley), a wedding toast for the love of your life and the love of her life can be the last straw. You can either fake it, or get weepy and all choked up, or go berserk, which is absolutely unoriginal. If you can’t handle the event, excuse yourself graciously from giving a toast. There’s no reason to salt your wounds yourself.

The “Let’s Talk About Me” Toast

“So I was this, but then I was that, and then I had an epiphany at an obscure location which I discovered through arcane methods of miscalculations, and I triumphed over the angst-ridden situation…

Don’t toast yourself, give a long winded self-introduction, and then talk about how great or how horrible your life is. A wedding speech for the newlyweds is a toast addressed to them, their parents, their special day, and your wishes for them. Your life story can wait another day. You, sir, are out for the count.

The Overtly Diligent Wedding Toast

“So, I have these notes here, (shakes paper in the air) from which I’ll read my wedding toast to the bride and groom!

Do not proceed if you’re this unprepared, or overly prepared. Nothing wrong with writing down your thoughts, but reading from notes? Big no. You’ll lose people’s attention instantly this way, and you end up sounding robotic. People who succeed at wording wedding toasts know that the delivery plays a huge part, so keep it simple, spontaneous, and short. If it can’t be helped, jot down bulleted points as your guide.

The Wiley E. Coyote Versus the Road Runner Speed Speech

“Hi! I’d like to toast the couple, muffled buzzing fast forward sound, beep beep! Cheers!

It’s mighty hard to relax when you’re in the spotlight, but do your best not to zip through your speech, or mumble all the way across the desert planes of the Midwest at 200KPH. Of course, the number is just a conjecture since we haven’t clocked anyone’s mumblings at a wedding reception yet.

If you find yourself gasping for air, you’re speaking too fast. Stop. Speak calmly, enunciate each word. Pause between sentences and at appropriate times. When guests laugh at certain points, let the emotion settle before you plunge into the rest of your speech. You’ll get to the last word eventually, so try to enjoy the moment!

Not everyone gets asked to give a personal wedding toast, so consider this an honor and a service to a friend who’s counting on you. Granted, everyone wants to give an unforgettable and witty wedding speech that makes guests laugh, cry a little, and sigh happiness at the end. Be ssincere in your speaach,  and all will go well!

This list is by no means complete, so post a comment below, and let’s compare notes on which speech is totally off the charts! finds witty wedding speeches sexy, that’s why we’ve curated only the best wedding accessories such as fine toasting glasses for the discerning couple who knows not to hand over the microphone for anyone spouting nonsense!

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