The wedding toast is one of the most important moments of the night. You want guests to remember a grand celebration of the newlyweds and not a bad speech.
I’ve gathered the best toast ideas for weddings and a few related wedding products to set you up for success!
A brief history of wedding speech traditions
Wedding toasts have been performed since the Greeks and Romans started the tradition. They would raise glasses to drink to the couple’s health and to honor their gods.
Long ago a spiced piece of toast was placed in drinks to improve the flavor of the alcohol. This is the origin of the word “toast.” The tradition is still followed in France!
Who does the toast at a wedding?
Traditionally in the U.S., the best man and maid of honor give speeches at the reception. However, close friends of the couple, their parents, or even the couple themselves sometimes lead the wedding speeches at modern weddings.
How to write a toast for a wedding
The average guest size for weddings this year is projected to be about 129 people. Prepare yourself to speak in front of a larger crowd with a few wedding speech ideas and helpful advice!
Browse these tips to create the perfect heartfelt wedding speech:
Not all the guests at the wedding may know you. It is important to state your name, tell them briefly who you are, and describe your relationship to the couple. Your stories will hold more weight and your jokes will land much better!
Tell a story about the couple
Talk about the first time you heard they were dating, a sweet moment you witnessed or their engagement. Feel free to crack a few mild jokes but keep it sincere! This moment is about love and the bond between the married couple.
Add a meaningful saying
Put more substance in your speech by quoting something in popular culture that relates to the couple or their relationship. Don’t be afraid to cite scholars, artists, media or religious texts if appropriate!
Add a popular Irish wedding toast to make your speech even more memorable. An Irish toast is a saying of special blessings or prayers for the couple.
Keep it under 5 minutes
Guests are there to celebrate the couple, but they don’t want to hear every detail of their lives. Since toasts are often made prior to dining, your guests will be eager to dig in. Don’t make them wait.
Make it a short wedding speech if you want to keep everyone happy!
Put it on paper and practice
You want every word of your wedding toast to be meaningful. Make notecards of your speech and keep them close by to stay on topic.
Prepare for your toast ahead of time by saying it a few times in front of the mirror or to someone else. Your speech will come out smoother and you’ll be less likely to mess up. Plus, you’ll build confidence and feel comfortable when the big day comes!
What you should not say in a wedding toast
Some things are better left unspoken, especially when addressing a crowd of mixed ages and genders. The last thing you want to do is offend anyone, especially the bride and groom!
Here are a few bits of advice on what to avoid for the best champagne toast! Knowing what not to say will keep guests engaged and avoid wedding drama.
Don’t lose your audience
Inside jokes are funny for those involved in the story but others might be confused. Keep things general so everyone understands what you’re talking about and no one feels left out.
Keep it clean
Weddings are often family events with children and grandparents. Leave inappropriate or shocking stories and comments at the door. This includes jokes about the wedding night or marriage.
Focus on the couple
Don’t talk too much about yourself and steal the spotlight. It’s OK to talk about your relationship with the couple as long as you aren’t the focus of the story. Make your wedding speech about the newlyweds and their life together.
Don’t mention the exes
Past relationships of the bride and groom have no place in a wedding toast. Wedding speeches should focus on the couple’s loving relationship, happy moments and bright future.
Speeches are better sober
A little liquid courage may be tempting but drinking too much can ruin your speech. It also could prompt you to say something you and everyone else will regret! I recommend waiting to drink after your toast.
Engage with your audience
Don’t stare down at your notes or the couple during your speech. Look out toward your guests and project your voice. Glancing at the couple during special moments of your toast will have more impact!
Make sure your material is unique
Don’t repeat old and familiar stories that might lose the audience’s attention. It’s a good idea to check with other speakers before the event to ensure your toasts aren’t too similar.
Wedding supplies for the big day
Make your wedding toast completely unique with custom drinkware from Totally Wedding Koozies! We have all types of wedding glassware such as cocktail glasses, beer glasses, shot glasses, wine and champagne glasses and more.
These special wedding favors can be used during the toast and taken home by guests to remember the special day.