Let's face it, giving a wedding toast as a guest is a tricky task. It can be pretty hard to decide whether the speech should be traditional, overly sentimental, humorous, or out of the box. Mostly it depends on the happy couple's preferences and what they are like as people. Though you may not be the greatest public speaker, the key to success is being sincere and staying true to yourself. So what should one do to make a good impression? Just follow these simple rules we've picked for you. They will help you to make the perfect wedding speech and deliver it flawlessly.
So what exactly is a wedding toast? Toast is an integral part of the reception. It's an opportunity for friends and family to express in words their joy as they see the newlyweds making a union. The toast should be simple and sweet. Traditionally, the speech consists of a quick introduction of yourself (surely, for some guests, you will be a new face), your memories related to the couple, and most importantly, heartfelt congratulatory words. Plan everything you want to say a few weeks beforehand and don’t forget to rehearse. Practice — makes perfect!
Brevity is the soul of wit
Keep it short! Your speech shouldn’t be long, as it may bore the people around you and the newlyweds. Plus, you are not the only one who will be given the mic — be mindful of other guests. The perfect toast may be the simplest. Moreover, simple toasts in some cases are considered to be more impactful and appropriate. One or two minutes is enough to give a memorable and sincere toast that will take a spot in the newlyweds' hearts.
Use Humor Responsibly
A little bit of humor will make your toast more entertaining and engaging. However, there are things to consider beforehand. The wedding guest list usually includes multiple generations of family and friends of the couple, so avoid telling inappropriate jokes and keep all personal stories in good taste. Forget about innuendos, inside jokes, and crazy exes — else you may ruin the mood of the celebration and embarrass yourself. What is worse, it can damage your friendship with the couple. The best way is to balance humor with something emotional to provide depth.
Speak to both halves of the couple
Marriage is the union of two souls, so it’s important not to alienate either of them during your speech. You know one half of the couple much better than the other? That’s not the reason to ignore the other one. Remember that you are celebrating a couple's relationship together and not your relationship with one of its halves. Talk not only about the bride or groom but find words for both. By doing so, you will show how respectful, loving, and caring you are. Wish the couple a happy future together, offer your personal advice and finish everything with an inspiring quote from a movie, book, or song.
When all eyes are on you, it’s natural to feel nervous. Try to embrace the jitters and release your mind from intrusive thoughts. Other guests are as nervous as you, so there’s no point in blaming yourself if something doesn’t go smoothly. Forgetting a good half of your speech or pausing is not a crime. Everyone faces such challenges once in their lifetime. As soon as you are ready to deliver your toast, stand tall, take a deep breath, forget about the crowd and speak directly to the couple. It’s okay to use flashcards or read from a piece of paper if you are nervous — neither the newlyweds nor their guests will judge you.
Do not push yourself to look like someone you are not. Embrace all your flaws and speak from your heart — this will make your toast ten times better and sound more sincere. While delivering the speech, make sure to smile. A great and open grin will reflect all the love in your heart.