Being invited to give a toast at a wedding is a huge honor. It’s a rare opportunity to show your love for the happy couple and make their big day truly special. A well-crafted toast will light up the room, eliciting laughs and maybe even a few happy tears.
Writing and delivering your own toast can be incredibly daunting, particularly if you’re not used to public speaking. However, with plenty of thoughtful preparation and a heartfelt approach, anyone can create a toast that the bride and groom will remember for years to come. Here’s how to write a wedding speech that both you and your loved ones will be proud of.
How to Write A Wedding Toast
It might feel tempting to wing it with your toast on the day of the wedding, especially if you’re not exactly sure what you want to say. However, writing your toast ahead of time will give you a helpful guideline to follow and minimize the chances of awkward stage fright. Here are some writing tips to help you get your thoughts organized.
Start with a brain dump.
Don’t worry about making your first draft perfect. Start by getting all of your thoughts out on the page and going from there. You can organize your thoughts however you like, whether that’s making a bulleted list or writing in a stream-of-consciousness style. Once you’ve gotten all of your ideas down, you can edit them in a future draft.
Keep things concise.
If your toast is too long, the other guests might lose interest or start to get distracted. Keeping things short and sweet will keep your audience’s attention and ensure that your words make an impact. After you’ve made your first few drafts, do an editing round to tighten things up.
Share special memories or stories.
To make your toast more engaging, share a specific story or memory you have of the couple that illustrates their personality or your connection with them. There are so many creative ways to highlight your bond, depending on your relationship with the couple. For example, a father of the bride speech will be very different than a toast for your college roommate.
Think back to when you first met them, or discuss a time when you knew their love was forever. However, you’ll want to avoid sharing any stories that could make the couple uncomfortable.
Focus on happy memories that highlight your loved one’s best personality traits. Be authentic and let your natural personality and tone of voice shine through in your writing. This is a time when it’s okay to get emotional - it will actually help your words resonate with the audience.
Avoid inside jokes.
While an inside joke might be funny to you and the couple, it will leave the rest of the audience feeling left out or confused. Stick to humor that’s more inclusive for everyone. In the same vein, you’ll want to make sure that your toast addresses both people getting married, rather than just the one you are closest to. Ultimately, this is a celebration of their love and their future, and your toast should reflect that.
Express your thanks and congratulations.
In the opening of your toast, make sure to thank the couple and anyone else who’s hosting, such as their parents or other family members. You’ll also want to offer a heartfelt congratulations at the end of your toast. Not only is this just good manners, but it also adds some structure to your toast.
Delivering Your Wedding Toast
Delivering a toast in front of a big crowd of wedding guests might feel a bit nerve-wracking, particularly if you’re not used to public speaking. Here are some tips to help make giving your toast a breeze.
Many people have a tendency to talk faster than normal when they’re feeling nervous. This makes it difficult for the audience to understand what you’re saying, and it is also a tell-tale sign that you’re feeling nervous. Take a deep breath and slow down, making sure to fully articulate each word.
Practice ahead of time.
Grab a few friends to test-drive the toast before the wedding. This will give you the perfect opportunity to practice in a low-stakes environment and get those jitters out before the big day. Additionally, your friends will be able to give you helpful feedback to refine the toast.
Have note cards with you.
Don’t feel like you have to memorize your toast ahead of time - it’s perfectly acceptable to use note cards to help guide your speech. Having note cards will help you get back on track if you lose your train of thought. Physical notes are a safer option than digital ones, as you don’t want to risk any unexpected technology issues.
Fake it ‘til you make it.
Public speaking doesn’t come naturally to everyone, and that’s okay. Remember that the couple and the audience are rooting for you to succeed, so take a deep breath, put on a smile, and just get started.
Final Thoughts on Preparing for the Perfect Wedding Toast
Giving a heartfelt toast at someone’s wedding is a memory they will appreciate for years to come. Be yourself and be honest throughout the toast - ultimately, your unique perspective is what will make the celebration memorable.
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