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Customarily, the best man (or female honor attendant) is assigned the, sometimes daunting, task of preparing and delivering a small speech at the wedding reception, prior to the champagne toast. Since not everyone is comfortable speaking in front of large groups, this responsibility can be nerve-wracking for some. Whatever you do, withhold the temptation to assist the best man (or honor attendant) in this privileged moment – he or she will be fine.
Raise Your Glass to All
The champagne toast may be the perfect time to thank your groomsmen with the presentation of their gifts, and sharing your gratitude in front of everyone will only make it more special. The reception is full of ideas to inspire groomsmen gifts; bottles of fine wine, a CD of your favorite songs played at the reception or a gift certificate to a fabulous restaurant. Remember to toast your guests as well for supporting you and sharing in your special day.
Tips for the Perfect Toast
When writing a speech, several questions immediately come to mind:
Where do you begin?
Experience has shown that those toasts which are well-received are toasts which come straight from the heart. If you find you have nothing good to say about the groom, you shouldn’t be the best man and it would have been better to have graciously rejected the offer. If it’s too late and you need a fast speech by tomorrow, look into your heart and find something about the groom that can be construed as a good point. Dwell on it and you’ll be surprised at how much more likeable the groom can become. Think of examples that support this positive side of the groom and, before you know it, your speech has been written.
Knowing what is appropriate to say, regarding former girlfriends and past examples, really depends on the groom, his family, and his future in-laws. Know your audience. Be polite and circumspect. If you want to be funny, use ‘safe’ humor. Reserve off-color jokes for another time. If all else fails, write a speech and read it to the groom’s mother. If she approves, you should be in good shape.
Some people really know how to ramble while others can talk for hours and it seems like minutes. If what you have prepared is truly meaningful and not redundant, your toast should include what you believe is necessary to give the groom a good rap. Unless the reception hall has a very limited timeframe reserved for your party, don’t worry about the time. And, if you can memorize some of it, your audience will be more likely to listen and enjoy your words.
REMEMBER: Don’t try to be funny. If something unexpected happens, go with it – you’ll be surprised how funny real life can be.