A wedding toast is a speech given at a wedding ceremony. The toast usually comes after the couple has exchanged their vows, and before they cut the cake.
The toast is an opportunity for the bride and groom to thank their guests for coming to celebrate with them on this very important day. It’s also a chance for the couple to say something about themselves and how they met.
The married couple are not the only ones who give toasts. They can also be given by the parents of the couple, the best man and maid of honor, or anyone who would like to share a few words on that special day.
The Traditional Wedding Toasts
Wedding toasts have really evolved over the years. Traditionally, the father of the bride would toast to the happy couple. The groom would then respond to that toast, speaking on behalf of him and his wife, and then the best man would give a toast.
After this order, others could make their speeches, but traditionally, women wouldn’t get a word in!
Times Are Changing
Today, it’s not uncommon for a variety of people to give toasts. This can happen in any order that the couple wishes, but usually the father of the bride will begin.
It’s also common for the groom to go next. He’ll talk about himself, and then invite his new bride to do so. After all, she’s the one who will be spending the rest of her life with him.
It’s also acceptable for several others to give a toast after the married couple, and close family has. However, it is important not to have too many, as this may bore your guests.
This can happen in any order, but you might want to pick someone who hasn’t had much to drink yet, as they’re less likely to stumble through their speech (and say something the older family members will not appreciate!).
No matter who gives the toast, the point is to make sure that the couple gets to speak from time to time. If they don’t, it can leave a bad impression on your guests.
Wedding Toast VS Wedding Speech
While the two terms are used interchangeably, a toast is a short statement of well-wishes or thanks given, followed by raised glasses and a drink. A speech, however, is a long statement of acknowledgment given and is usually ended with a toast.
Nowadays, a speech and a toast are used in the same way. Selected individuals at a wedding give their speech and then signal to the rest of the guests to raise their glasses, toast to the happy couple, and have a drink.
What Do You Say in a Wedding Speech?
A wedding speech is a great opportunity to let your friends know why you think the couple should be together. It’s also a chance to show the couple why you’re proud of them.
You could also use the speech to express gratitude towards the couple. Maybe you’ve known them since childhood, or maybe you just feel lucky to have found such wonderful friends. Either way, expressing your appreciation for them is always appreciated.
If you’d rather keep your speech brief, you can simply say “I’m glad I got to meet you” or “Congratulations”.
Father Of The Bride Speech
The father of the bride has an important role during the ceremony. As the most senior member of the family, he’s expected to offer some words of wisdom and advice to the young couple.
He could remind his daughter of their shared history, perhaps telling the guests about when she was a child. Or he could share stories about his own parents and grandparents, reminding them of the importance of love and commitment.
He could also encourage the newlywed couple to enjoy their lives together and to take good care of each other.
In addition, the father of the bride often offers a blessing before the wedding begins. He says something like:
“May God bless this union, and may the happiness of this day never end.”
He will usually also thank the guests for attending, and welcome the groom into his family.
He should end the speech by toasting the newlyweds, and saying something loving and positive, wishing them a lifetime of happiness in their new adventure together.
The groom’s speech is another opportunity for the man to thank his loved ones for being there. He can tell them what kind of husband he hopes to become, and how he plans to provide for his wife and kids.
He could also talk about his own upbringing, and how he wants to pass those values on to his future family.
It is common for the groom to address his new wife in this speech, perhaps sharing his feelings for her and how they met. It is often common for some humor to be used here, maybe roasting his wife in a loving way (depending on the humor of the rest of the guests, especially her parents).
It’s also common for the groom to ask his guests to join him in raising a glass and saying cheers. This is usually how this speech will end.
Best Man Speech
The best man’s speech is traditionally delivered after the groom has finished his. He will also thank those who hosted and attended the wedding.
It is common for him to then focus on the groom’s character and personality, and give him a funny roasting or two.
He will then end the speech by giving a toast to the happy couple.
The bride will normally thank her guests for coming, thank those who helped organize, and thank her parents and or in-laws if they funded the wedding. She will also thank her bridesmaids.
Then, she will direct her attention to her groom, and perhaps share a romantic story, or funny anecdote about him and how they met.
Bridesmaids/ Maid of Honor Speech
The maid of honor speech is usually given by one of the bride’s closest friends. They’re typically chosen because they know the bride well, and are trusted members of the wedding party.
A maid of honor might choose to focus on the bride’s strengths, or on the qualities she admires most in her.
She might also talk about the bride’s relationship with her fiancé, and how happy she is that they’ve found someone special.
Then, like the best man, she may engage in some funny stories and poke some fun at the bride, or even the groom.
Following the pattern, she will then lead a toast to the happy couple, wishing them well.
Tips For The Smooth Running Of Wedding Speeches/Toasts
Weddings are stressful, and prior proper planning will help the day run smoothly. The same goes for the toasts and speeches. Here are some tips for making your speeches run smoothly:
1) Start early. If you are asked to give a speech, start planning it early. If you don’t start planning until just days before the wedding, then you’ll likely get stressed about what it is you are going to say.
2) Keep it short. The organizers are advised to allow time slots for each speech.
3) Be prepared. Make sure you have everything written down in advance, and practice delivering your speech out loud.
4)Communicate with the other speech givers, see how they are ending their speech and try to make sure the start of your speech follows on nicely.
5) Have fun!
In summary, wedding toasts/speeches should end with a lovely statement wishing the new couple well, and then signaling to guests to raise a glass.
While traditionally only certain members would give speeches, nowadays, you can have whoever you like giving a speech.