A Toast to the Happy Couple
You’ve made most of the arrangements and now it’s time to sit back and relax a bit, just to attend to the details. Let’s see… get ‘s best friend to make a heartfelt toast about the two of you and your future together. Uh-oh, isn’t this the best friend who decided a bordello would be a good wedding present for ? Maybe it isn’t quite relaxation time just yet.
How do you get best friend to buy in to maturity and forever love? Okay, maybe not that far, but just a little bit of decorum. After all, Great Aunt Gertie and Uncle Fred will be part of the audience hearing this toast.
There really is a light at the end of this tunnel – you have to put it into the capable hands of a group that started with a mission to teach everyone proper toasting. Toastmasters is not the same group that taught young men the fine art of toasting during the Roaring Twenties, but it still is a great starting (and ending) point for those faced with the task of preparing and delivering thoughtful and appropriate words at such an occasion as a wedding. Here is some expert advice from Toastmasters International about delivering a toast:
The purpose of a toast is to shine a gentle spotlight and pay tribute to the honored guest or event. Toasts typically proffer well wishes, good fortune, long life, health, happiness, sage advice or other positive thoughts. Composing a toast that is eloquent, poignant, whimsical and witty can be a challenge but worth every effort
Begin by introducing yourself, state your first and last name for non-family members, explain how you’re related to the guest of honor, then present the toast. Follow the three Bs for delivering a successful toast – be brief, be bold, be seated:
• Be Brief. “No toast except his own should last longer than 60 seconds” was Mark Twain’s golden rule. Keeping your remarks short gives your toast a greater impact and gets you on and off the stage more quickly. Well-crafted words and a succinct delivery will be appreciated by your audience and make your tribute more likely remembered for years to come.
• Be Bold. Stand proud and speak loud. Ensure that everyone in the room, including folks sitting in the back row, can hear your tasteful toast. Belting it out to the rafters may not be needed; a quick run-through before the crowd assembles in the room will help you gauge how far to project your voice. It can also help calm your frayed nerves and provide valuable practice time.
• Be Seated. When finished, sit down. Resist the urge to take a bow or return for an encore. Smile, nod and accept any applause or acknowledgements, then refocus the spotlight on the guest of honor.
A well-presented wedding toast will have every father of the bride raising his glass with glee and every mother dabbing her eyes – a true “tissue moment.” The following toast, which I wrote for my brother’s wedding, is simple yet heartfelt:
Your marriage makes a perfect start
For every life is a work of art
Paint a picture filled with bliss
Treasured in your lover’s kiss
Wedding vows are truly strong
May yours last forever long
Advanced speakers can add a humorous story about the guest of honor after they explain how they know the honoree and before the actual toast. I recommend avoiding dirty jokes and risqué stories. Veer toward the white wedding light with words that praise and inspire, and you’ll never be seen in the Toasting Hall of Shame.