bride laughing during maid of honor toast

The Keys To Great Wedding Reception Toasts

What You Need to Know Before Clinking Glasses

Wedding Reception Toasts 101

Think about the best wedding toast you’ve ever heard…

Chances are there was nothing especially extraordinary about the toast itself, but the warm emotions that it stirred have had a long-lasting impact. This clearly illustrates the purpose of a wedding toast: to be simple, charming, and sentimental, all in honor of the lovely couple that’s about to spend the rest of their lives together. So whether you’re giving the wedding toast or anticipating them at your reception, here’s everything you need to know. Consider this your Wedding Reception Toasts guide!

Who toasts the couple?

A toast is usually given by the best man and maid of honor. If you choose, the parents hosting the event may also give a toast. Many couples will also give a toast to thank their guests for joining them. Of course, it’s your reception, so anyone of your choosing is acceptable as well. Create a timeline of who will be toasting and when. Consider how long your guests will be asked to listen to well wishes and how the toasts will impact dinner service. Your wedding DJ will act as the MC to introduce each speaker and keep the timeline moving.

Rehearsal Dinner Toasts

  • The groom will typically give a toast if the bride and groom or the groom’s parents are hosting this event. He should express gratitude for the rehearsal dinner and excitement for the wedding day.
  • The father of the groom also gives a toast at the rehearsal dinner. It is one of well wishes for the couple and joy of the bride joining his family. The parents of the bride do not usually toast at the rehearsal dinner unless they are contributing to the cost. The father of the bride usually toasts at the wedding dinner however.

Wedding Reception Toasts

  • The maid of honor and best man will usually give a toast before dinner service begins.
  • The father of the bride will often give a welcome speech before toasting the newlyweds.
  • The groom, bride or both may toast their guests and each other if they like.

FACEBOOK LIVE: What NOT to Say During Your Wedding Toast

When do toasts occur?

Most receptions follow a similar timeline of grand entrance, cake cutting, and toasts before dinner service begins. This allows your guests to focus on the messages without the distraction of wait staff. However, toasts can occur at anytime during the reception, between courses, after the meal – it’s your choice. In formal wedding ceremonies, toasts are given immediately following the meal, before the first dance as husband and wife.

Be sure to share your timeline with your vendors, such as photographers and videographers, so they are prepared to capture these great moments.

CLICK HERE: The Ultimate Wedding Planning Timeline

What is toasting etiquette?

The toaster should stand during the toast. The bride and groom remain seating during all toasts. At the end of each toast, the bride and groom should smile and say thank you. Applause is not necessary.

If you will address your guests, both the bride and groom stand, regardless of which of you is speaking. It is acceptable for you to each address your friends and family.

What to say and how to say it?

Toasts should be fun and for public consumption. If you wouldn’t say it to Grandma, don’t say it in the toast (Grandma is likely seated at the first table).

  • Keep it brief. Make the message heartfelt, but brief. You can always expand on your wishes on the wedding video. Listeners start to tune out after two minutes.
  • How to begin. The MC will introduce you so it isn’t necessary to restate your name. You can let everyone know your relationship to the couple.
  • Be original. Sure you can google wedding toasts for inspiration, but does that really say what you want to? A few heartfelt statements, a wedding quote or joke, or a personal memory can be a great foundation to get you started.
  • Focus on the couple. The toasts should mention both the bride and the groom, not focus on one exclusively.
  • Raise your glass. Remember to invite the listeners to toast the couple at the conclusion of your toast.

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