How to Write a Wedding Toast

What should you say -- and not say -- to the wedding guests

By Jonathan Croswell

bridesmaids toasting
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Whether you have been asked to give a toast or are choosing to give one of your own volition, a lot is riding on the words you deliver. The ideal toast is quick, funny, heartwarming and genuine. There's a safe and sure route to take when you are giving a wedding toast that will make guests and the married couple happy and guide you through potentially hazardous waters. Make it memorable, but for all the right reasons.

  • What You Need to Know
  • Be sure your toast opens with your connection to the couple and what kind of history you have with them.
  • Tailor your speech to how well you know the audience and the formality of the event.
  • Know the size of the room and the size of the audience, so that you can adjust your volume to a comfortable level.
  • Make a toast meaningful by imparting any advice you feel is worth passing along to the bride and groom.
Toasting Tips

Step 1:

Open your toast with either a quick story about the bride and groom or a brief introduction of yourself and your relationship to the couple.

Step 2:

Brainstorm a funny story or anecdote from your past with the bride or groom. This story should tie into the purpose of your speech, which is to praise the couple for being a good match and bestow your best wishes upon them.

Step 3:

Offer advice to the bride, groom or both, depending on your experiences with them and your closeness to them. If you're married, draw from those experiences, or forewarn one member of the married couple of some potentially aggravating habits the other possesses -- in a fun, lighthearted manner.

Step 4:

Offer thanks where it is appropriate. In addition to acknowledging the bride and groom for their friendship and inspiration, you should thank their families for hosting the wedding festivities.

Step 5:

Don't forget that wedding toasts aren't just speeches, they are "toasts." Before taking your seat, invite the other guests to raise their glass with you in honoring the newlyweds.

  • Tips & Warnings
  • Keep your toast to two to three minutes. Make it as quick and concise as possible.
  • Keep references to yourself at a minimum during the toast.
  • Do not make a toast that shines any light on any immoral behavior by the bride or groom.
  • Avoid any mention that takes the focus off the bride and groom. Do not bring up past relationships or bring up an old story about how you and the groom almost got into a "physical fight" on the playground.
  • If you know you're going to be giving a speech, keep your alcohol consumption to a minimum beforehand. If you weren't planning on giving a speech and have been drinking, it's probably best to save your speech for a better time.

About the Author

Jonathan Croswell is a freelance writer who has worked on regional wedding publications.

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Planning Reminder:

wine glass toast

Buy toasting glasses

Toasting glasses come in a range of styles and prices from Waterford crystal to simple stemware with pretty bows. If you plan to purchase them online, shop well ahead of your wedding to avoid paying extra shipping charges. Toasting glasses can also be found at boutiques and houseware stores.

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Wedding Glossary


A type of toast that consists of poking fun at the honoree.

View the Full Weddings Glossary
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