Wedding Toast Tips

Deliver a wedding speech that honors your friends on their wedding day

By Terrichele Bradley

Wedding toast by man
Photo by Michael Graham PhotographyBookmark and Share

The wedding toast is a time to express appreciation and offer well wishes. For the bride and groom to ask you to make a wedding toast is an honor. The thought of delivering your wedding toast at the rehearsal dinner or reception can be intimidating, but there are tips you can follow to make your wedding toast go smoothly.

During Reception

Guests normally focus their attention on the reception dance, dinner, and cutting of the cake. At the reception, make your toast either directly before dinner or immediately after the dinner plates are removed. Keep your reception toast short and formal.

Rehearsal Dinner

Traditionally, the groom's father makes the first toast during the rehearsal dinner because he is the host of the dinner. Rehearsal dinner toasts are less formal, and anyone can make a toast. If you are intent on doing more roasting than toasting, the rehearsal dinner would be a better opportunity than the weddin reception.

Prepare a Toast

Write down your toast and try to keep it under 5 minutes in length. Determine the message you want to convey to your friends and family. Focus on your relationship with the bride and groom and point out special memories that you've shared with them or the impact they have had on you. Remember that you can be funny without embarrassing your friends. In these situations, it's better to use humor at your own expense than at the expense of the bride and groom.


Practice your toast in a mirror or with a friend. Time your toast to make sure it is under the 5 minute mark. Rehearse your words aloud and not in your head. Don't worry about memorizing your toast; write it down on notecards if it will help you feel looser and more confident.

What to Drink

Historically, sparkling wine or champagne are a part of the wedding toast. Nowadays, couples may decide to have a signature beverage severed for this special moment. It is fine for you to make a toast with any beverage you have in your hand; it's more important that you remember not to drink much before you take the floor for your speech.

Keep Your Cool

Open your toast with a quick joke or pre-planned gimmick. Once you say the first few words of your toast, your anxiety should disappear. Remember to smile. If you get flustered or off track, don't be afrai to lose the speech and improvise a heartfelt toast to your friends.

Say Thank You

Your toast is an apporpriate time to thank the couple for their friendship and for including you in their special occassion. Your speech is also an opportune time to show your appreciation to the parents of the bride and groom for hosting the festivities.

Finish Strong

Finish your toast on a happy note. Mention one of your favorite quotes, offer advice and wish the couple a joyful future. Often times, people are so anxious to leave the podium that they forget to actually toast. Don't forget to raise your glass and invite other guests to join you in congratulating the couple.

About the Author

Terrichele Bradley is a freelance writer with experience in weddings publishing.

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The parents of the bride and/or groom are often asked to give a toast or say a few words at the wedding. Here is your chance to publicly offer good wishes to the happy couple.... Read More

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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