Contrary to belief starting out a wedding toast with the dreaded-over-used-line “For those of you who don’t know me” is not the best way to start a toast.
More than likely the DJ or MC has JUST told everyone who you are before they handed you the mic 😉
After attending over 400 weddings I have witnessed some of the best, emotional, hilarious, Oscar worthy toasts. But at the same time I have also witnessed some of the worst, make your squirm in your seat, you can hear a digital clock tick ones as well.
Here’s a collection of some advice I have wrote down over the years to help spare your audience dying of second hand embarrassment.
If you really want to “introduce yourself” you can always start off with
“Hi everyone! My name is _____________ and I am (insert who you are speaking on behalf of’s name) brother/sister/cousin/best friend/etc. I have known them for_______ etc”
Determine your “must haves”.
For instance, is there a particular memory you have with the bride or groom that you definitely want to share with wedding guests? Or maybe you were there when the bride and groom met and you want to tell your side of the couple’s story. Determining your must-haves before you begin writing will guarantee you don’t forget to feature them. Not to mention, it will keep you from going off track when it comes time to put pen to paper. If you’re having trouble narrowing it down, keep this in mind: it’s much better to have one or two epic stories than a mix of mediocre ones. Don’t be that wedding party member that goes on and on about memories and “funny” inside jokes you have with your friend that just got married (no wedding guest wants to hear it, trust me on this one). Instead, tell one or two really great stories that portray your friendship and then move on to the relationship of the bride and groom. Too many wedding party members make the mistake of making their speech all about them and not enough about the couple they are supposed to be celebrating.
Don’t be predictable. Chances are you and your best friend didn’t cross paths in some epic way (especially if you’re family), so skip the generic “this is how we met” story. Instead, dive right into a funny/crazy/holy s*$&! moment to get the crowd’s attention. And don’t be boring with your finale either. No generic “cheers to the happy couple”, we know you can do better than that. Your goal should be to receive a standing ovation, not a polite golf clap. Also, stray away from the cringe worthy sayings like “place your hand on top of so-and-so’s this is the last time you will ever have the upper hand!” or “may the only ups and downs you have be between the sheets”. No one thinks thats funny and have heard it a million times. We are going for epic here- not forgettable.
And one more thing, I feel its weird I would even have to say this but….
DO NOT EVER and I mean EVER bring up past relationships… You would not believe how many wedding speeches have something along these lines in them…. Just dont… ever. Please and thank you.