Giving a wedding toast can be daunting, even if it’s to a couple you know very well. Heck, speaking in public can be nerve wracking. As someone who’s heard both long-winded toasts and touching speeches, below is some advice on giving a wonderful, memorable toast. Sample speeches are provided to get you started and inspired to share about the different people in your life, whether it’s a friend or family member.
Quick Tips to Get You Started On Your Toast
If you and your relation to the couple are not well known, introduce yourself and your relationship, whether you’re a friend, cousin, or aunt to the bride of groom. For instance, you could start with: “Hi everyone, my name is James Bird and I’m a friend from college to Brian.”
Next, compliment the ceremony by saying how wonderful the celebrations are, or how romantic everything is. You could say: “I am honored to be at such a wonderful union of my close friends Brian and Janine.” You could add a funny touch, if it’s your style, such as “The food is great!” A well-placed and meaningful quotation from an author or poet can also be added to your speech.
Think about the attributes of the bride and the groom. What are some things that make them individuals? What makes them a great couple? Think about the times you have spent with the couple, and ask others about their experiences with the couple.
Remember, people don’t like listening to facts. People respond to stories. Unlike facts, stories carry emotion and a logical flow from beginning to end. The stories can be funny, touching, or emotional. Just remember to keep the focus on the couple and not on yourself. This is their day to shine, and you’re there to support them on this big day.
When giving your speech, divide your attention between the audience and the couple. Smile as you speak the couple, as though you’re telling them an entertaining story.
Things to Avoid In Your Wedding Speech
Giving a wedding speech can be a sensitive subject, especially since it’s the couple’s day and there are a variety of people present, such as friends, family and family friends. Similar to keeping conversation light with strangers, don’t talk about topics that could alienate or offend, or are possibly controversial. Even a joke that mildly puts others down can be quite hurtful. Use your judgment in deciding what are appropriate jokes and run them by a couple other people first. Keep things positive.
Don’t talk about anything the couple confided to you. This can include plans for children, finances, etc. If you’re not sure, ask! Run the topic by the couple to see if they are okay with you disclosing the information.
Don’t talk about each couple’s romantic pasts with other people. Previous girlfriends, boyfriends and spouses are touchy and emotional subjects. The wedding symbolizes a fresh, brand new start for the couple to embark on their lives together.
Sample Speeches For the Wedding Toast
Below are some sample speeches, whether the person is a family member or friend. Although they are provided below, they should be used more as guidelines and inspiration rather than copied word for word. Each person’s relationship is unique; add your own experiences and touches to add that special touch.
Sample Wedding Speech For a Friend
Good evening everyone. My name is Alice and I’m a long-time friend of Georgina’s. I am so honored to be at this elegant ceremony celebrating this special day.
Georgina and I first met in tennis camp ten years ago and have been friends ever since. I remember the first time I saw Georgina at tennis camp. There I was, standing awkwardly in the corner and I thought to myself, “who is this superstar champion?” She was smashing serves left and right, leaving me dumbfounded. To my surprise, we became friends when she introduced herself afterward. Eventually, we started playing matches against each other on Saturdays and Mondays.
She would always win against me in tennis…well, I might have won a couple times myself. But I remember she would always be practicing whenever she could. It was her passion. More importantly, it was her character. Georgina, I have always admired your strength, persistence and intelligence to overcome any obstacle. You always push through the tough times and inspire others to achieve what they want.
Years later, Georgina introduced me to Bob. I didn’t know him very well at the time, but eventually got to know him better over time. I remember when Bob messaged me about a surprise party for Georgina. He wanted to throw a party to celebrate her graduation from English Literature, and gathered all her friends. We decorated her apartment with pictures of tennis stars and put up green balloons. Not only was Georgina ecstatic, but it also made me think. I thought to myself, “How wonderful that someone would take the initiative to give such joy to someone’s life. Bob understood Georgina as a person; her attributes, likes and personality.” Seeing the couple together, it is clear to me that Bob adores Georgina, and she adores him as well. In fact, whenever Georgina and I get together, she won’t stop talking about him!
I only hope that someday, I will be so fortunate to find someone who completes me as well as Bob and Georgina do each other. To the couple, a toast.
Sample Wedding Speech for a Family Member
Good evening everyone, my name is Joseph and I am the brother of Judy. It is so wonderful to experience such a touching ceremony. I will carry the memories of today as I remember such a wonderful union of two people.
When we were younger, Judy and I had many sibling rivalries. I would poke her with a pencil repeatedly and she would take my sweater in return. One day, our family went on vacation to Disney World. Like the other kids, we got pirate swords and paraded them around, having a blast dueling with our swords. Judy noticed a little boy crying nearby a store. “Wait,” she said. We stopped and watched as she walked over to the little boy, asking him something. She came back, holding onto the boy’s hand and told my parents, “This boy is lost. Can we take him to the lost and found?” After a chuckle, my parents went to look for a staff member. But I will never forget my sister’s kindness that day. The boy kept crying, so my sister offered her pirate sword to him. He was ecstatic. He and I duelled while my sister acted as a referee. We found a Disney staff and left the boy in his care, until the parents eventually found him.
My sister’s compassion and care shone throughout the years. She decided to pursue Nursing. The way she speaks and soothes patients is something that warms my heart as I think about it. I remember when one day she brought home John, who works as a technician at the hospital. I knew he was the one for her. They would laugh and joke throughout dinner all the time. More importantly, he would go out of his way to make her happy. She would buy him gifts spontaneously, and still does!
I am incredibly happy that my sister has found the perfect match, and look forward to having John as a brother. Cheers!
A Closing Note
Remember to focus on the couple and the individuals. Think about the times you have shared together, and what about the couple strikes you as something to mention. The speeches should act as a springboard for your own ideas and thoughts.
If you enjoyed reading this article, you may also want to check out Sample Funeral Speeches.