If you have to make a wedding toast for your best friend, and are shaking in your boots.. Here are some great tips for making a toast that will be remembered:
1. First off, you should thank the guests for attending this special day. Make sure and thank the hosts of the wedding as well. This is a great ice breaker, and will help you feel a bit better about your speech.
2. Then introduce yourself. You make think this is silly, but not everyone at this wedding is going to know that you were "Tom's" best friend since grade school. There will be people there, that are guests of the guests.. And you don't want them yawning or wondering "who is he"? Make sure you explain what relationship you are to the couple, whether you are the best friend of the groom or the bride.
3. Most important, keep it clean, and keep it light and keep it short. You don't want people yawning and looking at their watches, as you bring up things you got up to as kids all the way up to high school and beyond.. Depending on how many wedding toasts there are to be. Keep any jokes light, remembering that there are most likely kids in the audience. This is not the time to bring up the most embarrassing moments from when you were 5 years old, unless you feel they will bring a few chuckles, and not at the expense of your best friend. Remember this is their day, not yours, and you do not want to take the lime light away from them.
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4. But it doesn't hurt to throw in a funny memory or two. Just keep it light and simple, and then let them know just how much they have meant to you over the years. Everyone loves to hear a bit of "juice" on the bride or groom, but you can ruin a good relationship, if you reveal truly embarrassing moments. Funnily, the worst wedding toasts are quire often remembered the most. They just don't seem to go away!
5. DON'T DRINK BEFORE YOUR WEDDING TOAST!! This is really important. Many people who are a bundle of nerves before a speech, may drink too much thinking it will calm their nerves, but it will have the opposite effect. You may drone on, or get too emotional, and turn into a blubbering idiot at the expense of your best friend, who may not be your best friend after that day!
Raise a glass at the end of your wedding toast or speech, and then that signals to everyone that you are done talking.
There is a lot of pressure and expense on weddings these days, to turn out perfect. The Bride and Groom may have spent months organizing this day, and the one thing they cannot control, is the wedding toasts. Some weddings are forgoing them all together for the uncontrollable damage that can be done, if the best man or maid of honour or parent says the wrong things.
So, do them a favour, and be honoured that you were asked to be best man or maid of honour and give a nice speech, one that makes them look good. If you are really nervous, then just jot down a few things you like about your friend, and turn it into two short paragraphs, then memorize it the best you can. Although it is OK, to have a cheat sheet with you when making the speech. You don't want to scare the audience with a 5 page novel for your speech, you will lose their attention quickly.
If everyone kept their speeches, simple, and sweet, then the audience will appreciate the newly wed couple, and then they can get on with the celebrations. Nothing worse than sitting through 10 speeches that are novel in length, even the bride and groom can only listen to that for so long!