Tips for Making a Reception Toast
Heartfelt words, shared by special family and old friends, are a vital part of every wedding reception.
Minimise the inappropriate jokes and awkward moments with some of these tips and tricks.
Choosing your MC:
Your MC could be a friend, family member or a hired professional. Choose wisely!
Look for someone who is entertaining but not crass.
Make sure they’re comfortable gently wrapping up an overly long-winded speech
in order to keep the evening moving along.
Check that your MC knows how to pronounce all names correctly.
Ensure your MC has a detailed, written, timeline for the evening.
Writing your own speech:
Write, and rehearse your speech well before the wedding day.
Be familiar with it, but speak from the heart, rather than directly memorise it.
Don’t think you’ll be able to just stand and deliver a perfect and appropriate speech off the cuff
– it very rarely works! So practise in front of the mirror. Record yourself and listen to how you sound.
And practise again!
Google will provide loads of inspiration and instruction. Use it.
But don’t use a ‘canned speech’ – one taken word for word from the Net.
Chances are half the guests have already heard it!
Pick a theme for your speech so that it flows. Eg:tips for married life.
Stand up while speaking, even if it’s a small group.
Identify yourself: “I’m Jeff, the grooms big brother …”
Keep it short and sweet. Aim for 3-5 minutes maximum.
Aim for: a childhood memory, a laughter moment, an ‘awwh’ moment, and a wish for the bride and groom’s future.
Be polite and sincere.
Keep it classy. Never use humour that would offend your grandmother!
Vary your pitch, tone and metre, to make it interesting to listen to.
Project your voice and speak slowly and clearly.
Never have more than one drink before you speak – keep sober! Be the best version of yourself.
Wait until everyone has a drink in hand before you begin your toast.
Hold your glass at the ready, but wait until your last sentence before you raise it.
Face the person being honoured by the toast. Look them in the eye.
Close with class – a tribute to your honoured guest.
Raise your glass and finish the toast with a closing statement, such as:
“Here’s to Adam & Amy.May they have a long and happy future.”
Punctuate the toast by taking a sip of your drink, which is a signal for other guests to do the same.
Winston Churchill is quoted:
A good speech should be like a woman's skirt:
long enough to cover the subject and short enough to create interest!
Rules are there to be broken, for sure.
But if you’re sticking with tradition, wedding toasting goes something like this:
Father of the Bride:
welcomes the guests; welcomes his new son-in-law to the family;
talks about his daughter; toasts the bride and groom.
thanks father-in-law for his kind words; acknowledges the bride’s parents;
thanks is own parents for their role in his life; thanks his wife for marrying him;
toasts the bridesmaids.
The Bestman, on behalf of the bridesmaids:
thanks the groom for his kind words.
He then reads messages from absent friends, and presents an entertaining and emotional speech.
welcomes bride into his family; thanks guests; shares anecdote about his son.
MC (or honoured guest):
toasts absent friends.