Delivering the Perfect Wedding Toast
Congratulations! You've been asked to deliver a toast at your best friend's wedding! First reaction: WOW, this is an amazing honor! When reality sets in: OMG, why are you doing this to me!?! It's a heavy responsibility, but your friend is counting on you to make that moment special. We've all seen a few great toasts, but many more bad ones... and possibly a few that were just cringe-worthy.
We'd like to help you out with a few tips to make the reaction to your wedding day toast look like the couple's below:
First the DO's:
DO: Remember, this is a toast, not a speech! Keep the focus on the occasion and the Bride & Groom!
DO : Keep it brief! A well delivered 3-minute toast is more memorable than 15 minutes of rambling about “that time we did that thing”. Leave them wanting more, rather than hoping you’ll stop soon. Aim for 5 minutes or less. If you are going to share a story, ask yourself first if this is a “you had to be there” kind of story…
DO: Speak loudly and clearly.
DO: Keep some note cards handy to help you keep your place. (But don’t stare at them, and for God's sake, put down that phone!)
DO: Be yourself. Be sincere. Be sentimental. Be funny. Be engaging.
DO: Smile! There will be photos of you!
DO: Bring your champagne or glass up with you. Do not forget to ask everyone to raise their glasses!
DO: Stand next to the Bride & Groom. This is important for photos. Do not wander away.
DO: Hold the microphone 1-2 inches from your mouth. It won’t pick up your voice at your chest. Pulling the mic away will only result in the DJ turning you up louder… which makes feedback more likely. Keep the mic at a steady distance and don’t move it. Hold it like an ice cream cone (just please don’t lick it!)
DO: Make eye contact. With the guests, with the photographer, with the Bride & Groom.
DO: End on a positive note! Cheers! (Raise glass)
DO: Pose with the Bride & Groom for a photo when you are finished.
Now the DON'Ts:
DON’T: “Wing it”. Prepare your toast beforehand and PRACTICE delivering it BEFORE the big day. Time yourself. Have someone critique you beforehand. (So the guests won't.)
DON’T: Hold your note cards or cell phone in front of your face. This makes for horrible photos. Also, in a dimly lit room, your cell phone lights your face up like a candle... it looks silly. Put the phone down.
DON’T: Be boring… Relax, smile, and lose the monotone voice.
DON’T: Be afraid of tears… They’re happy tears, and they’re sincere.
DON’T: Say anything you wouldn’t say in front of your own Grandmother.
DON’T: Drink too much prior to your toast. Alcohol may make you THINK you’re a better speaker (just like it probably makes you think you’re a better dancer), but slurred words and low inhibitions can quickly derail a toast.
DON’T: Be “That Guy”. You’ve seen him before. He didn’t read this memo.
DON’T: Open with, “Hi, for those of you who don’t know me…” if the Emcee just told everyone who you are.
DON’T: Bring out skeletons from the closet. Now is not the time to surprise anyone. Don’t talk about what either the Bride or Groom did in a past life (or at the Bachelor Party). The time to bring that up has passed...
DON’T: Propose to your significant other… Just. No. Not your day.
DON’T: Attempt a “Mic Drop” (unless you would like to purchase a newly busted microphone from the DJ).
DON’T: Wander too closely to the DJ speakers or point the mic at them. (Unless the sound of feedback is part of your spiel).
DON’T: Spit on my mic… Just. Eww. No lip contact please.
DON’T: Be nervous. This isn’t your inauguration. You are speaking to family & friends. They will not be critical of you if you are relaxed and speak from the heart.
DON’T: Forget to ask everyone to raise their glasses at the end!
DON’T: Walk away before posing for your picture and passing the mic back to the Emcee.
Let us help you with your big day by contacting us here.