The perfect wedding toast is a challenging but doable task. Public speaking in general, is an art form in and of itself. Wedding toasts can’t be too short (cheers!) nor can they drone on and on. It has to be funny but still sentimental. And so, if you’ve been tasked with toasting newlyweds, prepare to prep — and whatever you do, avoid these toasting faux pas!
1) Don’t be afraid to roast the bride or groom but know when enough is enough.
There’s a fine line between poking fun and being vulgar. So, don’t talk about how drunk they got at college and what trouble they used to get into. For starters it’s unoriginal, but mainly because grandma and the in-laws are in the audience too. You want the other member of the couple to feel touched emotionally, not embarrassed!
2) Don’t tell private jokes.
It doesn’t matter how funny you and five other of your friends think something is, if half the audience doesn’t know it, you’re excluding them and they’ll stop listening… and laughing, which equals awkward silences.
3) Don’t dwell on touchy subjects.
Avoid talking about differences in religion, race and especially exes. These topics are totally irrelevant to this day and it will make everyone feel super uncomfortable.
4) Don’t tell us how your friend is like your sister (Maids of Honor, this one’s for you).
We know you adore each other, that’s why she gave you the job. Tell us why you love her, why she’s so amazing and why she makes you laugh. If she has a sister who isn’t the maid of honor, don’t insult her.
5) Don’t just use adjectives to describe the person you are talking about.
You need to back up your descriptions with stories. The more specific you are the better the speech.
6) Don’t be overly sentimental.
Try for at least 70% humor and storytelling. When was the last time you left a wedding talking about an amazing speech that was all tears and ‘I love yous’? If you think back over all the time you’ve spent together you’ll find the juicy details about your friend and the humor.
7) Don’t speak for longer than 5 minutes.
It’s always better to leave the guests panting for more than wishing you’d stop.
8) Don’t get hammered at the open bar.
If a glass of wine or a shot of tequila gives you a bit of confidence then go for it. But no more than one until you’re done!
9) Don’t talk about yourself.
Yes you’ve shared hundreds of adventures with your best friend or sibling, but you are best man or maid because all those stories make you an expert on them. Look through your speech and count the ‘I’s.
10) Don’t let nerves get the better of you!
You’re about to deliver the best gift to your friend you’ve ever given them – it’s exciting and you should be looking forward to it. If you spend the whole speech freaking out, you’ll regret it afterwards and you only get one chance so enjoy every moment of it.