Saturday, August 13, 2011

Now Raise Your Glass...

The wedding ceremony was absolutely beautiful and the reception is going along fantastically. The MC has started to announce the people to make toasts. Oh no, what will he say? What will she bring up? How long is dad going to talk? These are some of the questions that may be going through your mind but can be handled with a little preliminary work. Toasts can be a very memorable part of the evening and you certainly don’t want it remembered as the time that the best man was too drunk or dad’s speech was 40 minutes long. Here are our top tips, you can share with your toast-givers, to guarantee a successful toast:

Don’t make it about you
You have been asked by the bride and / or groom to give a speech about why the wedding is happening and what makes it so great. The number one key to a successful toast is to make it about the couple you are toasting. Don’t talk about you, rather keep it focused on the bride and groom.

Save the Drinks Until Toast Time
This point seems quite obvious, but it is not. Wait until after your toast to visit the bar. Even if you are traditionally a fantastic speaker, slurring your words will certainly not impress the guests. Also, if one has had a bit too much to drink they may tend to ramble and repeat the same story, and they will not even know they are doing it.

Be clear and concisePrior to the big day decide upon three stories (Max!), and at least one good thing about both the bride and groom as individuals, and one of them as a couple, to incorporate into your toast or speech. The more these stories relate to each other the better.

Don’t get side-tracked
Stick with the pre-planned work you have done on the toast. Stay with the three stories and comments about the bride and groom. Sometimes when you are recalling memories they will lead you to more memories, which can lead to another story, and all of the sudden you are rambling and taking far too long to make a memorable toast. Since the wedding reception room is filled with family, older relatives, and close childhood friends, your toast should be PG or PG-13 rated. Steer clear of any topics that may offend.

Start preparing early
Type or write down your thoughts on the speech. By writing it down it will help you remember it better, and assist you in honing it down, and then it is quite easy to edit if needed. Also by writing it down you can practice in front of the mirror, or a loved one, to get more comfortable in delivering the speech.

Use your Speech 101 skills
All of us at one time or another in high school or college took a speech class. Now is the time to recollect and use those skills. Keep the toast short (3 minutes is a good starting point), keep it simple and keep the audience entertained. Make the guests understand why you were chosen for this special moment. Mixing in some humor and keeping it about the bride and groom is sure to be a winner.

Keep it real
The more true to yourself, the more the audience will be on your side. Some of the best speeches are two to three sentences, sharing a heartfelt congratulations and genuine wishes for full of love, because they were delivered with sincerity that you can see if their face or even hear in the sound of their voice. As long as you are comfortable in honoring the bride and groom this works best.

Have fun
Have fun but not too much fun. You want to deliver your speech fluently and clearly. You want to show emotion and sincerity and that can sometimes be difficult if you are having too much fun. It is a tradition and honor to be selected for this task, and should be given your full attention and regard.

Know that the actual purpose of giving a toast is to wish the couple happiness and blissful life ahead. Make sure you keep this in mind when you say your toast. Give your perspective of why that is the case and then you can gracefully make your exit to the bar.


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