If you’re reading this, someone you love dearly is getting married and has asked you to give a heartfelt toast at their wedding! It truly is an honor to be tasked with such an important role on the wedding day, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t stressful. If you’re saying to yourself, “I have no idea where to begin with writing a wedding toast” you’ve come to the right place.
At our Massachusetts wedding venues, we host hundreds of weddings every year and have heard thousands of wedding toasts over the years. Whether you are the maid of honor, best man, a family member or a friend, it’s important to write a wedding toast that is memorable for such an important day in the bride and groom’s life.
Here are the essential do’s and don’ts you need to know when writing a wedding toast.
1. Have a Brainstorming Session
Writing an amazing wedding toast requires some planning. First, write down everything you adore about your bff, their new spouse, and your relationship with them. Reminisce on your most cherished memories together and how you could tie the traits you love most about them into these stories.
A great way to get your creative juices flowing is to look through old videos and photos you have together. This will spark some great memories that may be perfect to tell in your wedding toast.
It’s important to note the length of your speech during your brainstorm. You may have thousands of fabulous stories you want to touch on, but remember that too long of a toast can take away from the impact of what you’re trying to convey.
A toast length between 3-5 minutes is the sweet spot for having enough time to share all the good stuff, but still avoiding the chance of guests dozing off at their tables.
2. Create a Rough Outline
You’ve definitely heard this one too many times in school, but a great paper truly does begin with a strong outline. Although writing a wedding toast is a bit more exciting than a history research paper, an outline can help organize your ideas to create an incredible speech.
Here is a basic wedding toast outline we recommend:
- Start with an introduction. Include who you are, your relationship to the newlyweds, and a warm congratulations.
- Lead into a funny story with your friend. How does this story tie into your relationship and what you love about them?
- Get a little sappy. Here is where guests may shed a tear or two. Mention some of the qualities you love most about your bestie and your relationship. You could do so by telling a heartfelt story or touching on the impact they’ve had on your life.
- Now’s the time to hype up their spouse! What do you love most about them, and how have they impacted your bff for the better?
- Have some inside jokes or funny memories with your loved one AND their spouse? Now’s the time to talk about it.
- Close with a heartfelt message to the couple, and don’t forget to raise your glass for a toast!
3. Write, Revise, Repeat
You’ve thought of the best-of-the-best stories to tell, crafted a thoughtful outline, and procrastinated enough… it’s time to sit down and put that pen to paper… (or fingers to keyboard)!
If writing isn’t your strongest suit, don’t sweat it! Start by writing down everything and anything you can think of. Come back a few days later and start forming these thoughts into cohesive sentences. Try moving sections around to create a nice flow from idea to idea.
Repeat this process of writing and stepping away as many times as needed until you feel like the toast is the absolute best it can be.
4. Be Yourself!
Your bff doesn’t love you because you’re William Shakespeare, and they’re not expecting you to be! What makes a wedding toast great is that it’s genuine and showcases your relationship at its best. Your friend will know how much time and thought went into the speech and will love it more than you know.
1. Wing It
“Sometimes I’ll start a sentence and I don’t even know where it’s going. I just hope I find it along the way.”
These are the inspiring words of a wise Michael Scott, and as funny as his character on The Office may be, you definitely don’t want this to be you on the wedding day! After writing your wedding toast, practice in front of friends and ask for some constructive feedback. The more prepared you are, the less stressed you’ll be, and the more you’ll be able to kick back and relax on the big day.
2. Tell Any Risque Stories
A wedding day is a happy day, and your wedding toast should reflect that. Keep your toast very light with warm memories and funny stories. Take into account what the person would want their family to know, avoid mentioning any touchy subjects, and WHATEVER you do… do not mention an ex!
3. Focus Too Much on Yourself
There may be a million ways your friend has supported you throughout your relationship, but try to keep the focus of your toast on your bestie and their spouse — what are your favorite qualities about them, why do you love spending time with them, and what are some of the incredible memories you have with your friend that you want to share with the people who love them most?
4. Drink Too Much on the Wedding Day
This tip has less to do with the writing, and more to do with the day-of delivery. Wedding toasts typically occur directly after cocktail hour, so this might be something to keep in mind before telling the bartender to pour you another! Although a little liquid courage may help to ease the nerves, we suggest keeping the drinking to a minimum before your toast and save all the fun for the dance floor.
5. Stress Out!!
Public speaking can definitely be an anxiety inducer, but try your best not to let your nerves take away from your overall happiness on the wedding day. Stay in the present throughout all the exciting moments and take it all in. You’ve practiced your toast time and time again. Now is the time to relax and enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime moment with your bestie. And at the end of the day, all eyes will be on the newlyweds. As long as you try your best and make a thoughtful effort, everyone will remember your speech as being amazing.