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Tips on How to Make a Wedding Toast

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Being asked to speak at a wedding is an extreme honor; although, soon after the novelty wears off, the panic usually starts to set in. Just keep in mind, you were asked to speak for a reason, so you need to put your social insecurities aside and follow these six easy steps to ensure a slam dunk toast.  

1. Keep it short and sweet
That is why they are called toasts, not speeches. No one likes to be held captive listening to your thoughts on life and love, especially after their third martini.

2. Know your strengths
Not everyone is funny, and that’s okay. Your toast to the happy couple is not meant to be a stand-up comedy routine. It is your opportunity to wish them well in front of all of the people they love. That being said, do not fish for jokes by taking jabs at the bride or groom, “I am so glad Sally met Tom, because before him she really only cared about Mrs. Fields! Hellloooo Weight Watchers!” That is not funny, that is mean. If you are struggling for a tasteful chuckle, test out your toast on your mom or someone else without collegiate humor. If you see deadpan at any point in time, ditch the toast for something more charming and sentimental.

3. Avoid blasts from the past
Sometimes the past is better left exactly where it is … in the past. We understand that you and the groom knew each other way back when he had no respect for women. We understand that he has grown up and has now decided to settle down and marry. There isn’t one person in the room (including the groom) who wants to hear about his past exploits even if they came to a favorable ending—marrying his bride. So, if you want to ensure you will be invited to their first Thanksgiving, then focus on the happy times you have shared with the couple and what lies ahead for them.

4. Remember who the wedding is about
The answer is not you so keep the focus on the happy couple.

5. Remember this is a happy occasion
Not your dissertation, so make sure you smile and speak from the heart. Whatever you do, do not stand and read your toast. If that’s the case, it would be easier and more time efficient for you to go to Kinko’s make copies and pass it around (tacky)!

6. Remember you are “toasting”
So have a drink in hand and at the end ask everyone to raise his or her glass for the happy couple. Cheers!

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