True story: my friend Suzanne once attended a wedding where the bride’s father raised a glass to the groom and said, She’s your problem now. Oops.
When it comes to wedding toasts, there’s a fine line between entertaining and embarrassing. A good toast is heartfelt, thoughtful and brief. Humour is definitely a bonus”but not the kind that will make the newlyweds (and everyone else in the reception hall) blush.
Here are five things to skip when raising a toast to the happy couple:
1. Ex does not mark the spot. You’ve heard it before and we’ll say it again: steer clear of the exes. Weddings are for celebrating the joy of the current union, period. Leave the past in the past and keep your speech focused on more recent history: the couple’s time together.
2. It’s now or never. So maybe it took the bride and groom a long time before they walked down the aisle. Perhaps they even left a trail of broken hearts and divorce papers along the way. A wedding toast isn’t the best forum for articulating your thoughts on the matter”especially if they run along the lines of I never thought you’d get married. Best wishes only, please.
3. What happened in Vegas stays in Vegas. Wedding toasts and loose lips definitely don’t mix, especially after that crazy bachelor or bachelorette party in Las Vegas (or other hedonistic locale). There’s no need to blab that the groom got a little crazy after 10 tequila shots, or how the bride dirty danced with the hot Chippendales dancer. Make sure your lips are a steel trap.
4. Skew money and baby talk. There’s no need to mention how expensive the wedding was or give the audience any Bridezilla or Groomzila anecdotes. If the couple are expecting, don’t single out the pregnant bride and talk about the shotgun wedding or the unplanned baby in the same breath. Instead, stick to positive subjects and share your sincere wishes for a happy marriage.
5. It’s not about you, it’s about them. Consider it an honour that the bride chose you as her maid of honour. But tempting as it is to talk about how she helped you through your failed marriage, a wedding toast is not the appropriate occasion for it. Instead talk about your experiences with her and her new husband: how they met, or how their relationship enriched each other’s lives.