Great Wedding Toasts: Tips & Examples

Just like great weddings, great wedding speeches don’t happen by accident. They require plenty of planning and preparation. While it’s possible to “wing it” when it comes time for the toast, the speech is likely to be much better with some thought and preparation.

Ask In Advance (Brides & Grooms)
If you are a bride or a groom, be sure you ask your maid of honor, best man, or anyone else who will be speaking, well in advance. This seems like common sense, but I’ve deejayed several weddings where the people who were slated to give a toast only found out earlier that day. Instead, give them at least a week to prepare.

Use Humor Appropriately
You may have seen videos or even attended a wedding in person where a toast was uncomfortable and awkward because of inappropriate jokes. It’s okay to be funny, and personally, I always enjoy speeches that include humor; however, use good taste. Especially avoid talking about past relationships/ex’s, telling embarrassing stories, and using profanity.

Write It Down
There’s nothing wrong with writing out your speech or at least making notes on note cards. If you are the type of person who is generally nervous about giving a speech, you’ll be thankful to have some notes to help guide you through rather than trying to remember everything you want to say. Even if you decide not to use notes, writing it out ahead of time will help you craft a better speech.

Practice In Front Of Someone
Whenever I am about to present something for others to see or hear, I usually try to use my wife as the test audience. I’d much rather hear it from her in private if something isn’t quite ready to be presented than to have awkward moments in front of a large audience. If possible, try to find a friend or family member that you can rehearse in front of. Not only will they be able to let you know if the speech is worthy of giving, but it will help you get more comfortable with giving it in front of people.

Keep It Short
Most wedding toasts are about two minutes long, which in my opinion is a great length. If your plan is to “wing it,” it’s probably best to keep it even shorter and sweeter.

It’s Okay To Pause
I’ve heard a few speeches where the speaker was a little nervous and had lost his place. Rather than taking a moment to gather his thoughts, he decided to keep rambling. Doing so made the speech sound much more awkward than if he had simply taken 3 to 5 seconds to collect his thoughts, find his place, and then continue.

A Few Examples

Take a listen to three sample speeches on the Media page of my site. You will hear some fantastic toasts by the maid of honor, best man, and father of the bride.

Closing Remarks

Keep in mind that there is a good chance someone may capture wedding toasts and speeches for future listening or viewing. For example, I record the toasts for all of my clients as part of their DJ package and send them a copy on CD. That said, you’ll be doing yourself a favor by following some of the tips above, so you can be proud of your speech rather than embarrassed or regretful. Happy toasting!