What are you meant to say in your wedding toast?

You’ve been bestowed the honour of giving a toast at a wedding – cue the freakout! While standing up in front of a room full of people is not the idea of fun for a huge percentage of the population, it is a job given to a select few at a wedding, so it’s time to embrace the role.

Traditionally, toasts were the realm of the men, with the best man, a father (or both), and then the groom addressing guests. But now the bridesmaids, mothers and even brides are getting in on the action and there’s no right or wrong order in which they should be given – although it is nice for the newlyweds to have the last say.

If you have been asked to step up to the plate on the big day, it’s best to start giving some thought early on about what you might say, so that you can have time to think a bit outside the box, dig through that memory of yours to find some fond ones you can share and perhaps even throw in a practice run or two in front of the mirror… or your cats… to get a feel for how it will flow on the day.

The average wedding toast does for between three and five minutes, but if the couple have chosen quite a list of people to speak on the night, it’s best to keep it short and sweet.

What do you say?

Start by introducing yourself and your relationship with the couple. If you knew one before the other, you can weave in a story about how you met them and your first impressions when meeting their partner.

You can share your thoughts on how they seemed awkward at first, or how one had to work hard to win the other over, or even how they seemed to have an instant connection – but no matter how you choose to frame it, always keep it positive.

The next portion of a toast is usually dedicated to telling a story or two about the couple, or one of them. You can choose to be sentimental, inject some humour, or be serious (but not robotic-serious!!). Above all else, what you say needs to be appropriate to the occasion.

Toasts are generally wrapped by talking about the newlywed’s relationships and wishing them well for their future together.

Be yourself when speaking! Don’t try to be a comedian if you are not normally a joker and don’t spout mushy poetry if you normally can’t stomach the stuff. The couple chose you because you are you – they don’t expect you to put on a show!