Your best friend, sister. brother, close cousin, etc has just been asked, or asked, the biggest question of his or her life. This leads to you being asked a pretty big question yourself. “Will you be my best man/maid of honor?” Your response is (insert your go to excited type yes). After the initial excitement the reality sinks in, that not only are you standing next to your loved one in something fancy, but that with great power comes great responsibility. Being the best person is more then fixing the dress or holding the rings. You have to give the toast.
After being at countless weddings I have heard plenty of toasts. Some have been great, some of been loooonnnngggg, some have be funny, some have made me cry, and some have made me never want to shoot another wedding for the rest of my life. As someone who has heard so many I think I can call myself somewhat of an expert on that makes a good wedding toast. So if you are freaking out or just want something to bring your toast to the next level. Here are my tips to help your toast one to remember and most important enjoyable…
Funny is good … Crude is not
I love a good joke, don’t get me wrong. But when you are speaking in front of your friend’s grandma it is not the appropriate time for penis and stripper jokes.
2. Know your audience
Public Speaking 101 is you need to know who you are talking to. If you are in front of your friends family who tend to be traditional and old fashioned it might not be the best time to write your speech to the beat of 99 problems by Jay-Z.
3. Keep “Pre-Gaming” at a minimum
I get it open bar is a great opportunity to enjoy cocktails at someone else’s expense, but try to keep the shots at a minimum until after the salad is served. Think about it, when you are in a wedding you barely get to eat before the reception. An empty stomach plus alcohol is a risky combination before speaking in front of 100+ guests.
4. Timing is Everything
One random fact about me is I love watching stand up comedy, and what makes a good comedian is timing. They get to the punch line in a way that entertains and is delivered at the appropriate moment. If the joke is too long or not developed correctly the audience is lost or bored.
5. Short and to the point is better than long winded and to the rabbit trail.
One thing to remember is that you are before the food. That is why wedding days are not the day to rewrite the Gettysburg Address. A wedding toast is just that a toast not an episode of This is Your Life. So unless you like making a ton of people hate you please keep that in mind.
6. Practice makes perfect
Yes I just opened up the cliche box and pulled that out, but it is helpful. Practice your toast on a friend that wont be there. This will give you great feedback and show you how people may respond.
7, Remember who’s day it is
This isn’t just your time to shine but the time for your loved one to shine. It is their day not yours. If you do a song do it because you know they will enjoy it, not because you want to go viral on Youtube. If you roast them make sure they are the kind of person who can take it.
8. Be Yourself
Your loved ones know full well what kind of person you are… They chose you knowing full well you would speak to all of his/her guests, so just do you boo.
9. Relax go to it
Yes you may be speaking in front of hundreds of people and public speaking is often the biggest fear in humans. Take some deep breathes, and remember its just a toast. You are not sending troops to war or motivating a graduating class you are giving a toast.
10. Say goodbye to TMI
You are addressing guests at a party not hanging out at the bachelor party. TMI often makes people very uncomfortable. Again, you proceed the major courses. Dont ruin someone’s expensive meal in the name of a joke
Good luck on your toast and I hope you kill it…..
Till next time