wedding toast

A toast to the bride and groom

How to prepare memorable and meaningful speeches and toasts
Mar. 7, 2011 | By:

Being called upon to give a speech or toast at a wedding reception or banquet makes some people very nervous. The thought of speaking in public is enough pressure.

The fact that the speech or toast is to take place at a wedding – the biggest day of the bride and groom’s life – makes the task that much more daunting.

Even if you are not much of a public speaker, you can give a memorable speech or toast that will touch the hearts of all who hear it. Below are some tips to help you prepare for your reception or banquet public speaking debut. 

Use humour

Opening the speech with a bit of humour is a good way to get the audience’s attention and relieve a bit of the pressure that you may be feeling. When you hear the audience laugh, it will lighten the mood and you will be ready to deliver the rest of the speech.

Get personal

If you have been asked to give a speech or toast at the reception you are probably quite close to either the bride or groom. Pull from a story that you have about the bride or groom to make the speech personal. For example, you could talk about how you remember the bride talking about her wedding when she was just a little girl or how the groom always swore he would NEVER get married.

Personalizing the story (without causing embarrassment, as will be discussed below) allows the                   guests to get a glimpse into the life of the bride and groom and will make the speech unforgettable to the happy couple.

Keep it short

Keep the speech or toast short. A toast should be no more than a couple of minutes. A speech should be between five and seven minutes. Anything longer than that and it is easy to lose the audience. Plus, the reception will usually only last a few hours so it is best to keep things moving along.

Avoid insults

Never, never, never include insults or embarrassing information in a toast or speech for a wedding reception. Yes, it might get a few laughs, but not for the right reasons. You are there to celebrate the biggest day in the lives of the bride and groom. Telling stories that could potentially embarrass them or the guests is not appropriate


Once you have penned your speech or toast, practice reading it out loud over and over again. You want to become so familiar with the speech that you can deliver it without sounding as though you are reading.

Finally, do not wait until the last minute to start preparing for your speech or toast. The reception or banquet is going to be here before you know it. The day that you find out you will be giving a speech or toast, start preparing. This will ensure the speech will be a fondly remembered part of the couple’s wedding day.

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