How to make the perfect toast

Whether or not you are a best man or chief bridesmaid, weddings are an occasion when you may want to say a few words to commemorate the event, but you don’t want to give a full speech.  Often if food and drink are being served and the main speeches have been done, another drawn-out, formal speech will be unwelcome and a toast is the perfect way to share what you want to share.

So, how do you propose the perfect toast?  We think a great toast falls into roughly five sections: background, an anecdote, comic relief, a turning point and a conclusion.

  • Set the scene with a little background on your relationship and address that the day’s event marks a change.
  • Share a meaningful anecdote – something that maybe only you know.
  • Insert comic relief with a light ribbing or a joke. However, keep it light – being the centre of attention can make people sensitive.
  •  Address the big turning point – in this case the wedding day.
  • Wrap up with a feeling of love and support and invite guests to raise a glass.  Your toast is complete!

Hints and tips:

  • If you’re uncomfortable giving a toast why not go for a poem if your uncertain on what to say or you’re nervous.
  • Try and look straight ahead. If for some reason the person isn’t smiling, you might think that the recipients don’t like what you have said. It’s easy to misinterpret reactions when you’re under pressure.
  • Nothing says, “I wrote this in a rush this last night” like reading a toast. Try memorising key phrases, then just freestyle the rest.
  • A 45-second toast won’t seem heartfelt and half an hour is painful. Keep it around 5 minutes.
  • If a joke fails just own it -say, “Well, that was supposed to be funny.” you’ll get the sympathy laugh. No one wants you to mess up!

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