Photo by Dream Love Photography

Cheers! All About Wedding Toast Etiquette

by Lisa Beth Miller

So, the wedding reception is going fabulously well. Your guests are relaxing, enjoying the food and drink, and admiring the style and décor of your event. Sounds like it is the appropriate time to propose a toast!

The purpose of wedding toasts is twofold.

The traditional toasts given by the best man and maid of honor (and sometimes others who wish to express their thoughts) are meant to pay tribute to the newly married couple and wish them a lifetime of happiness. These toasts should be brief, respectful, and only contain stories and references that everyone will understand and appreciate! Now is not the time for private jokes, inside stories, and reminiscing about the bride’s or groom’s wilder days!

After the toasts from the attendants and guests, the groom and bride also traditionally take the floor. Their toasts serve a different purpose, as theirs are presented to express gratitude to the guests and to each other. Again, the content of these toasts should be basic, heartfelt, and sincere. The message should be meaningful to all at the reception and should not contain any cryptic content.

Etiquette tip: the person making the toast should always stand. The couple being toasted is not required to stand while they are being toasted.

If you are the bride, it is completely acceptable to pre-plan toasts. Talk to your best man and maid of honor about what is appropriate for the occasion. They will not feel like you are being bossy; they will most likely be grateful for the gentle guidance! Most people are not asked to give toasts very often, so making expectations clear will be helpful for everyone.


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