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Celebrate Intimate Weddings

 

with Relationship Speaker/Author/Coach...
Larry James


Wedding Toasts

Larry James

Wedding Chronicle An edited version of "Wedding Toasts" by Larry James is featured in the September/October 2008 issue of The Wedding Chronicle. Pick up your copy at AJ's Fine Foods in the Greater Phoenix area and Tucson.

Larry James is a contributing author to The Wedding Chronicle. Watch for a new article in each issue.

Giving a wedding toast is a special moment during the rehearsal dinner or wedding reception. Here are a few tips on toasting etiquette.

First things first. Generally speaking, when a toast is given to the Bride and Groom they will be seen raising their glasses and drinking to themselves. Wrong!

During a toast "to" the Bride and Groom, the couple should NEVER stand, raise their glasses, or drink to themselves.

They should thank the toasters or at least smile and graciously nod. They are not obliged to propose a toast in return.

Toasts can be offered with a sip of champagne, wine, a mixed drink or non-alcoholic punch, but never with tea, coffee or water. Don't leave your non-drinkers high and dry. Read Wedding Tip #13 and Wedding Tip #45 for more non-alcoholic suggestions.

Whatever the beverage chosen, it should be served to the Bride first, then the Groom, then the maid of honor, then parents and lastly the best man.

An essential ingredient of any wedding, toasts have several functions. They give some of the principals at the wedding an opportunity to put their feelings into words and to express the collective feelings of everyone there. The toasts are also the first chance to introduce another essential ingredient: humor. And, most importantly, the speeches are a signal for the wedding to progress from the formal to the informal.

Traditionally, the first toast is given by the Best Man. It's proper for him to thank the parents of the Bride and the parents of the Groom. He should also thank the Groom for choosing him as the Best Man.

A toast should be brief (two to no more than 5 minutes). Never read a lengthy quote or poem, or recount a long-winded story about you and the groom as young chaps. Get a laugh, get sentimental, be gracious, thank some people, but keep it very short and sit down. Speak slowly and loudly enough for all guests to hear. If given a microphone, hold it close to your mouth.

Never do a toast impromptu. Think about it. Preparation is essential. Jot down a few notes and remember you can't get it wrong, because no one knows what you are going to say. Write your toast and rehearse it. Practice giving the toast several times in front of a mirror. Reciting your toast over and over will help calm your nerves and get you comfortable with the words you've chosen.

Don't ramble on and on and on. If you're nervous, that's normal. You may feel the need to have a drink or two before your toast to relax you, but don't let it backfire by consuming too much alcohol before your toast. You may not leave the impression you had hoped for! Because you may be nervous and to avoid a colossal faux pas, like calling the Bride one of the grooms old girlfriends names, it may be wise to write down her name.

The word breathe! HOT TIP: Feeling nervous or getting emotional during your toast. . . take a deep breath. Take another. And another. Breathing deeply - in through your nose and out through your mouth - is a powerful force and can wash away your worries and stress in most cases.

Breathing in through your nose and out through you mouth is not the normal way to breathe. You have to "think" about breathing this way. When you think about something other than what you are nervous about breathing this way has a calming effect on you. You're almost there. Take another deep breath.

Make sure your toast sounds like you. It's okay to have some fun with the toast, but remember that you should generally wind it up in a sincere manner. The most beautiful sentiment you can express is to discuss what change you've seen in the couple since they met. Use your good judgment about which topics "not" to joke about. Joking about college escapades or a former girlfriend just isn't funny in front of Grandma and Grandpa. Never tell jokes.

When you think about adding humor, remember that everyone has a different idea about what is funny and what isn't. If YOU are not known for your humor. . . a toast is not the time to start. Keep in mind that you are speaking to a wide demographic and some people will take what you say very seriously. Never share any embarrassing stories. If only a handful of people will understand an inside story, skip it.

Wedding expert, Sharon Naylor, author of the book, Your Special Wedding Toast, says to start by remembering the four basic components of a good toast. It should be:

1. Sentimental
2. Humorous
3. Engaging
4. Brief

Never be afraid to go with your feelings. If you get choked up when you are speaking, don't worry about it; it's a real moment.

Make sure everyone has their glasses filled, then make a few tink-tink-tinks against a water glass to get everyone's attention. Raise your glass with your right hand. Be sure that the glass is held straight from the shoulder (that's traditional).

Speak toward the guests, not to the people being toasted. Turn toward the bride and groom only when you deliver the final line of your toast. Your toast should end with wording which makes it clear to the guests that the end has come. It's easy to do this with a bit of flair, just bring your voice up a notch in volume, and say, for example, "It is with great pleasure that I say congratulations to (Bride) and (Groom). . . may you share many warm days and many warm nights . . . "everybody raise your glass . . . here's to (Bride) and (Groom) . . ."

IMPORTANT:  During a toast "to" the Bride and Groom, the couple should NEVER stand, raise their glasses, or drink to themselves.

They should thank the toasters or at least smile and graciously nod. They are not obliged to propose a toast in return.

•    •    •

It is written: When children find true love, parents find true joy. Here's to your joy and ours, from this day forward.
May your hands be forever clasped in friendship and your hearts joined forever in love.
May you be poor in misfortune, rich in blessings, slow to make enemies, and quick to make friends.
May the love you express to each other today, always be the first thoughts during any trying times in the future.
Here's to love, laughter and happily ever after. As (Groom) and (Bride) start their new life, let's toast the new husband and wife!
To the two secrets to a long-lasting happy marriage: Here's to good sense of humor and a short memory!
Never above you. Never below you. Always beside you.
Happy, healthy marriages begin when we marry the one we love, and they blossom when we love the one we married.
They say I am expected to sing the praises of the groom and tell you what a wonderful, kind and good-hearted person _____ is. Unfortunately I'm a bad siinger and a terrible liar!
And may all your ups and downs be between the sheets!

Copyright © - Larry James. Reprinted with permission. - Larry James is a non-denominational minister, professional speaker, relationship coach and author of three relationship books. He performs "romantic" wedding ceremonies with romantic elegance and impeccable detail in the U.S. and Rocky Point, Mexico. He is the author of, "How to Really Love the One You're With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship," "LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing" and "Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers." Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. Send e-mail - www.CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

The Wedding MC

The Wedding MC: A Complete Guide to Success for Best Man or Event Host - Tom Haibeck - Asked to speak at a wedding? Nervous and not sure what's expected of you? Relax, you've found the best resource available to anyone asked to speak at a wedding! Learn all you need to know to deliver a funny, outstanding and memorable wedding speech!

Free toasting tips from toastmaster Tom Haibeck in the video below! Simply click to watch.

To view a very funny "Best Man Speech," click here!

Click here for more great ideas about toasts!

NOTE: We're just getting started! More toasts coming soon! If you have a favoriate toast for the rehearsal dinner or the reception, send it by e-mail.

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