Wedding Toasts: Short, Sweet and Soon Forgotten
The most redeeming feature of wedding toasts, and one to remember as you start to agonize days before the wedding because your best friend, the bride or groom, has asked you to give a toast, is that a toast is SUPPOSED to be short, as opposed to a wedding speech which has the frightening possibility of lurching forward like a slow motion train wreck for five or ten minutes.
Examples of Wedding Toasts
Uncle Ernie, sloshing drink in hand, may feel compelled to elaborate on stories the groom might prefer left unsaid, at least before newly expanded family and friends. But the wedding toaster is spared that possible embarrassment by the customary need for brevity in presentation. Another advantage to giving a brief toast is that it is perfectly acceptable to quote part or all of it from some great writer long dead.
There is nothing nobler or more admirable than when two people who see eye to eye keep house as man and wife, confounding their enemies and delighting their friends.” — Homer, Odyssey, ninth century B.C.
Inspirational poems are great, however humor is what may make your toast transcend the twenty-minute barrier of how long anyone remembers what you said.
The state or condition of a community consisting of a master, a mistress and two slaves, making in all, two.” — Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary, 1911
“I married the first man I ever kissed. When I tell this to my children they just about throw up.” — Barbara Bush, first lady, 1989
Wedding Toast Protocol
When your time comes, stand up, be free, and be bold. There is some protocol, however, and since your friendship with the bride and groom is why they asked you to contribute with a toast, it’s good policy to acknowledge the beauty of the bride, profundity of the ceremony, bless the health of all, and make sure everyone has a full glass of anything but coffee, tea, or water.
Hold your glass in your right hand straight toward whomever you’re toasting, say what’s in your heart, and have all clink glasses before they drink. According to Old English tradition, the clink dispels evil spirits and the glass in your right hand assures all that you’ll not pull a dagger from that hand and create some sort of mayhem. Also, as toaster, especially if you’re the groom or his father, must drink first lest the guests suspect the wine may be poisoned. These Old English knew how to hold a wedding reception; heavily armed and saturated with drink and suspicion!
Just remember, this day is about love, especially your love for the bride and groom, the objects of your toast. What you feel and what you say can set the tone of the celebration and endow this diverse collection of family and friends with a uniting feeling of love for the blessed newlyweds.