NOVEMBER 16, 2020
There are tons of blog posts out there for people who are trying to figure out how to write a wedding toast (No, really. We wrote one, too, back in 2013). However, there aren’t many posts out there to guide the bride and groom on what is customary when it comes to toast time. We have summed it all up here — The Who, The What, The When, and the miscellaneous details, too!
Choosing who gives toasts at your wedding is ultimately up to you! Traditionally, the parents of the bride (usually the father) will speak at the wedding reception. The parents of the groom often speak at the rehearsal dinner.
It’s also tradition for the Maid, Matron, or Man of Honor and the Best Man or Woman to give toasts on the night of the wedding. If you have siblings, close family, or members of the bridal party asking to give a toast, they would typically speak at the rehearsal dinner.
Lastly, sometimes the bride and/or groom like to give their own speech. This is especially common when the bride and groom are hosting their own wedding.
Toasts should be written from the heart and contain a personal story or experience to make it unique and special. The father or parents of the bride often talk about when their new son in law asked them for their daughters’ hand in marriage, or when they first knew that he was “the one” for their daughter. The parents also usually impart some advice or wisdom on having a great marriage.
The Maid, Matron, or Man of Honors shares a special time or memory they had with the bride — again, usually tying it to their relationship with their new husband. The Best Man or Best Woman often shares a little history of the groom — sometimes with a story and why he will make a great husband.
When the bride and groom choose to speak, it is typically as hosts and thank their guests for sharing their day with them. Sometimes they just want to thank their parents for the wedding celebration, if their parents are hosting. We have also had quite a few grooms toast their new bride, telling them how beautiful they look and how excited they are to spend their life with them.
Hiring a wedding planner makes this step so much easier! As we create your timeline for the evening, we choose the most natural time for toasts to take place. Typically, in the South, toasts take place after dinner, whether you have a plated dinner, stations, or a buffet. In the North, toasts often happen before the meal, in conjunction with the blessing. Your wedding planner can guide you on whether they should take place before or after the meal. As your wedding planner guides you through the logistics of your event, we can help you pick a time that works best for a good flow. We want everyone to be involved in every part of your special night, so picking the best time is an important part of our job (not to pat ourselves on the back, but we’re pretty great at it).
If you have people giving toasts at the rehearsal dinner, the end of the dinner is typically the best time for toasts!
LENGTH OF TOASTS
If the people who will be making toasts aren’t sure about how long their toast should be, it’s best to advise them with the following: Anywhere between 2 and 10 minutes is typical, however, if you have several people giving toasts, a shorter speech is best. We find a total of 10 – 20 minutes of toasts at the wedding reception works well. At rehearsal dinners, the toasting / roasting often lasts 30 minutes or more.
You’d be surprised at how many wrenches can get thrown into toast time (not literally, of course, but bear with us, because we’ve seen it all). The top four issues that we typically run into are: people who talk too long, people who talk too little (usually because of nerves), sound issues, and inebriation issues.
When you’ve hired a wedding planner, we tend to take care of these issues either ahead of time, or as they come up, depending on what the issue is. We will gather everyone who will be making a toast ahead of toast time, so that we can check up on how everyone’s feeling. We like to give them little reminders, set them up with microphones (if necessary), check in on everyone’s intoxication level, and encourage them if they’re anxious. Our goal is to leave you with nothing to worry about, so you can enjoy what everyone has to say!
IT’LL LEAVE YOU FEELING TOASTY
Our goal is to make sure that toasts go well for everyone involved, and leave you feeling bubbly inside, just like the champagne that we’ll bring you. Happy tears are cool with us, and we’ll be there with a tissue if you need it. Hopefully this gives you, as the bride and groom, a good overview of how to make toasts run smoothly. If you have any questions about toasts or toast etiquette, we’re happy to help!
If you want to inquire about wedding planning services for your special day, reach out to us here!