Toasting Advice For Clients

etiqutte planning Feb 14, 2022

In recent years there has arisen a huge misconception of what a toast is.  If you have ever watched a wedding movie you most likely have seen a comedy sketch of someone embarrassing either the bride or groom by having a tell-all session. It seems that the toast has actually turned into a roast and like most things, humans lead by example and this has now become the norm.

There are some instances where people also allow an open mic speech time and then the roasting goes on and on and can get out of control. It can also lead to hurt feelings and even fights can break out. 

To ensure this doesn't happen at my events, have created a form to hand out to my clients and also took the time to explain to them my philosophy on the subject.  Mastermind and Mavens groups will find the handout in your toolbox forms under, client handouts.

Let's dive in and examine what toasting is all about.


Who should do the toast(s)

Traditionally, the host or hostess offers the first toast. So, who is considered the Host?  The host is the person who paid for the wedding.  Traditionally this is the "Father of the Bride".  In today's family dynamics, there is often no father of the bride and sometimes can be 3 or more men the bride considers her father.  When you match that with the bride and groom typically paying for their own wedding, it can get confusing deciding who will toast.  

The "host toasts first" rule does still apply at receptions and other large functions (though the best man usually leads the toasting at a wedding reception followed by the maid or matron of honor). 

The only real guideline is to make sure that the toasts don't start before guests have a beverage to toast with or all the glasses are filled before toasting. The glasses don't have to hold champagne or wine or any other alcoholic beverage; it's perfectly fine for nondrinkers to toast with water, juice, or a soft drink. 

We no longer provide table service of champagne for the toast, instead, typically we ask the DJ to make an announcement that we will be doing the toast soon and guests should get their drink of choice. If the couple wants champagne offered we have a few bottles at the bar.  Most guests do not drink champagne and this cuts down on waste.

Getting the Crowd's Attention

If you have a DJ or MC he will normally inform the guests it is time for the toasts.  However, the person giving the toast may also attract the crowd's attention before making his toast, by standing and raising his glass-not by banging on a glass with a utensil. 


Sit or Stand?

When toasting the couple it is appropriate for the toaster to stand next to the couple while they remain seated. Then they will take their seat while the next person toasts the happy couple. Although the host often stands as he delivers his toast, everyone else-including the person or persons being toasted-remains seated. The exception is when the toaster asks everyone assembled to "rise and drink to the happy couple" or "stand and raise your glasses to our esteemed leader." The guests respond by taking a sip of their drinks, not by draining the glass; the idea is to save enough of the beverage for any toasts that follow. Toasters are usually expected to stand on such formal occasions.


When To Toast

Traditionally at weddings, the Groom toasts his bride after the first dance and before seating. In a case where we have 2 brides or 2 grooms, typically the more outspoken one will toast. This is also the perfect time to welcome and thank the guest for coming.

If a toast is to be offered at a meal, the first usually comes at the very beginning. Traditionally, the first toast is offered by the host as a welcome to guests.

Toasts offered by others start just prior to the dessert course.

 Tips on Giving a Wedding Toasts

Make sure to keep toasts short and on point (they are not meant to steal the show). If the toast is the primary toast of the evening, a short speech should be prepared. You can use notes if you like when giving your toast.

Including a few personal remarks-a reminiscences, praise, or a relevant story or joke-is all to the good, but they should be in keeping with the occasion. Toasts at a wedding should tend toward the sentimental. They should never include numerous personal stories that are more appropriate in a speech at the rehearsal dinner. ceremony.

When to Toast

In the traditional order of wedding toasts, the toast to the bride comes first. Many people believe, after all, that this is the bride's special day. So it only makes sense that the bride is toasted first. This toast is typically made by the best man, but can also be made by a relative or friend. In recent years, the toast to the bride has been replaced by a toast to both the bride and groom (or the couple).

When in a non-traditional situation, (which is most cases for the weddings I plan) we have the Groom or most outspoken of the two should start the reception off with a welcome and a thank you to the guests for coming, make an announcement for dinner.  When everyone is served, but not quite finished eating we start the toasts. 

 Wedding Toast Rules for Hosts

The traditional order of wedding toasts is closed out by the father of the bride. His job is to thank all of the wedding guests on behalf of him and his wife. He then announces the commencement of wedding festivities. We then ask the father of the bride to invite his daughter to the dancefloor for the Father-daughter dance. 

When the father of the Bride does not give the final toast, the toasting will conclude with one of the partners or the couple of the wedding.


 In today's world, there is little tradition left in the wedding world.  Now, it seems anything goes and that really is fine.  Whatever the couple wants for their wedding is truly okay.  There are a few guidelines that no matter what will make the wedding toasts run smooth and it is always good for the persons giving the toasts to know what the couple wants for their wedding.  

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