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How to Give a Toast at a Wedding

Wedding & Elopement Tips

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This is for anyone looking for how to give a toast at a wedding!! I’m no expert, however, I’m a wedding photographer who has listened to tons of wedding speeches over the years! There are several things that amazing toasts have in common and I want to share that with you here!!

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Length of the toast

Firstly, and this cannot be emphasized enough, you’re giving a toast not a speech! It should be short and sweet! I recommend no longer than 7 minutes, with 5 minutes being the sweet spot!! When you’re preparing your toast, write it all down and then mercilessly go through and cut anything that is unneeded! 1-2 anecdotes is plenty and try to avoid reciting long lists of anything. If you’re having a hard time cutting it down, rehearse your toast with someone before who you trust to be honest and have them help you!

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Practice 

Unless you are a professional speaker, please do not decide to wing it! Think about it this way- you’ve been asked to give a speech on the most important day of someone’s life. They deserve to have some thought go into the speech! Plus, an unprepared speech normally leads to rambling that no one can follow plus adding length for a double whammy of disaster! 

Above all, practicing will give you confidence!! Even if you go off topic a bit, you’ll always be able to come back to the draft you created. A bonus is if you practice enough to not have to look at a paper! Lastly, if you want to have a copy up there with you in case you need to refer to it, have a notebook and not a phone! It looks better and you can track where you are better too! 

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What to say

Most people know that the general outline should look like:

Talk about the bride (inverse if you’re best man), the groom, and the two of them together 

Cheers 

When wondering what type of things to share, I recommend sharing anecdotes that speak to the character of the person! Try to steer away from inside jokes or anything at all that may put them in even the tiniest bit of bad light, even if jokingly. Do. Not. Do. It. 

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To sum up, here’s an example of some things to stick with: 

Talk about the bride:

-quick background on how you know each other

-amazing attributes of the bride (time to majorly brag about your best friend!)

-a quick story that demonstrates one of those attributes 

Talk about the groom:

-why you’re happy the groom is in her life and yours

-specific qualities of the groom you love 

-a quick story that demonstrates one of those attributes

Bride & groom together:

-what makes them great together 

-what you wish for them in a lifelong of marriage

Cheers!

Click here for sweetheart table tips or here for some unplugged wedding advice!!

Photos by Rachel Christopherson, Sacramento Wedding Photographer

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