Whether you want to give a speech at a wedding or you’ve been asked to, the idea of doing it properly can be nerve-wracking.It doesn’t have to be.If you learn to find a good theme for your speech, write it out clearly, and perform it well, you will be able to give the best speech you can.
Step 1: Start thinking about the toast early.
Don’t wait until the night before the wedding to think about what you’re going to say, this is your chance to honor the couple.It’s a good idea to have a toast written out in a note in case your mind goes blank.Pick out anecdotes, stories, or themes that you might use in your speech.What do you think about a friend or relative getting married?What do you think about your friend?What do you want to emphasize?Think about the major ideas that you want to include in your speech.There is a union of two people.Don’t worry about themes or abstract concepts, just start writing.Write something on the paper about the person you’re toasting.Write for 10 minutes.Just keep writing.See what comes up.
Step 2: It should be short, sweet and personal.
The best wedding toasts come straight from the heart.While some may be funny and others sad, all wedding toasts should pay tribute to the couple and celebrate their union in a personal way.You can be a stand-up comedian.A humorous quote or story can add a nice touch.If the story falls flat, it could make the moment awkward.On the side of genuineness.
Step 3: The toast should be about the couple.
Giving a toast doesn’t give you an opportunity to show off.Even if you are a central character in one of the stories you’re telling, the toast shouldn’t be about you.The toast should connect with the couple, pay tribute to them, and come from the heart.Count up all the uses of “I” in your speech and the names of the newlyweds.You might need to revise your speech if you show up more than them.Speeches that talk about how difficult marriage is can make it sound like the couple is doomed to fail.Cold or intellectual speeches are usually avoided.If you want sincere emotion, just go for it.Even if you’ve only known one of them for a long time, treat the bride and groom as a single unit.You’re toasting to their future, not the good old days.
Step 4: Find your place.
All a toast needs is one anecdote, moment or theme to get going.The first time you heard about your friend’s new partner or when you realized the couple was an important part of your life are perfect ways to open up the toast and make it personal.It will be unique because it is your story.Start your toast with a story about a challenge the couple faced together, or how one member of the pair used the other for support in a time of need.Start your toast with observations about how a member of the couple has changed since they started seeing each other.What will you remember most about the couple when you are older?What do you think is the best thing to do?Start your toast with an unheralded character trait in one or both members of the couple.If the groom is an astronomer, you should consider starting there.Keep it clean.
Step 5: The speech should be outlined.
Writing out the speech word-for-word or outlining the major points is one of the ways you can cover themes, stories, or ideas in your speech.Both methods of writing a speech are equally effective.If you want to be more personable, remember the major talking points and keep your speech casual.Mention how comfortable they were with each other when talking about meeting the bride for the first time.The idea is for the note to jog your memory, but the actual wording should be off the top of your head if you follow the next step.If the idea of going freestyle freaks you out, take special care to bring yourself back to the audience.Go through everything, down to the gestures, pauses, and looks up.Don’t give yourself a chance to make a mistake.Make sure your speech is not robotic.
Step 6: You can write your speech on index cards.
It’s a good thing that you might get a glimpse of making presentations in school.You want this to be good.If you’re not confident in your public speaking abilities, putting notes on index cards is a good way of keeping yourself organized and concise.Keep the speech large so that you can read it easily.Don’t put everything on one card.It’s important to keep your cards manageable, so aim to have no more than three or four cards.Make sure your cards are in order.Write your major speech points clearly and concisely.Make sure you don’t write “Talk about that party” on a card and go blank in the moment, you should know your own shorthand.
Step 7: The toast should include an ending.
It’s a good idea to give them an indication of what to say next after the toast is over.We should toast the happiness of Jack andJill.To Jack andJill!If you’re close enough, clink their glass if you wave it to all.
Step 8: It’s practice.
About two minutes of solid-gold stuff that comes straight from the heart is what you should aim to trim your speech to.At most weddings, people will be ready to eat and dance at some point, so you don’t want to be the one who stumbles over their words.Whatever the tone, style, or content of your wedding speech, practice it until you have made it short and sweet.Don’t write a long speech.A wedding ceremony can be as short as 15 or 20 minutes.You shouldn’t give a toast that goes for more than five.As needed, modify your index cards.Write “slow down” somewhere on the card where you can see it, if you find yourself rushing during one part of the speech.If you keep stumbling over one part, skip it.Go with something else if something isn’t working.If you’re very nervous about the speech, try to imagine where the audience is sitting, and pretend to make gestures and eye contact in that direction.It will be automatic if you practice.
Step 9: Find out when toasts will be given.
Chances are you are not the only one toasting the happy couple.After the meal, the toast is usually given between cake-cutting and desert, or after the first dances.Check with the toastmaster or the emcee of the event to find out the schedule and order of toasts.One traditional order for toasts is to have the father of the bride or an old friend toast the couple.The bridesmaids will be toasted by the groom.The parents of the couple will be toasted by the best man.
Step 10: Go to the room.
Before zero-hour, you have a last chance to read the room and decide if your speech is appropriate.It is never too late for an audible.Will your toast still be acceptable if you were expecting college friends and young people in your room?Is it possible to shorten it before the Las Vegas story?If you find yourself in an emergency situation where you need to throw out your speech, make sure you have something to back it up.It wouldn’t be wrong to say something like, “There’s nothing more thrilling than seeing these two people commit to each other for the rest of their lives.”I’m going to leave it at that.
Step 11: The toast is the first thing you should drink.
A common wedding mistake is calming nerves with too many.Make your toast awkward by stumbling to the microphone and slurring your words.Don’t drink before you have to give a toast.It will taste better.
Step 12: When it is your turn, stand up.
Some toasts are signaled by everyone clinking glasses, while in others the room will be completely silent and the emcee will introduce each toast with a microphone.Follow the protocol.It is important to fill all the glasses before you give the toast.Before making the toast, look around and make sure all your glasses are full.In some cultures toasting with water is offensive, so there should be wine, champagne, or something that looks like wine in your glass.
Step 13: Tell the couple about your relationship.
At the beginning of the wedding, make it clear who you are so people don’t get confused.As you begin to speak, bring your glass down and hold it in one hand.
Step 14: You should give the speech as best you can.
Look at the person you’re toasting to, but keep an eye on the guests occasionally.It’s important to look up and engage with everyone.Watching someone read from a notecard is hard to get involved with.If you find yourself talking quickly, it’s a good idea to slow down.Take a break between your sentences.Take a sip of your drink and look up.Get through it by speaking clearly.Then, cheers.