Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Wedding Toast

A few weeks ago, my best friend Krista married her husband (!!!) Kyle at a beautiful Restaurant/Venue in New Jersey. I was honored to be one of her bridesmaids, along with her sister and her friend that was there when she met Kyle. Krista's sister was her maid of honor, so that took the pressure off of me to write a speech. However, I started forming some ideas of things I wanted to share at the wedding and decided to ask Krista if I could give a speech. She said I was welcome to it if I wanted, so I ran with it.

I was a little nervous going into the speech, but the moment I went up to speak, I looked over at my best friend and her husband and saw how happy they were. I was able to take that positive energy and feed off it. Overall I think the speech went pretty well! It's quite possible that I am biased, but that's alright. It was a great way to show my appreciation to the couple and top off such an amazing day.

Logistically, I didn't do much research beforehand (because these kinds of speeches should be personal obviously), but there are a few tips that I read after the fact that I thought would be fun to share! My hope is that this will help people who are having trouble with writing a toast or want to incorporate some new ideas ideas.

1. Make a short introduction of who you are and your relationship to the couple.

2. Make sure to talk about both the bride and the groom separately. Although I didn't know the groom super well, I made sure to mention him personally to make sure they both felt included.

3. Talk about the bride and groom's relationship- I was able to talk about how my friend has dated her fair share of frogs and how I was happy she ended up with an amazing guy.

4. Try to hit a mixture of humor and heart felt- I had a few pieces that I thought were a bit funny, but I'm not exactly a comedian so I don't think anyone "laughed out loud". Still, a bit of humor can keep it light hearted; just make sure you don't tell TOO embarrassing of a story. You could always be paid back with an embarrassing story at your wedding!

5. Don't make it too long- speeches that are long winded tend to loose guests' attention, especially if there are a lot of speeches in a row. Make sure yours is long enough to cover the content but short enough to keep it interesting (and yes, I just stole that from some high school writing teacher).

6. Make it authentic to you and the couple- don't just fill out a template you find online. Make sure that the speech truly reflects the couple's relationship as well as your relationship with the bride and groom. If the couple is nerdy, play on that. If they love a certain band, see if you can weave a lyric into the toast. It will be way more meaningful if it feels truly them.

7. If you are nervous, write it down- I wrote some points down just to organize my thoughts, but if public speaking really isn't your thing go ahead and write the whole thing out. I honestly didn't even use mine, but I felt more confident holding it just in case I froze.

8. Talk about their future- I said something simple like "this is only the beginning of your journey together, and I'm excited to see where it takes you both".

9. Add a thank you- I said I was honored to be apart of such a special day, celebrating the marriage of my best friend and her husband.

10. End with a toast- I was definitely unprepared and forgot to bring up my glass which in hindsight wasn't the best idea. I was able to gesture, but if I ever gave a wedding speech again I'd make sure to grab my glass before talking.

I'm so glad I decided to give a toast. It was the perfect opportunity to let the couple know how much they mean to me. I hope some of these tips can be helpful to you!

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