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What could be more wonderful than an amazing wedding toast? Lots of them! It’s those amazing words and wishes proposed to you that add so much heart to your wedding celebration, and there are so many opportunities all through your wedding season and wedding weekend for fabulous words to be spoken -- by you and for you.
Yes, it’s tradition that the best man makes the first toast at the reception, with the maid or matron of honor speaking immediately after him, but great speeches may be added to many wonderfully worded moments that take place at all of your wedding-related celebrations.
Today’s brides and grooms are letting their best man and maid of honor know that they’d like them to speak at the reception, and they are also asking the parental hosts of the rehearsal dinner and even the morning-after breakfast if they’d like to make the ‘official toast’ at those events.
When parents are hosting these important celebrations, it’s a big “don’t” for anyone but them to give the first toast, so keep that in mind before you clink your fork against your glass to stand up and speak. Many couples have been stunned to find their parents fuming about their big moment being ruined.
Toasts are yours to make at events you’re hosting, such as a luncheon with your bridesmaids, and the wedding morning breakfast, and others in which you have the big spotlight.
So how many toasts are too many? Stick with one to two toasts per non-wedding event, two toasts at the rehearsal dinner (the first by the hosts, the second by you), and three or four toasts spread out over the course of the reception -- the first being the best man’s and maid of honor’s, a later one made by the parents -- or made by you to the parents (if parents paid for and planned most or all of the wedding) and the last one made by the two of you as your celebration closes.
Here’s a list of the top events that invite special toasts made to the two of you -- and by the two of you:
--Your engagement party
--The first planned meeting between your parents
--A luncheon or get-together when you invite your friends to be your bridesmaids
--The luncheon that precedes your first gown-shopping expedition with your bridesmaids, maid of honor and the moms
--Planning lunches or brunches with your bridal party members (thanking them again for doing such a great job for you!)
--Bachelor's and bachelorette's parties
--Any wedding weekend meals, such as brunches, barbecues or dinners at home
--The rehearsal dinner, again with the hosts speaking first, as a rule
--The morning-after breakfast, again with the hosts speaking first, and you then making the next toast
For brides and grooms specifically, an increasingly popular trend is taking the microphone right before the cake cutting, to thank everyone, from their parents to their guests, who came so far to share in their day, even to the staff of the reception hall and the wedding coordinator who’s right there taking care of everything.
And don’t forget the romance and sweetness of proposing a toast to your groom at any of these events. He may do the same for you.
Sharon Naylor is the author of over 35 wedding books, including “Your Special Wedding Toasts.”