Toasting Speeches - how to make one?

Today's wedding was a light luncheon event. I love luncheon event, mainly the hours though short, the activities are tight. Guests will always turn up on time, and with the day light setting, photographers are happy because pictures will usually turn up very good, and somehow, guests are more spontaneous since the mood itself seems more relaxed and less formal.

What impressd me today was the speech made by my bride. She was definitely excited when she made her speech. I could see her the joy and the fun she had had when she shared her experience in this journey of her wedding planning, and how much she appreciated the individual ones that have helped her to make her day complete. On the other hand, the bestman and maid of honour were pretty apprehensive abt their speeches, esp when all eyes were upon them. There was a level of uncertainty and and I could tell this might be the first time they made a speech despite preparations they have made for the moment. Indeed, making a speech can sometimes be a daunting moment, so how to make a good speech, or rather I will say how to make a personal and yet lighthearted one :

Start off by introducing yourself, as not everyone in the room will know who you are. You might say "Excuse me everyone, if I could have your attention for a moment. I'd like to take a few moments to say a few words about our bride and groom. I'm Mathew Edwards, Joe's best man and buddy etc". To get the guests' attention, you might insert a quick joke here or a quote about marriage. Before you get too far into your speech, you should thank the people hosting, usually the couple, simply say, "We're all delighted to be here today on this joyous occasion."

This is where it is good to write down your thoughts before as it will really come in handy. Tell a funny story about the bride and/or groom (note I said "funny" not humiliating!), give your thoughts on love and marriage, tell the story of how they met, or talk about how you've seen them change through their relationship. While you may know the groom better, try to make your toast balanced, speaking about each of them. Try not to talk too long as nobody wants to hear you ramble, but do give some interesting details. At all costs, avoid ex-girlfriend stories and keep it rated PG for kids and grandmothers in the room! Most of all, if you are sincere about what you are saying, and your words come from the heart, it's hard to go wrong.

It's often good to wrap up your toast with a wish, traditional toast, or blessing for the bride and groom. Raise your glass with a resounding congratulations, cheers, l'chaim or salud, and don't forget to drink to your own toast!

So at the end of the day, remember the speech is a greeting and gift you want to bless the couple. Be cool and steady, always think of the couple as the focus, and hold the audience' ears to enjoy the moment, do not make it a self performance or presentation. And you will certainly not go wrong...


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