How to Write a Great Wedding Toast

Eek! You’ve been asked to give a wedding speech, and the pressure’s on. Here are some ideas to help you write a memorable and moving wedding toast.

So you’ve been asked to give a wedding toast. Maybe you’re the maid of honor, or the best man, or father of the bride, or some other poor soul who’s going to be put on the spot on the bride and groom’s important day. Need some help? Here are some tips for writing a beautiful and meaningful wedding speech.

A wedding toast is a ceremonial speech, and the trick to ceremonial speaking is this: make it personal. This speech should be written specifically for the couple. If anyone else could substitute the names and deliver it at a different wedding, then your speech is too generic. Think for it this way: there will be guests at the reception who do not know the couple very well. These people should be able to listen to the speech and learn a little bit about the couple. You want to make everyone in the audience feel included and special, so write a speech that makes the event meaningful for all in attendance.

Here are some ideas for writing a personal and unique wedding toast:

Tell stories about the bride and groom. Don't just tell the audience how special these people are. Show them by telling stories about their lives that encapsulate who they are. Tell a funny story about how the bride volunteers at an animal shelter, or how the groom made his mother a dandelion bouquet for Mother's Day when he was three years old. Be creative! And don't be shy about asking other relatives and friends to suggest stories for your toast.
Tell stories about how the bride and groom as a couple. What makes this couple unique, special, and interesting? Talk about the marathon they ran or how they like to play on swing sets together. If they met or became engaged in a memorable way, include that in your speech.
Mention other relatives and friends in your stories. Everyone likes attention, and the parents and siblings and friends of the couple will be touched that you included them.
Avoid inside jokes. Remember, this speech is for everybody. Inside jokes might be funny for the people who understand them, but other guests will feel excluded.
Be appropriate. This isn't a good time to talk about the couple's former lovers, or how the bride has been a witch during the wedding preparations, or Uncle Jasper's drinking problem. Use common sense. It's probably not a good idea to talk about sex. Grandma Bertha and her friends will be embarrassed.
Be nice. Don't say anything mean about the couple, or anyone else, for that matter. If you tell stories that make fun of the bride or groom, do so in moderation, and make sure you do so in an endearing way.
Don't talk about yourself. This is boorish. If you mention yourself at all, do so in moderation.
Avoid cliches. Remember, this speech should be personalized. Phrases like "they're perfect for each other!" or "today she married her best friend!" are lame.
Thank everyone for sharing this day together. Everyone appreciates being acknowledged, especially when they've taken the time and expense to go to an event like a wedding.

Relax, be yourself, be creative, and try to have a good time. Best of luck!