Toasts are a great way for your closest family and friends to share an intimate moment with you by sharing stories, laughter and tears at your wedding reception. How do you manage who has the special privilege of giving you a wedding toast?
I like to follow three simple rules.
1. Pre-select your toasters.
Yes, I just called them toasters. Moving on.
There are a few reasons why I suggest pre-selecting the privileged who will toast you at your wedding. They all revolve around creating a great experience for everyone involved.
When you’ve selected your special toasters, have them prepare what they’ll say to your guests. That’s usually a great idea!
Pre-selection allows you to prepare a list of people that are expected to be available. Your coordinator to make sure your specific toasters aren’t conveniently off in the bathroom when it’s their turn in the spotlight. You’ll prevent awkward pauses when everyone looks around to see if there are others who want to say a few words.
Your wedding coordinator can prevent an undesired toast, in a very reasonable and kind way, to your long lost cousin Bob with whom you haven’t spoken in over a decade.
2. Recommend a time limit.
Give your toasters an estimated amount of time that they should speak and add an “or less” on the end. It’s just like speech class in high school – give them a concept of how much material to prepare (and how many embarrassing stories they can include).
This will help you determine how long to allow for the toasting portion of the evening and prevents the 30-minute speeches that cut your reception shorter than you’d like.
3. Give others an outlet to share their thoughts.
Just because the floor isn’t open to all your guests for a toast on your wedding night doesn’t mean you don’t want the opportunity to experience them wish you well and express their joy and love to you and your betrothed.
Your rehearsal dinner is a great way to allow some of your friends and family to toast to you and your closest group and add in a little extra since you’re (generally) not as pressed for time.
There are endless ways to get all the great advice and love from your family and friends on your special day. Creative guest books, anything from a wishing tree to a photo album are great ways to fulfill this need and you’ll get to keep and reread it later!