Writing Your Wedding Toast
Key tips for a memorable, meaningful, entertaining speech
By Hannah Kiefer
The cursor blinks at you blankly. You have no clue how to write this.
As you sit and stare at that intimidating, blank Word document on your computer, as the clock ticks by in the background, as you think about this friend of yours who is getting married, and as you wish you wouldn’t have waited until the night before the wedding to write this, a million ideas swarm through your head along with a million questions. How the heck should you start and end it? How can you be sentimental and funny at the same time? What should you say about the bride and groom, about your friendship with him or her, about their future relationship? There are a ton of stories and moments you could write about—so which ones do you pick? Or you’re at the other end of the spectrum—you can’t think of any moments that are special enough or meaningful enough or even funny enough to put in the speech!
For some, the wedding toast is a piece of cake (ha ha). But for many, the task can be rather intimidating and difficult, especially if you have been life-long friends and you feel a lot of pressure to give an amazing toast, if you have an unpleasant relationship with the fiancé, or if the family is full of storytellers and you have a lot to live up to!
How to nail it
- Don’t make it dry. No one wants to hear a droning, boring speech that’s so general they won’t remember it. Yes, talk about love and friendship and all that good stuff, but do it in a way that makes it memorable!
- Sentimental = stories. There’s nothing better than including the story about how you first met your friend, how you took a crazy road trip to California together, how she helped you when you were struggling in school. Stories will make your toast memorable and meaningful for you, your friend, the family, and the guests.
- Get in a few laughs. People like funny.
- Make some waves. People like to be moved, and yes, sometimes to tears.
- Make good waves. People don’t like drama. Don’t allude to existing relationship or family problems, don’t say something rude about the bride or groom. Keep any hard feelings you have to yourself—now is the time for the newlyweds to shine, even if you feel one or both of them shouldn’t. Keep it clean and keep it happy.
- Speak audibly and with confidence. What’s the point of writing an amazing toast if no one can hear you? Be loud and clear, and know that what you are saying is awesome.
Best of luck!
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