Giving a speech at an event can be such a nervous moment. Proposing a toast at a wedding is one such event, but can be all fun when you’re top of your game. Here, learn some powerful tips on proposing a wedding toast.
It all begins with you! Be prepared. Being selected to propose a toast is an honour in itself and so you must honour the couple with a good one. You need to think well and deep. Think about the content of your speech. Many toasts revolve around when you first met either or both of the couple or what come to mind anytime you remember the couple being married.
It’s advised you put down your speech on a card. It need not necessarily be in a story form. It can be in bullets of points. This can save you when you go blank. Do not memorize your speech! That’s very unsafe and deprives your speech of a natural flow. It does not matter if you occasionally refer to the points on your card so far as you do not recite it.
You should know your audience. Which kind of guests are being expected. Their average age, origin, religious and ethnic background. This informs you about your diction and also prevents possibilities of offending the gathered guests.
Have a good sense of humour. There’s no need turning a comedian overnight. Be a good communicator; get the pronunciations of names of persons or places right. Just be ready to spark your audience into a good moment.
♦ THE SPEECH.
It’s important to use the “KISS approach”. Keep It Simple and Sweet. Your speech isn’t one of a long story telling. Keep it brief. Time your speech. Ideally you shouldn’t be going over 5 minutes in proposing your wedding toast.. Simple in language, simple to understand and simple for your audience to connect to. It’s a sweet occasion so let your speech be sweet. You can be witty but try not to be vulgar. Some toasts may have funny story, others a sad one. Whichever way you decide to go remember to make it sweet.
The toast is all about the couple not you. Your speech should be centered round the couple. It’s their day, not yours! Even if you are involved in the story you are telling, try to minimize your appearance. You are paying tribute to the newly wedded and so let their names overshadow the “Is” in your speech. Your audience through your speech should be connecting to the couple, not you.
Give your speech a substance. Enrich your speech with words of wisdom and other proverbial sayings. You can include popular quotes as well but in all these be mindful they are not detracting your audience from the message you wish to convey.
It is important how you start your toast. This can make or unmake your speech. You can start by making some observations about the way either or both couple have changed since they started seeing themselves. You can start by celebrating a unique trait in one or both members of the couple. Let your audience want to hear more from your start.
In giving your toast do not be too emotional or too serious. It’s a happy event and so must be fun even if its sad story you are telling. Try not to be very intellectual or formal. Speeches that talk a lot about how difficult marriage is though are welcoming, should be minimized to the barest. Speak with sincere emotions and right from your heart. The toast you propose should be lighthearted, cheerful and with affection.
Include a formal indication to prompt them of ending of the toast and what to say next. For example: “Join me toast to the happiness and good health of Ben and Clara. To Ben and Clara!” As you say this you wave your glass to all and tip to the glass of the couple if you are that close.
♦ PROTOCOLS AND GESTURES.
The toast usually begins after the meal, between cake-cutting and dessert, or after the first dances. Enquire from the emcee when you’re giving the toast and the order. You may not be the only one in some situations.
Make sure everyone is served with a glass of beverage including you before starting. Champagne or wine are normally used in proposing a toast. However, fruit punch or grape juice can be used as substitutes. Never use tea, coffee or water to propose a toast.
Stand up when it’s your turn. Check that the microphone is working properly and avoid taking a drink before you toast. Announce your relationship with the couple to the audience. Some people may not who you are, so this is necessary. Maintain good contact by keeping your eyes on who you are proposing the toast to. Occasionally turn to look at the guests to get them along. Be as flexible as possible. Standing robotically and reading stiffly will not be fun. Speak in your normal voice and pretty slower than you would normally do if you’re fast talker.
All should be set by now. That’s it! You would give an exciting toast which you will be proud of following these guidelines. Easy and Simple. Below is an example of a toast proposal. You can always make it richer.
My name is ………….., and I have known (Groom) since our basic school days. That’s been a long time. Back then we were fond of movies than girls. It was sports rather than girls. But, sure seasons change, there is time for everything and so there came a time when we were more interested in girls than anything else. After watching (Bride and Groom) being entangled in the web of love, I can say, now I know all those movies and sports training will be worth it. (Groom) will always have the enough techniques in expressing love to his ‘Honey’, and the sporting endurance to say ‘Yes Honey’ for year, after year, after year. Here, happiness and good health to the Bride and Groom!