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Raised GlassesBeing asked to give a toast at a wedding is a great honor. However, there can also be a lot of pressure involved. Whether you’re a close family member or old friend of the couple, you want to dedicate time and effort to crafting the right speech. You’ve likely heard plenty of toasts in your day, including a number that probably stick out because they weren’t so spectacular. To avoid making the same mistakes, keep these tips in mind to find the best words to fit the mood.

Start Planning Early

As a general rule of thumb, you should start writing your speech as early as possible. While you may have a few months before the actual wedding, waiting too long can add a lot of unnecessary stress to the task. You don’t need to sit down and come up with a first draft or anything too involved. Simply write out a couple of general ideas or even a list of points you want to hit. Having some notes to work from can make forming your toast a lot easier later.

Decide on the Tone

One big decision before writing a draft of your speech is what tone you want to use. Typically, people like to keep these moments light and engaging. The idea is to pepper in a few jokes and personal anecdotes in order to break the ice and make the crowd feel comfortable. However, you may want to play around with tone to fit the disposition of the happy couple. If they are the type of people who like to laugh, a few extra moments of laughter may be a good fit. 

Avoid Being Too Personal

A wedding speech should never be generic. This means that searching Google for a template and reading it verbatim at the event is a big mistake. There needs to be a personal element that connects the speaker to the couple. However, you also need to avoid being too specific with your speech. Filling the toast with inside jokes and commentary that only a handful of people will understand can alienate the crowd and make your speech feel a lot longer and more tedious than you want. The more you work on it, the easier striking the right balance will be.

Keep the Speech Brief

If you’re giving a toast at the wedding of someone you have known your entire life, you might have a lot to say. While having this much material to work with can be helpful, it also increases the odds of you rambling on. Keeping your toast brief is key, as guests are going to want to get back to dancing and celebrating. Most experts advise keeping a toast under five minutes, with the average being about three minutes long. Read your toast aloud with a timer in order to keep it the right length. 

Work With a Friend

Finally, be sure to read the speech out loud to someone else at least once before you finalize it. Sometimes, what makes sense to you doesn’t translate to a crowd. By speaking the words to another, you will catch any problem areas or awkward phrasings that might exist. When picking a person to read your speech to, try and select a friend who will provide you with useful criticisms. Honesty is important in this moment, and you definitely don’t want someone to tell you that your toast sounds great so that they can appease you and move on.  

Though there is a lot of work involved in putting together a perfect wedding toast, following the right steps can make the task more manageable. Give yourself lots of time to write your speech and you’ll have no trouble coming up with the perfect words.

Category: Wedding Planning

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