If I could show you 7 ways to improve your wedding reception toasts right now, would you be interested? Wedding reception toasts are a significant part of your wedding day; some people love ’em, some not so much, but a bit of thought and preparation beforehand guarantees they’ll go smoothly. Let’s dive in so your wedding day toasts are the best they can be!
Any good speech has a strong opening and a strong close, with no more than three main points in between. What makes a good opening? I’m glad you asked! A good opening grabs people’s attention; some great examples include a quote, a startling idea, or a question. We suggest continuing the speech with three main points max since that is what most audiences are able to digest (along with the dinner they just ate). The close should wrap up the speech with a final, memorable point that ties everything together.
We’ve all been to a wedding where the speeches went on and on, one after another, and everyone feel asleep or drank too much champagne to try to drown their boredom. No one wants this, so don’t do it to your guests! If speeches go on too long, people will nod off or–even worse–leave (or drink themselves into oblivion–see above).
We suggest three minutes max per speech, for most of the reasons already mentioned. Not only will your guests stay engaged in what the speakers are saying, you will stick to your timeline and your guests will still be there to watch you do all the fun stuff like cake cutting and getting down on the dance floor.
It matters where the people giving toasts stand, so think this through ahead of time. The location of the sweetheart table (if you have one) or the head table will dictate where to place the people giving toasts. For example: If a speaker is facing the wedding couple, but has his back to the rest of the room, then it won’t be possible to photograph all of your faces. If you aren’t sure where people should stand, ask your photographer!
A practiced speech always flows more smoothly, and there’s no getting around that. So remind your people to practice their wedding reception toasts a few times before your wedding day. We suggest each speaker records and listens to the recording; it’s easy to do and a great way to assess how well the speech flows. Public speaking makes most people nervous, so the tendency is to rush through it to get it over with. Problem is, it’s more difficult to listen to information and absorb it than it is to read it, especially if the speaker is going a mile a minute. Slow and steady wins the race.
Some people get a mic in their hand and suddenly think a wedding reception toast is supposed to be a roast, but there’s a fine line between humor and humiliation. No one wants to hear a speech that makes them cringe or want to hide under the table. It isn’t kind, and it isn’t fun for you or your guests. A gentle reminder beforehand stops this problem before it gets started. A good toast celebrates you as a couple, and puts your best qualities in the spotlight.
Building off the previous point, raunchy speeches are also not fun or appropriate at weddings. Also, they might prompt a mass exodus of guests.
Put these tips to use so your wedding reception toasts are a fun, pleasurable part of your evening instead of a cringeworthy pain-in-the-neck. Your guests will thank you for it, and you’ll be able to relax and enjoy your party.
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