Give a great wedding toast!

Quite the popular tradition at many weddings, the concept of giving a wedding toast may have a few obligatory toasters quaking in their perfectly dyed stilettos and shiny rental shoes. Wedding toasts date back to ancient Greek times, possibly getting their name from the piece of bread that was usually placed on the top of a bowl full of wine, its purpose to soak up the acidity in the libation. There are a few do's and don'ts when it comes to wedding toasts, and if you adhere to the following advice, you should be good to go.

Don't Talk About Anything That Happened Prior to the Couple's First Meeting

No one really cares about your childhood sleepovers, crazy college schemes, or anyone the bride or groom might have previously dated/married. Sometimes these details can make wedding guests and/or the bride and groom feel uncomfortable. Save the embarrassment and ribbing for a private group familiar with your topic of conversation. 

Do Keep It Short and Sweet

Most guests will probably cringe if you unroll a stack of notes for your toast. Memorize the key points that you want to mention and stick to them. It's a good idea not to ramble, or head off on a random tangent that will leave guests yawning and hoping your toast will hurry up and end. Mention how much the couple means to you, how happy you are for them, and that you wish them every happiness. These simple points go a long way.

Don't Be The Center of Your Speech

Keep personal details to a minimum. The focus of your toast should be the bride and the groom, not you. The wedding guests are there to celebrate the blissful couple, and if you start mentioning your social network profile, or the fact that you are looking for your own special someone, it might come off the wrong way.

Don't Bash Marriage

Jokes about the horrors of marriage have no place in a wedding toast. If you have had a negative experience with marriage, keep it to yourself. The wedding toast is meant to bless the happy, hopeful couple that have just began their own wonderful journey.

Do End On A Raised Glass

Don't forget to remind the guests to raise their glass and share in a drink for the bride and groom. A simple phrase, such as, "To the happy couple," is more than sufficient. Once the glasses are raised, make sure you wrap up your toast swiftly. 

The most important thing to remember is that, despite your nerves, you are raising a glass to two people for whom you care a great deal. As long as you know what you are going to say, and stick to your point, getting choked up, or dealing with a couple of stammers, won't matter one little bit.

Mary Comerford