How To Write A Wedding Toast: Tips And Examples

Summertime isn’t just about s’mores, fireworks, and trips to the beach. It’s also wedding season. Summer is one of the most popular times of the year for happy couples to say their “I dos.” In fact, about 65% of all couples get married during the summer and fall. If you factor in all the bridesmaids, groomsmen, and parents of the couples at these many weddings, that’s a lot of people who have a speech to write!

Writing a wedding speech can feel daunting. It’s a really important occasion, and there is so much pressure to strike the exact right tone. Your speech will likely be immortalized on videos and social media. But, before you let the pressure get to you, take a deep breath. We’re here to help with 11 simple tips to write a wedding speech that will have every guest laughing, crying, and celebrating your favorite couple right along with you.

1. Share your connection to the couple.

When you first rise to give your speech, you’ll be in front of a mixed audience of people who know you well and people who don’t. For that reason, it’s a good idea to start the speech by introducing yourself. Briefly share how you know the couple and how excited you are to have the chance to speak at their wedding. To break the ice, you might even start with a joke or funny anecdote.

Example: It’s an honor to be here tonight as the best man. As many of you know, I’m Greg’s older brother.

Example: Thank you so much for being here to celebrate with us tonight. When Luisa came up to me at Target and asked me to be her maid of honor, I was so touched she’d take a chance on a stranger like that. I’m just kidding! I’ve known this amazing woman for 15 years.

2. Write a clear beginning, middle, and end.

Speeches are an important and memorable part of a wedding, so don’t wing it. Take some time before the big day to write out what you plan to say and organize your thoughts into parts. Having a clear beginning, middle, and end can give your speech a natural arc that makes it more pleasant to listen to and prevents rambling. The parts of your speech may include:

  • Beginning: Introduction and story of how you know the couple.
  • Middle: Fond memories of the couple’s meeting, courtship, and love story.
  • Ending: Talk about all they have to look forward to and wish them future happiness.

3. Be detailed.

If you’ve been asked to speak at a wedding, it’s likely because you’re a treasured loved one. You know the couple well, and you can use that to your advantage. Include plenty of details in your speech about what makes each member of the couple unique and meaningful memories from your relationship with them. The more special details you include, the more intimate and heartfelt your speech will seem.

4. Talk about before and after.

If you’ve known one or both partners for many years before their wedding day, you have a great lens for sharing how wonderful things have been since they met their significant other. Talk about how finding love has changed them for the better and all the ways you’ve noticed the increase in their happiness. You can even share how much you hoped they’d meet the right person for them, and how thrilled you are now that they have.

5. Stick the landing.

The ending of your speech should leave a lasting impression, so finish strong. Drive the speech toward a single point or observation that really drives home why the couple is so great together and why it’s such a joy to share in this moment. Then, encourage the audience to join you in a toast or congratulations. Here are some examples:

Example: Greg has inspired me since we were kids, and now I find myself inspired once again by the love you both share. Congratulations, Greg and Sarah!

Example: I’m so excited that my best friend Claudia has found the very best person to be her wife. Let’s toast to a lifetime of love and happiness for these amazing brides.

6. Make it your own.

Use your unique sense of humor, style, and talents to make your speech stand out. If you’re an excellent musician, maybe you want to serenade the couple with a short love song instead. If you’re a talented comedian, pepper your speech with jokes. If you’re an awesome storyteller, experiment with structure or even write your speech in the style of a short story about the couple’s meeting. Your speech is your chance to celebrate the couple, and adding your personal flair can help make that celebration even more meaningful.

7. Don’t be afraid to get sentimental.

Weddings are all about sharing the love, so don’t be afraid to be mushy. This is one of those rare opportunities to dwell on what two people really mean to you and why they are so important in your life. Talk openly about how much the bride or groom has impacted your life and how genuinely happy you are to see them find love with the perfect person for them. To make it extra sweet, you might even include:

  • A quote.
  • Song lyrics.
  • A story from your youth.
  • Special nicknames you share.

8. Cut the inappropriate jokes and stories.

Yes, that time the bride threw up at a pool party in college was hilarious, but would you really want someone to share that story about you in front of dozens of your family and friends? A wedding speech can be light-hearted, but it should never be humiliating or mean-spirited. The speech needs to appeal to a broad audience and celebrate the couple without embarrassing them. This isn’t the time for overly specific inside jokes, stories that are way too personal, or to “roast” anyone.

Funny? Smart? Talented? Replace these overused words with much more colorful and vibrant alternatives to describe the beloved people in your life.

9. Write it down.

Even if you don’t plan to read your speech from a piece of paper, you should still write it down. This will help you get your ideas in order and start to memorize what you’d like to say. On the day of the wedding, don’t be afraid to bring note cards or a digital note on your phone with some reminders about the key points you need to hit. It’s an important moment and you might be nervous, so having these cues available will ensure you get through it with ease.

10. Keep it short and sweet.

Once you have your speech drafted, time yourself reading it to make sure it goes no longer than 3-5 minutes. Weddings typically have several speakers, and the speeches often come while people are waiting for food or drinks to start being served. It’s important for speakers to be aware of this and not make guests sit through anything long-winded. Short, simple, and to the point works here!

11. Practice, practice, practice.

Rehearse your speech several times before the wedding. Reading it out loud will help you catch issues with flow or wording. Reading it out loud to someone else may be especially helpful. When you have an audience, even if it’s just one other person, they can tell you if they’re connecting to what you’ve said, how your jokes land, and if you have the timing down. The more comfortable you are with your speech, the more likely the big day will go perfectly.

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