The Stages of Giving a Wedding Toast

"Maybe I should rap it?"

Contributing Writer

Your best friend is getting married. And you couldn't think of a better way to commemorate the occasion than by giving a toast at the wedding. It's the one (if only) time when expressing your feelings about your friendship can be set to prose—or poem. You've sort of been thinking about this all-important moment through the years, storing snippets of your friendship in the recesses for this very moment. But getting it all out on paper and reciting it with flawless delivery can be a labored process. Here's probably what will happen...


How to Write a Maid of Honor Speech

Set virtual pen to paper (sort of).

It's a few weeks until the wedding, and armed with an arsenal of material, you sit down to write. Only, nothing comes to mind that would sound vaguely amusing to anyone but the two of you. Should you craft your toast around inside joke after joke, only to be met with a room of silence—save your friend's lone laugh? No thanks!

The memories start to flow.

Sure, they're streaming like a rushing river somewhere in your head, but you're still struggling to get them down on paper. Where are all your one-liners when you need them? Stuck in a synapse blockage. Of all the people you've known in life, your BFF is the person you've shared the most with, but suddenly you can't seem to express it. It's like your entire history together has been trapped in some kind of mind game you're playing with yourself. Oh, the pressure!

Maybe you should rap it?

So the sentences aren't flowing the way you envisioned them to. But, maybe if you just put a few words down, a rhyming sequence will follow. Now all you need is a beat box to get some rhythm up in this piece. Regardless, something is taking shape on your computer screen that's actually starting to make sense. In fact, you're chuckling to yourself as you read it aloud.

Reality sets in.

You actually have to perform this thing in front of a room full of people, including a dude you used to date. The last time you spoke in such a public forum was for a college marketing class Powerpoint presentation, during which your slides managed to mix themselves up, and you started to cry in front of the whole class. Public speaking is one of your two biggest fears in life—coming a close second to heights. Your heart is starting to palpitate just thinking about it.

Show time.

Oh no, dessert is being served and no one has gotten up to give a toast. It's now or never. Your heart is beating so loudly you're convinced the entire room can hear it. There it goes, the glass is tapped and you're on deck. You start feeling a surge of warmth heading from your toes to your face, accompanied with a general malaise. You chug the rest of your Malbec like you've been in a desert for a day with no water. You slowly inch your way up to the front of the room and start reading. You can't even take your eyes off the page for one single second for fear of meeting a room full of eyes and losing your place on the page. You hear sound come out and imagine it's your voice, only, no one can hear you, so a microphone is brought in. Since the first part of the toast was missed, a cry is heard urging you to start again. In spite of your whole body going through its own internal earthquake, you get through it. Claps are heard 'round the room. And tears of joy shed by your friend. No sweat. When's the next wedding?

About the Author

Jennifer Tzeses

As an eight-time bridesmaid Jenny knows just a little bit about mitigating a makeup meltdown and distracting a meddling mom. As a former editor for Martha Stewart Weddings magazine, her knowledge of all things weddings extended to bridal beauty and fashion, etiquette, and honeymoons. Her writing (weddings and otherwise) appears in such publications and websites as Martha Stewart...


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