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Everything You Should Say in Your Wedding Toast

It's your big moment at the mic.

Contributing Writer
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Photography by: MEG SMITH

Maybe you're the shy type and nervous about speaking in front of a crowd. Or you've never made a toast before and want to make sure you get it right. Whatever your reason for seeking out some toast tips, rest assured there's no right, wrong, or even mandatory when it comes to what to say in a wedding speech. The most important things to remember: Keep the toast short or guests will start checking Snapchat. Also, be genuine—as long as you're speaking from the heart, your words will be powerful and right. Check out our suggestions for delivering a great toast, as well as words that should never leave your mouth.

 

How to Write a Maid of Honor Speech That Everyone Will Raise a Glass To

 

The Basic Framework

As we said, there's nothing you technically have to say in your toast, but there's a few key elements that every great wedding speech will have in common. First and foremost, the speaker should keep it brief. That means two minutes, tops. Within those 120 seconds, you should introduce yourself to the guests (it can be as simple as saying, "I'm Jessica, the maid of honor and Lauren's best friend since first grade"), keep the focuc on the bride and groom, be charming and just a little funny, and acknowledge the couple directly while wishing them a long, happy marriage (try, "Here's to many years of celebrating life together").

 

Sweet Additions

If you find you have some extra time to spare, consider adding one or two sweet additions to your toast. A personal anecdote that conveys something special about the bride and/or groom is a nice choice, or even a personal observation that reveals why the bride and groom are a great match. 

 

Best to Avoid

Mentioning antics that could embarrass the bride, groom, or their families, such as the bride's wild college days or that time the groom puked all over a friend's car, are better left for the bachelor or bachelorette party. You should also steer clear of discussing exes, especially if they're attending the wedding (having 150 heads turn and stare is no fun for anybody), and cataloguing past difficulties in the bride and groom's relationship (even if you point out the happy conclusion, it'd be awkward to bring up when the relationship seemed doomed).

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About the Author

Nancy Mattia

Though Nancy has been writing about weddings for years, she admits that watching a bride walk down the aisle—even on TV—still makes her tear up. The New York-area writer's other favorite wedding moments are when the groom sees the bride for the first time, hearing the toasts, and when she sees a waiter with a tray full of hors d'oeuvres walking towards her. 

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