After you say "I Do," friends & family will want to congratulate and honor your vows by toasting to your marriage. We have prepared a toasting guide for you and others who will be toasting at the wedding- when to speak, how to keep it short and simple, and what to drink.
Who Speaks: Traditionally, the father of the bride initiates the toast and summons everyone to enjoy the meal while congratulating the new couple and thanking everyone for joining in on the celebration. With Champagne in hand, and after most of the dinner is completed, the other speeches are given. The Maid and Man of honor are usually first to give the speeches. Siblings or non hosting stepparents are welcome to give a speech at this time as well. Finally, someone can cap off the speeches. This can be either the groom, if he wants to say a few sweet words about his new wife, or the host can come back for a final thank you (and a "Let's get this party started!") spiel.
How to make it Memorable: Here are some tips to make the speech memorable, in a good way!
1.) Don't wing it - It's important to have a game plan when giving a speech; otherwise your potential to get nervous and start rambling will only intensify as you start talking. If you have a somewhat planned speech it will give you more confidence and calm your nerves.
2.) Keep it short and simple: Most speeches should take between one and two minutes but should not go over three minutes. This is not the time to tell every story about your childhood friend or high school adventures. Keep the stories to ones everyone will know (and not be embarrassed about!) and try not to ramble or people will become uninterested.
3.) Talk about the couple: It's fine to start with, "I've know Liz for 12 years..." but also try to weave in the groom, or other half of the couple. Remember this day is about both of them and not just the person your the closest with.
4.) Limit alcohol intake before the Speech: I know you will probably be nervous to give a speech in front of 100+ people, but just remember that you will know the vast majority of them and they are your friends. Try to stay calm and don't drink too much alcohol before the speech or you may end up saying something you regret, or worse, that embarrasses the new couple.
What to Drink: Champagne is the traditional choice for wedding toasts. In order to be called "Champagne", the grapes must have been grown from the Champagne region of France. Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne Brut Blue Label, Ruinart Blanc De Blancs, & Poper-Heidsieck Brut are all perfect for popping on your special day. Another idea would be a signature cocktail. The options are endless but make sure it's something most guests will enjoy and have the caterers serve another choice, such as sparkling cider, as well. Whether you decide to go the traditional route or make up your own drink, be sure your caterer knows when the speeches are so they can make sure each guest has something to toast with when the time comes.