Being chosen by the bridal couple to raise the toast on their wedding day is a very special honour. For some, however, it can be a real nerve-racking prospect once you realise you must deliver a heartfelt speech to a huge crowd.
We at BoaGoa, have come together with some suggestions to make the speech writing and toasting just a little bit easier.
Get a Head Start
Start preparing the speech a good 2-3 weeks in advance. This gives you enough time to ensure that you have all your facts in place. For instance, the wedding guests would love to know how the couple first met or how the groom proposed to the bride (or vice versa).
Getting the speech ready early would give you time to practice so that the speech feels natural on the day of the wedding. Do not hesitate to have a few friends proofread the speech and give you any tips or suggestions. Practice in front of a mirror or on camera, so that you know how to pace out the speech and help you be more confident.
If you aren’t inherently a person who jokes a lot, avoid attempting multiple jokes. Play to your strengths; the speech could be emotional, funny, sweet or if you are good at singing or composing a poem and it is a talent appreciated by the couple, use those skills to share your feelings with everyone.
As quoted by Roy T Bennett:
“To shine your brightest light is to be who you truly are.”
Content: Start – Middle – End
Structure the content of the speech into three parts so you can cover most of the aspects of a great speech.
A good way to start would be to address the guests and welcome them to be a part of the celebration. A handy joke would be a good ice breaker before you proceed with an introduction of yourself and your relationship with the couple (remember, this is the couple’s special day, so the guests want to hear more about them rather than your accolades).
Express your emotions to be given the honour to raise the toast. If you have a nice story on why you believe you were chosen to raise the toast do share it with the audience.
Focus the next section of the speech on the newlyweds. Let everyone know why you believe they bring out the best in each other and belong together. The stories of how they met, proposed, fell in love and even your fondest memory with the couple are good candidates to showcase why they make a terrific couple.
You can even whip out a humorous joke about a quirky behaviour or habit of the bride/groom or the couple together and how the significant other would cope with it.
Closeout the speech by offering advice and well wishes to the couple. Thank the bridal couple, their parents, siblings, and all the guests in attendance for being a part of the special occasion. Ask that everyone enjoy themselves and share in the bliss of the new bride and groom. If possible, end with a good joke to leave a smile with the married couple and the guests.
Toast to the Couple, Don’t Roast them.
This is the day of the bridal couple, and the guests have come together to celebrate them and to be a part of their happiness. Hence it would be well appreciated to refrain from embarrassing the couple with inappropriate jokes, bringing up past relationships, unnecessarily swearing, and by being drunk. Stay classy and every word you say should be focused on making the couple smile with gratitude and nostalgia.
Keep the speech short and sweet.
The speech should ideally be around 3-4 minutes long. This would give you enough time to engage the audience and take them through the journey about the bridal couple that you want them to experience.
Speak slowly and deliberately; it’s easy to get carried away and go a little too fast for the guests to comprehend. Look directly at the couple when addressing them and don’t forget that you’re speaking to everyone in the vicinity. Make eye contact and smile at the guests as you take them on this journey.
Jot down the notes.
Keep a note of the important points you would like to cover during the speech. It’s always better to have it written on a piece of paper or note cards rather than on the phone, as the phone might ring or need to be unlocked causing an awkward interruption.
The notes should only be used if you draw a blank or forget the next part; try to keep your eyes on the bridal couple or the audience for most of the speech to keep them engaged.
Be Calm and Composed.
It’s always a good approach to talk to the MC before the reception so that you have a good idea of when you are expected to speak. When the moment approaches, take a few deep breaths and remember that you are well-rehearsed and have it under control.
If you believe that a drink or two would help you calm the nerves, feel free to have some. However, refrain from drinking too much before the toast as you want to be in control and focused during the speech. Remember that you do have your notes in case you blank out.
Raise your Glass to Toast to the Wedding
Once you have completed the speech, don’t forget to toast. Clink your glass with the bridal couple and ask everyone to raise their glasses to honour the newlyweds. Cheers!!!