After the "I Dos" and before the party falls the wedding toast. A toast is used for the wedding party to show appreciation to the bride and groom, and for the couple to show gratitude to the guests. The toast should break the ice at the party and can be humorous while still being sincere. Creating your toast and practicing it in advance will help with any speaking jitters you may encounter. Just be careful not to indulge in too many drinks before you speak.
Best Man Speech
You may pride yourself on being a jokester, but establish some boundaries with the bride and groom before you utter too much. The best man speech can be funny but also needs to maintain a sincere side to display how happy you are to see your best friend or family member get married. The Knot, an online resource, gives an example of a simple best man's toast. He should start by thanking the people that hosted the event and then introduce himself and describe how he knows the couple. He can then tell a story about the couple or the groom that is clean yet funny. If the story is questionable, always ask the groom in advance about it; you don't want to risk losing a friendship over a speech. Conclude the speech with a quote or a sentiment wishing the couple luck.
Maid/Matron of Honor Toast
Sincerity is key in the maid/matron of honor toast. It might be hard to follow up the best man's speech, but don't be afraid to let your personality shine during the toast if you have comedic qualities, too. Most importantly, be yourself, and let the bride know the happiness you feel for her during this time. The toast should start by thanking the couple and the wedding host if the couple didn't pay for the wedding themselves. It is okay to tell a story next about how the bride and groom met or how big of a crush the bride had on the groom. If you are married, offer appropriate advice to the couple that you have found useful in your marriage. Lastly, wish the couple well and lift your glass to toast in their honor.
Bride and Groom Toast
Following the best man and the maid/matron of honor toasts, the newlyweds should stand and make a brief speech thanking all parties involved. Kate Wood, from The Knot, states, "Keep the thank-yous broad: Mom, Dad, family, brand-new family, friends." It helps to prepare your speech as a couple so that you know who is planning on saying what and have a clear outline of what you will say to express your gratitude to your guests. The bride and groom can share a story if they wish about their courtship and then complete the toast on the note that the celebration is ready to begin and cue the DJ to start the music.
Amanda Long has been freelance writing since 2010. Specializing in technology, crafts and business practices, her articles appear on eHow and Answerbag. Long has also been published in user-training manuals. Long holds a Bachelor of Science in marketing and business management from Northwest Missouri State University.