Wedding rehearsal dinner toasts are usually much less formal and structured than wedding reception toasts. The rehearsal dinner is traditionally given for intimate family and friends. The atmosphere should be relaxed and informal as the two families, along with close friends of the bride and groom, get to know one another. Sentimental stories about the childhood of the bride or groom, humorous anecdotes about the couple, or speeches welcoming the bride or groom into the family are very appropriate.
Who May Give a Wedding Rehearsal Dinner Toast
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There are no rigid rules about the subject or order of the wedding rehearsal dinner toasts. Parents of the bride and groom, members of the wedding party, and close friends who attend the dinner may all stand and propose a toast. A bridesmaid, for example, might tell a short story about introducing the bride and groom. The groom's parents might give a brief toast expressing their joy and delight in their new daughter-in-law.
Take Your Cues From the Hosts
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The groom's family traditionally gives the rehearsal dinner for close family and members of the wedding party. The parents of the groom traditionally give the first toast, and everyone attending should follow their example. If the tone of the first speech is light, funny or personal, follow that example; if the style is more impersonal or conservative, take that as a model for your own toast.
Simple and Casual
Everyone should make their toasts short, simple and casual in keeping with the spirit of the occasion. Rehearsal dinner toasts are not the place for elaborate or lengthy speeches. Many more people want the opportunity to toast at the rehearsal dinner, and long speeches might seem rude. Brief expressions of love, happiness and support work best.
The Bride and Groom
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The bride and groom often make toasts of their own at the rehearsal dinner. The couple may toast their parents and celebrate the joining of their two families. They may also stand and make a toast in response to a toast made to them. The back and forth toasts can be very free form. Often bridesmaids and groomsmen receive gifts at the rehearsal dinner, and toasts and speeches can accompany those gifts.
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Rebecca Sims is a librarian and educator, specializing in law, health sciences and education. She teaches classes in legal research, information technology, patient education, cataloging and digital asset management. Sims holds a Bachelor of Arts from the Academy of Art College and a Masters in library and information science.