A tradition that has been passed down through generations, wedding toasts and thoughtful sayings are said to wish luck to the couple. Everyone present hears the kind words, lifts his glass and cheers the couple toward their bright future.
Wedding toasts and thoughtful sayings are used to express feelings to the couple, family and guests. Although many may use this opportunity to embarrass the bride and groom or tell a lengthy story, the toast is traditionally short, sweet and thoughtful, and leaves everyone with warm feelings.
The wedding toast dates back to the Greeks in the sixth century B.C. The Greeks would pour everyone’s wine from a common pitcher and the host would drink first to assure those present that there was no poison contained within. The Romans picked up the practice in the fifth century B.C. The wedding toast included thoughtful sayings and was a common part of the celebration by the 1800s.
The wedding toast sums up a wish for lifelong happiness and prosperity. It should leave the listeners content and not cause embarrassment or strife. It should signify your support, goodwill and love for the couple. Over the years, the only beverages not used in a wedding toast were coffee, tea and water, as they were considered bad luck. Also, the clinking of glasses has been said to ward off evil spirits, thus sealing good luck, health and fortune for the couple. The toasts often signify the end of the formal section of the ceremony and the beginning of the eating, dancing and celebrating.
Traditionally, there are usually several toasts in the wedding celebration. The first toast is always to the bride and is said by the best man, friend or relative. The second toast is said by the best man to both the bride and groom. The third toast is performed by the groom as a response to the previous toasts, thanks to the parents and bridal party, and loving words to his new wife. After this, there may be a toast by the best man on behalf of the bridal party to the groom as a thank you for the celebration. Usually the last wedding toast is offered by the father of the bride, the host of the event. He will thank everyone for their attendance and kick off the celebration. In a non-traditional reception, there may be no order of toasts, and various people can speak and offer toasts at any time.
Anyone sharing a toast with thoughtful sayings should wait until all glasses are filled. The person extending the toast should hold the glass in his or her right hand and extend it from the shoulder. The toast should be brief and memorized. Make eye contact with the focus of the toast, as well as the guests and bridal party. The traditional wedding toast can end with an indication that everyone repeats the final line or says something specific.