What makes a good wedding toast?

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A good wedding toast is something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately. My spouse is excited to be the best man at a wedding this weekend, and he has been planning his toast for a while.

A wedding toast has been called an artform. And I agree. It’s takes some effort to sum up a relationship in a few minutes! And, public speaking is one of the many things Americans fear the most. Research from the Chapman Survey of American Fears found that public speaking is a top fear within the “personal anxiety” domain. It’s up there with claustrophobia and clowns.

Wondering where to begin? Here are five tips on putting together a wedding toast that guests will remember and the wedding couple will love:

Wedding toast tip 1: Know your audience.

The first rule of anything you write or deliver! It is incredibly important to know that your audience is full of friends, family, and loved ones. Know that writing this wedding toast – especially if you are planning to bring up an inside joke or potentially embarrassing moment – will be heard by a variety of people in this couple’s lives.

Wedding toast tip 2: Make it about the couple.

In addition to knowing your audience, also know that your #1 audience is the wedding couple. Make sure your wedding toast is about the people getting married – not about you. And, talking about both people getting married is key. This is about a union of two people in love! Your toast adds to that celebration.

Wedding toast tip 3: Be genuine.

Why? Being genuine with your wedding toast means that you tell something about the couple (or each member of the couple) that comes naturally to you. It’s not embellished or understated- it’s simple, true, and natural. People will relate to a genuine, specific story better than anything else.

Wedding toast tip 4: Be sincere.

In other words, be yourself! This is different than being genuine. Bring your heart to the table and don’t be afraid to show your emotions. You can be sincerely funny, nostalgic, witty, and wise. It is the sincerity of your humor, nostalgia, or cleverness that will make the wedding toast.

Wedding toast tip 5: Remind yourself to relax.

Being invited to a wedding is an honor. So, know that people in the room care – this is (presumably) not a hostile audience! If you are nervous about the wedding toast, knowing this might help a little.

What do you think makes a good wedding toast?

Let us know in the comments

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