Wedding Toast Mistakes To Avoid
Toasts at a wedding can run the gamut. While not all speeches need to be memorable, the amazing ones and the terrible ones always stand out. If you’re tasked with toasting at the wedding of one of your closest friends or relatives, you might feel nervous. For one, talking in front of a large group of people might feel intimidating. Beyond this, there are many pitfalls you are going to want to avoid in order to deliver a toast that keeps everyone happy. Though there is no simple secret to a successful speech, there are bits of advice worth following.
Take a look at these common toast mistakes to avoid. By reviewing these basic flubs, you’re giving yourself plenty of room to make better choices.
No One Gets the Joke
There are very good reasons why a wedding toast can be difficult to nail. You’re likely giving this speech because you are incredibly close with one or both of the people getting married. This means you also probably have infinite inside jokes you share together. While one or two clever jokes throughout the speech might be subtle enough to land in the right way, overstuffing your toast with super-specific references can be an easy way to bore the entire crowd in a matter of seconds.
Your speech should be personal, of course, but it also needs to have a bit of generality to it. Talk more about why you love the couple rather than ramble on and on about specific experiences you have had together. Save that kind of information for your card or for the after-party. When you avoid inside jokes and other specific references, you’re allowing the entire group of people assembled the chance to actually engage with what you’re saying instead of daydream about what dinner will look like.
Here’s the thing: You really want to moderate your drinking before your toast. This can be really trying for some, as the idea of giving a speech might send them straight to the bar for a shot to calm the nerves. A drink or two might help, but an open bar at a wedding is an easy path to becoming inebriated far earlier than you would normally. Before you know it, you’re drunkenly going on and on in front of the whole wedding about an embarrassing story that no one wants to remember.
Losing your inhibitions isn’t a good look before a speech, especially at a wedding. The beauty of staying on the sober side before the speech is that the toasts generally happen early in the night. You’ll still have plenty of time to hit the bar and drunkenly shake it to some tunes with all your friends. All you need to do is make sure you’re not slurring out your toast, and you’re in a better position than plenty of people who have had to do this task in the past.
Keep It Short
You also need to make sure you keep your speech concise. Five minutes should be the maximum amount of time you hold the attention of the crowd. Longer than that and even the most patient people will start to feel restless. Keep the speech moving with humor and sweet remarks, and you can easily leave the crowd wanting more.
Giving a toast can take a lot out of you. While you don’t need to be perfect, you definitely want to do right by the happy couple. As long as you make it a point to stay sober, keep your speech as short as possible, and make the whole toast general enough for everyone to appreciate, you will be able to deliver a message that people talk about throughout the night for all the right reasons.