Lucky for me, my middle son Jeremy provides me fodder for my blog posts. This summer he was best man at his buddy's wedding in Idaho. Provide support and assistance with the wedding plans. Easy. Plan and host a bachelor party. Easy. They all went camping, by the way. Stand at the alter with the groom. Easy. Write and then deliver a wedding toast in front of all the guests. Yikes!
Jeremy called me numerous times lamenting over what he should say when the spotlight and microphone were his. After 15 years of friendship with the groom there were funny stories, not so funny stories, pranks and misdeeds, camping and hunting adventures, one ex wife and several ex girlfriends. Should he share words of wisdom, points to ponder, or a funny story? All of the above or none of the above? As the day grew nearer, Jeremy - who has much experience facilitating professional meetings - became increasingly nervous about the toast. He also reported that the maid of honor was threatening to escape to Mexico rather then have to give HER wedding toast.
My son had the forethought to Google "wedding toast" and that provided some relief. A good deal of info, advice, sayings & poems, and opinions were found online, as obviously choking at the thought of giving a toast is a common problem. Here are some toasting tips we came up with:
1. Keep it short. This isn't the State of the Union address but rather a statement of their union. Two to three minutes tops. The guests will remain attentive and be relieved.
2. Demonstrate self-control. In other words, don't hit the bar until after the toasts. Being drunk will not make the toast better or funnier. YOU might think so but no one else will.
3. Always be appropriate. Remember that your audience is all ages, religions, cultures, and sexual orientations. Be nice. Keep it clean. No exes, no past embarrassments. If you're not sure something would be funny or appropriate, run it past your friends. Better yet, run it past your MOM.
4. Practice. With friends, with family, even in front of your mirror. This might feel silly but I guarantee it will help squash some of the nerves and help you remember what you want to say. Oh - notes or cheat sheets ARE allowed.
5. Actually TOAST. Remember to raise your glass to the wedding couple as an end to your words of congratulations.
I'm happy to report that Jeremy's toast went well, he was pleased with it, and several people had positive comments to share afterwards. And, yes, the maid of honor pulled off her toast as well. Don't stress, appreciate the honor of being asked to be best man or maid of honor, and enjoy the day.