0 comments / Posted by Mike Chow

Approaches to toasting vary. Some couples prefer their toasts to be spontaneous, inviting any willing parties to stand up and say a few words off the cuff, an approach that works best at small, informal weddings. But at a large, formal affair, you’re likely to wind up with a lot of dead air if you call for speeches and people aren’t prepared - they’ll just be too intimidated.

The rehearsal dinner, on the other hand, is a great time for spontaneity (thought it’s a given that the hosts will toast). Rehearsal dinner toasts tend to be a lot more colourful than wedding toasts; with that in mind, if there’s a specific incident or subject you don’t want mentioned, it’s best to do a preempt by talking to the potential toaster ahead of time.

Tradition dictates that the best man give the first toast at the reception; the maid of honour and one or more parent may wish to toast as well. In an ideal world, the onus would be on them to prepare themselves, but it’s likely they’ll need a gentle reminder. About two weeks before the wedding, you might casually ask them if they’ve started to think about the toasts yet.

It’s also time to start working on your own toast or speech. You’ll want to say a few words at the rehearsal dinner and the wedding. If there’an additional welcome party, you’ll want to say something there too. Talk to each other three weeks before to decide if one or both of you will be delivering the speeches.

The bride and groom usually make their reception speech when they cut the cake, unless they’re hosting, in which case they would say something earlier to welcome everyone. Though a story about their first meeting or courtship usually makes for good material, there speeches are a time to honour parents and thank them of their help, and also to thank guests for coming.

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