Amber over at Beyond Events Atlanta has such a great post for us today! I can’t even count the toasts I’ve heard that I should NOT have heard. Take these tips and tell all your friends who are going to be toasting at a wedding in the near future. :)

Being asked to be a part of someone’s wedding is an honor and privilege. Along with being part of the wedding party can also come the responsibility of giving a toast to the happy couple. Over the years I have heard hundreds of toasts, some beautiful, others funny, a few that were boring and a handful that were down right disasters.  In order to give a toast that you’re proud of and that others enjoy follow these five tips.

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1. Remember Your Audience.

For a wedding you’ll be speaking in front of children, grandparents and possible friends from church. Your speech should be tailored to the people hearing it. This means no cussing, no sexual innuendo, nothing embarrassing about the bride and groom, and no telling stories that involves being drunk, wild college days or ex’s.

2. Keep It Brief.

The length of your speech should be between 2- 6 minutes.  This is your opportunity to say a few short words about the bride and groom, if it goes on for too long people lose interest. It’s best to congratulate them and resume celebrating.

3. Be Prepared.

Although it’s not necessary to have the toast written down word for word, it’s a good idea to have a rough idea of what you’d like to say. One thing that’s often helpful is to use a small notecard to write down words or phrases to remind you of the important points you want to make.

4. Practice.

Deliver your speech in front of a small crowd a few times before the wedding. It’s even better if it is for people that won’t be attending. This serves two purposes. First, when you do the trial run(s) you get to gage people’s reactions or get feedback and second, you get to practice. By getting comfortable with what you have to say you’re less likely to get nervous, stutter or forget what you’re going to say.

5. Use Humor at Your Own Risk.

Many times I’ve heard someone giving a toast attempt to be funny only to be met with silence. This is awkward and a little painful for both the speaker and the listeners. It is best to use humor only if you’re naturally funny (according to other people) or you have practiced in front of others and be told your toast is funny.

When given the opportunity to make a speech at a friend or family member’s wedding give what you have to say real thought and consideration, it will be remembered for years to come, for better or worse. Following these guidelines will help you make a toast that is comfortable, entertaining and memorable for the right reasons!