Wedding Planning

Wedding Toasts

Browse our wedding toasts and speeches guide and ensure your words leave a memorable impression.

Raise a glass; now’s the time to toast to the happy couple! Wedding toasts and speeches can sometimes cause anxiety, but there is no need. Enjoy your moment in the limelight, and make the most of these situations with some wedding speech prep work.

Your best man, maid of honor, parents, and other special guests may inquire about appropriate speaking times, so it’s good to have an idea beforehand. Talk to your wedding planner about the time line or be sure to craft one yourself and share it with important people. You and your fiancé may also want to prepare some expressions of gratitude for your parents, your guests, and your vendors. Every wedding is different; discuss and layout a general “toasting time line” with everyone before the celebrations begin.

Who Toasts at a Wedding?

Traditionally the best man, maid of honor, and hosts, often the parents of the bride, will say something over the course of events; however, close friends, the bride and groom themselves, or anyone who has something to say is welcome to make a toast.

When to Make a Wedding Speech

When to toast all depends on the nature of your wedding. If yours will be a cocktail- or buffet-style reception, your guests may not ever be gathered at the same place and time to listen to toasts. Another option is to hold the formal wedding toasts, such as the best man’s speech, during the rehearsal dinner instead. At a seated dinner, the father of the bride traditionally toasts to commence the meal. Your caterer can arrange an official champagne toast, passing glasses of champagne to each guest prior to the best man speech or the father of the bride. Toasts can really occur at any time during the reception – between courses, after the meal, during the cake cutting, etc. Discuss your desired time frame with your event coordinator beforehand so he or she can round up your guests to listen.

How To Respond to Wedding Toasts

Everyone should rise for toasts to the new couple except the bride and groom, who remain seated (unless they already happen to be standing). When someone toasts the bride and groom, they should smile and say thank you. They should not clap or drink to themselves. If a toast addresses the bride only, the groom should rise. If a toast is directed toward the parents or any other guest, both the bride and groom should rise.

When the Newlyweds Toast

This is a wonderful opportunity to publicly recognize your family and friends for their love and support. If the bride and groom make a toast, they should not speak in unison (this sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised). They should instead stand together while one speaks or take turns speaking. And don't forget to thank your vendors! They have also worked hard to make your wedding dreams come true. 

What To Say in a Wedding Toast

Wedding toasts should be light, fun, and G-rated. Avoid saying anything you wouldn’t say to the bride’s grandmother’s face. Be succinct. There is nothing more awkward than a rambling, bumbling best man speech – under two minutes is perfect. All speakers should begin by introducing themselves. While toasts should include memories or funny anecdotes, avoid too many inside jokes that exclude the majority of guests. Your jokes will be met with silence if only a few listeners understand! Finally, wedding toasts should mention both the bride and the groom, even if the speaker only knows one or the other. And if the spotlight is on you and you’re suddenly at a loss for words, try the old standby, “I’m so happy for you two. Cheers!” It never goes out of style.

How To Say It

It’s smart to prepare beforehand, but always try to speak from the heart. Reading from a card seems insincere and awkward.

Wedding Planning