Today's Bride

Tips for Writing your Toast


Once the ceremony has ended and cocktail hour has been served, it’s time for the Best Man & Maid of Honor to fulfill their biggest wedding duty: give the couple a sincere, thoughtful, and dynamic wedding toast.

The toasts are a staple in U.S. wedding culture. Typically, they are given first by the Best Man, followed by the Maid of Honor, the host of the wedding, and both sets of parents of the couple. For many, this daunting task can cause (almost) as many nerves as the couple feels moments before walking down the aisle. Public Speaking is, after all, the number one fear in the United States.

If you see your role on the list above, don’t worry, we’ve got your back. We’ve prepared a list of ways to ace your speech – and a template to follow if you’re drawing a blank.

Best Man Giving a Toast | B Frohman Imaging & Design | As seen on
B Frohman Imaging + Design

Tips for Writing and Giving

Write your toast beforehand

It’s a common misconception that impromptu toasts are more “sincere” and “from the heart.” If you don’t like speaking off the cuff, or speaking at all, your speech will be much more impactful if you can plan out your thoughts before the toasts are given. Pro tip: before you start your speech, write out an outline of big points you want to make, quotations you might want to include, or funny stories you just HAVE to share. Just make sure to keep them appropriate enough that the couple can look their grandparents in the eye afterwards.

Keep it between 3-5 minutes

Toasts are the last event before dinner is served, so guests (and the couple) may not have the longest attention spans. Keeping your speech between 3-5 minutes will assure that you keep your audience’s attention while making your desired emotional impact. As you write your speech, keep your speaking speed in mind. If you know you speak quickly when you’re nervous, make sure your speech is between 375-625 words. If you have a slower pace, 300-550 is your golden window.

Practice it out loud, in front of another person

Once your speech is perfect, grab a fellow bridesmaid, groomsman, or a friend that knows the couple. Practice your toast once or twice for them. This is a great way to get an accurate time on the speech, and to see how long to pause for comedic timing.

Bridesmaid giving a toast | too much awesomeness | As seen on
too much awesomeness

Read your speech – don’t try to memorize it

You don’t get extra points for being off script on the wedding day (Unless Great Aunt Betty is keeping tabs from the back table). Once the adrenaline gets pumping, your perfectly written speech can fly out the window if you don’t have the original to refer to. Print two copies of your speech in advance, and keep it saved on your phone. That way, you won’t lose it beforehand.

Don’t become a regular at the open bar before the toasts

A few sips of Liquid Courage can’t hurt before the toasts, but keep your alcohol intake to just that. Giving toasts while tipsy or drunk is a recipe for disaster and cringe-worthy memories for years to come. Indulge AFTER the speech is done.

Smile, even if you don’t want to

Did you know that smiling can make you more confident? Even if you want to hide under your dinner napkin while you give the toast, paste on a big ol’ smile. It’s like the Power Pose of public speaking. You’ll feel more confident and comfortable in no time.

Make sure to toast the couple at the end

This seems obvious, but is more overlooked than you’d think. End your toast by encouraging guests to raise their glass and honor the couple. *clink*

Toast | Genevieve Nisly Photography | as seen on
Genevieve Nisly Photography

As promised, here’s a wedding toast template to help you start:

 [Introduce yourself and your connection to the couple] Good evening everyone. My name is [your name here], and I’ve been the bride’s best friend since grade school. [Personalized story to elaborate on that connection] We’ve been friends for so long, the bride and I used to play MASH to predict our futures. I think we were both supposed to have mansions by now. [Tie it in to the partner] We were always dreaming about our futures. But what we couldn’t have predicted, all those years ago, is the amazing partner she would find in xxx. [Elaborate on why they’re the perfect match] xxx and xxx are the perfect fit because …. [list 1-2 reasons why they’re the perfect fit. A story helps with each point! For example:] The groom brings out the bride’s adventurous side. Who would have thought that our beach-loving gal would travel all the way to Thailand for her honeymoon? But most importantly, they can rely on each other no matter what happens. Throughout all of it – grad school, family turmoil – they stood by each other’s sides through it all. That’s the most important thing you can ask for in a forever partner. [Thank the couple for the honor] I wanted to say to both of you how honored I am to be chosen as your Best Man/Maid of Honor. I’ll always cherish being a part of your special day. [Toast the couple] So, let’s raise a glass to this amazing couple. Cheers to the bride and groom!

Throw in a quotation, poem, or song lyric that applies to their partnership. This can be especially impactful right before the toast or during the section where you elaborate on why they’re the perfect match.

We hope this helped you ace your toast – you’re going to be a public speaking pro now!


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