Before you get down on the dance floor, there is a big wedding tradition that you won't want to miss: the toasts! When done right, they can be one of the most memorable and cherished parts of your reception. Not sure how much time to allow or who to ask to give a speech? We are here to help and break down the toast basics!
Successful toasts are all about planning. While on the spot speeches can be sweet, you won't want to keep your guests away from the dancing for too long. Allow for anyone who would like to give a toast at the reception dinner do so, but leave your rehearsal toasts to those whom you designate. Those key speakers are usually the bride's parents, the maid of honor, the best man, and the two of you! Here is a quick breakdown of who can give which speech on your big day!
photo via Allegra's Studio
The Welcome Toast
Whoever is hosting the even should always speak first and make their way to the microphone as soon as guests have found their seats. The first toast is often made by the parents (or father) of the bride and should combine both a toast to the new couple, and a welcome to guests in attendance. If the parent's of the groom which to give a toast as well, have them follow immediately after the parent's of the bride.
photo via Honeycomb Photography
If you are inviting someone to bless your meal, do so immediately after the welcome toasts, but before dinner is served or your guests make their way to the buffet.
photo via Taylor Lynn Photography
The Best Man & Maid of Honor Toasts
Usually the best man followed by the maid of honor speak toward the end of the dinner - while guests are still seated but after entrees have been served. This way there are no interruptions from your caterers clearing or serving plates, but your guests are still paying attention. If you are having a buffet style meal, wait until you see that everyone has gotten something to munch on.
photo via Kelsey Rae Photography
The Newlyweds' Toast
Of course, the new bride and groom should take the mic to thank your parents and your guests for coming to celebrate with you! You can speak right after your maid of honor, or wait to make your speech until you have gotten up to cut the cake!
photo via Jon W. Miller Photography
While you can't always ensure that every toast will go off without a hitch, there are a few steps you can take to help it all run smoothly. First, give your speakers some advance notice so they can prepare. A few months before the wedding, invite them to say something on your big day should they feel comfortable doing so. Second, provide a time limit! The sweet spot for a toast is three to five minutes - enough time to share a story and a sweet sentiment, but not so long that guests lose interest. Lastly, let each person know when they'll be speaking throughout the events. This way they can make sure to be ready when their time comes, and maybe hold off on that extra glass of wine or trip to the buffet until after they have given their remarks.