this isn't open mic night: classic wedding toast mistakes

this isn't open mic night: classic wedding toast mistakes



One of the most popular requests I get as the author of this blog is to write about giving toasts and wedding speeches. We've talked about getting blindsided at rehearsal dinners, and we've outlined general tips when you're planning a speech in advance, but today, let's cover some general don'ts that will help the 3 minutes during which the spotlight is on you (instead of the bride and groom) go off without a hitch.

1.       Don't get hammered before taking the mic.

a.       Seems obvious. It's not. No matter how fantastic a speaker you are, slurring your words will impress no one. Neither will rambling and repeating the same story--and you won't realize it's happening if you've downed a bottle of wine.            

2.       Don't make it about you

a.       If the crowd is loving you, it can be difficult to remember that this is not your national debut on Last Comic Standing, but you're speaking for your friend. He or she chose you--out of every other person at the wedding--to summarize why this marriage is happening and what makes it so great.  Give your unique perspective of why that's the case--and then gracefully make your exit to the bar.

3.       Don't forget to make sense

a.       Before the big day, pinpoint three stories (max) that you want to tell and at least one good thing about the bride and groom as individuals, as well as one of them as a couple. If you practice--and you should--you'll start to get used to the speech flowing by these parts. This way, when  your nerves are popping and the pressure is on, you can revert back to these points in your head to stay on track.

4.        Don't get sidetracked

a.       Ahh,  memories. Sometimes, when we're recalling them, they lead us to other memories. Which can lead to that story about that one time in college when the groom was drunk and met that girl...wait, what was I saying? Stick to the plan. The bride will thank you for it. (And so will the groom).

What's the worst mistake you've seen in during a toast? Have you ever witnessed a true disaster of a speech?

Follow me on twitter @brooklynn15!

image by Trove Designs on Flickr


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  • Have you paid for usage of the images you are featuring on your blog? Not paying usage for images is copyright infringement and it can be reported to the copyright owners. It's breaking the law, not to mention you aren't even crediting the photographers.

  • Thanks for the heads up, Jeff--I have been linking, but I will pay better attention to the rights and make sure to credit the photographers! I appreciate you saying something, as I want to make sure the credit is going to the right place.

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