18 Important Dos & Don’ts For Giving a Wedding Toast



I was at a wedding years ago where the best man gave the typical terrible bro toast, telling inappropriate stories that had absolutely nothing to do with the just-married couple and more to do with him walking down beer-soaked memory lane with his buddy—just with a microphone in hand. And besides all that, it wasn’t actually a great speech, anyway—no flow, not redeemingly funny or sentimental—and everyone was kinda glad when it was over.

Soon after, I found myself in the ladies room, um, behind closed doors, when I heard a lady out by the sinks going on and on and on about how horrible the speech was and how she couldn’t believe it and etc., etc., etc. She seemed eager to have passers-by verbally agree with her, and when I, not really wanting to get involved, gave her some sort of hybrid yeah-I-hear-ya-but-what-are-you-gonna-do half smile and shrug, she turned to the woman next to me with, “Don’t you think? Don’t you think that was incredibly inappropriate?” The woman, barely looking up from washing her hands, said, “Well, the best man is my fiance, so no, actually, I think it was great.”

I scrammed, stat.

There are ways you can ensure you will not give a bad wedding toast, people—just like there ways you can (semi) ensure your toast-givers will not commit certain offenses while raising their glass, microphone in hand, at your wedding.

This piece from seasoned wedding-party members on CNN not only lists the worst kind of toast-givers—starting with the exact kind I witnessed, above—it also issues some very pointed dos and don’ts for giving one. Good stuff.

And, as the betrothed couple—well, besides not-so-subtly posting this to your Facebook page, where the people who will have such duties at your wedding are bound to see it—you can make an effort to keep this kind of stuff at bay by 1) choosing people in whom you have the utmost faith that they don’t need these lessons, or 2) explicitly expressing your concerns/instructing them on certain things, i.e. “My grandmother will pass out if you so much as say ‘hell’ in your toast; please do not curse in your toast.”

Good luck out there. And see below for some stellar examples of how to rock the wedding toast.

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