Tips on Wedding Toasts From the Bridesmaids

Although “regular” bridesmaids don’t often make toasts unless the wedding reception is exceptionally large (and long-running!), toasts from the maids or matrons of honor do occur fairly frequently. Sometimes this honorific bridesmaid speaks for herself, or she may combine the thoughts and feelings in her toasts of all the bridesmaids combined.

Although many bridesmaids prefer to speak “off the cuff” without any notes to prompt them, others choose to write a few notes on cards to at least lead them as they speak. Try to avoid simply reading from a written speech; you want to make occasional eye contact with the bride, groom, wedding party, and guests. If you’re at a loss of what to say, here are some tips to get you started.

Funny and/or Touching Anecdotes

“Telling stories” on the bride or groom can loosen up the crowd and set everyone at ease – particularly if they are about humorous or sentimental things that have happened in the past. Be sure to keep all humor clean (remember there are most likely children in the audience!) and in good taste.

And if you decide to talk about a touching incident while toasting the couple, don’t choose a subject so emotional that it brings tears to the eyes of your listeners. After all, this is a joyous occasion, so keep things light, airy, and above all, happy.

Spiritual Statements and Words of Wisdom

Including spiritual statements in your bridesmaid’s toast doesn’t necessarily mean harping on religious dogma or legalistic issues of some denomination or faith. Wishing them a beautiful, spiritual union can be worded to encompass all things that have to do not with material things, but those aspects of a long life together that go way further than skin deep.

That the two share themselves with one another in all things that have to do with loving one another as much or more than each loves themselves, honoring commitments, and cherishing the things that do not fade with time, but grow over the years are always good words of advice to include in wedding toasts.

Keep It Short & Sweet

Toasts – no matter from whom they are spoken – should only last three to five minutes. Keep in mind that after this amount of time, most people’s attention begins to wane, and you don’t want people drifting off or starting to fidget while you’re going on and on about something that happened between you and the bride that no one else has an inkling of. Exercise brevity as you strive to keep things interesting.

Take a Deep Breath and…Relax!

If you’re prone to freezing up when speaking in front of groups, the best cure is to practice, practice, practice. Give yourself plenty of time before the wedding to rehears your toast first in front of the mirror, then with one or two family members or close friends, and then to larger numbers of people, if possible. And then before you speak at the actual event, take several deep, slow, even breaths (don’t hyperventilate!) before you begin the toast.

Weddings are events to be enjoyed. Don’t let the thought of having to speak in front of a crowd stop you from having fun. After all, this is someone’s (for whom you care about) very big day! Remember it’s all about them – the bride and groom – and that even if you do make a mistake, it’s unlikely anyone will notice or recall it afterward. So have fun, relax, and enjoy the party!