I’ve been a Los Angeles DJ for 20 years and I have seen thousands of Wedding Toasts. Many have been really good, some bad, a few immensely entertaining, and several downright bore fests. I have also had the honor of being Best Man on two occasions, and I quickly realized  I’m no expert in giving toasts. However, I know that a wedding toast is an opportunity for the best man, maid of honor, family members or friends to share in their joy for the newlywed couple.  When I was asked to be a best man at my Brother’s and Best Friend’s Wedding, I thought about and planned what I would say for months. Even though I am a professional DJ, I still found that I was nervous about giving a toast at a Wedding. A toast is an intimate moment, all eyes and ears are on you, and this moment will be remembered by most in attendance, especially if it goes poorly.

But, don’t worry if you’re not a professional speaker, you don’t need to be. Just keep these few points in mind:

1. Don’t get long winded, keep it under 3-4 minutes. Rehearse the basic points of what you want to say, do not just grab the microphone and start talking.

2. Don’t give the audience an entire history of how you know the Bride or Groom. Give some basic points about the nature of your relationship to them and talk about how happy you are for this couple.

3. If you have nothing nice to say, or you have some resentments about this wedding, don’t say anything. Allow the couple to enjoy this moment, despite what you think of their marriage.

4. Be sincere! If you’re sincere in your joy for the couple, your speech will have all of the right elements of being sweet, sappy, and funny, without seeming contrived.

5. If you aren’t a stand up comedian and you want to be, now is not the time to try out your material. Keep it simple, and don’t try too hard.

6. All toasts seem to have funny stories about the bride or groom which is great, but keep in mind if someone were toasting you, you wouldn’t want something said that would be embarrassing nor do you want any secrets revealed to the friends and family. Try to leave embarrassing facts for drunken nights at the bar, not at a wedding.

7. Remember to Thank the Family’s of the Bride and Groom who were at least partly responsible for this great occasion. Express your gratitude to the Bride and Groom for allowing you to be a part of their most special day, and offer a general thank you to all the guests.

8. Many people seem to have trouble remembering that The Microphone will not work unless you hold it close to your mouth when you speak. If you need to hold items such as notes or props, ask the DJ or MC to place the Microphone on a stand for you. Otherwise practice your speech by holding a hairbrush like a microphone. Also, try to stand still, moving around too much makes you seem nervous and it’s uncomfortable to watch.

9. It’s ok to cry. If you are really emotional, try to pull yourself together before you speak…if you get really torn up during your speech, think about ending your speech early rather than making the audience really uncomfortable. But, if you cry a little, you can be sure there won’t be many dry eyes in the house.

10. And Finally, remember to take your glass with you when you’re giving the toast and at then end of your speech Raise your glass, then ask everyone to raise their glasses, and formally offer a toast the Bride and Groom.

So as you start to plan your toast for the big day here are some wedding toasts that made the guests run for the hills rather than share in the joy. This article on Wedding Toasts from “The Knot” caught my attention 10 Worst Wedding Toasts Ever.

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