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Wedding Toasting Etiquette

Andrea George
Andrea George is a wedding professional who has been working in the Portland, Oregon area since 1995. She specializes in wedding coordination, catering, and chocolate fountain presentations.  






 
By Andrea George
Published on 04/27/2009
 
Wedding Toasts are traditionally offered at the Rehearsal Dinner, Bachelor Party and of course, the Wedding Reception. How to determine who’s to say what and when is a bit of a mystery. Here we have assembled Wedding Toast Etiquette, Toasting Presentation Tips and an assortment of our favorite toasts, both humorous and classic. The following information will help prepare ‘toasters’ everywhere to come through with something insightful…or at least something reasonably rational! So if you are a Best Man, Groom, Maid or Matron of Honor, or Father of the Bride read on…we’re here to help.

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Wedding Toasting Etiquette
 
Wedding Toasts are traditionally offered at the Rehearsal Dinner, Bachelor Party and of course, the Wedding Reception. How to determine who’s to say what and when is a bit of a mystery. Here we have assembled Wedding Toast Etiquette, Toasting Presentation Tips and an assortment of our favorite toasts, both humorous and classic. The following information will help prepare ‘toasters’ everywhere to come through with something insightful…or at least something reasonably rational! So if you are a Best Man, Groom, Maid or Matron of Honor, or Father of the Bride read on…we’re here to help.

Traditional Wedding Toast Etiquette

There are typically four people who will speak at a wedding. Traditionally and in order of appearance they are the Best Man, the Groom, the Maid or Matron of Honor and the Father of the Bride. Other people are welcome to speak as well, but typically these are the four main speakers at a wedding reception.

Toasting time usually happens once everyone has been seated and served champagne, but the bride and groom may want to have toasts between courses. A wedding toast usually begins with a little story or a quote to set the scene. The toast master will then proceed to make the toast. Your introduction should be appropriate for the particular event and suitable to the person(s) you are toasting.

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In the traditional order of wedding toasts, the toast to the bride comes first. This is, after all, the bride’s special day. This toast is typically made by the best man, but can also be made by a relative or friend. In recent years, the toast to the bride has been replaced by a toast to both the bride and groom.

Once the toast to the bride is complete, the groom rises to respond. The groom’s response will include words to the bride, which are often an affirmation of the first toast. The groom then thanks the best man (or whoever proposed the first toast) and also thanks the parents attending the wedding, both his and his bride’s. The groom’s response closes with a toast to the bridesmaids.

After the groom finishes speaking, the best man responds. The traditional response of the best man is to thank the groom on the bridesmaids’ behalf. The best man’s response can be followed by the toasts of others, Maid or Matron of Honor and ushers or close friends.

The traditional order of wedding toasts is closed out by the Father of the Bride. His job is to thank all of the wedding guests on behalf of him and his wife. He usually toasts his daughter and her new husband. He then announces the commencement of wedding festivities.

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Not So Traditional Order of Wedding Toasts

Of course, tomorrow’s wedding traditions are defined by those who break the traditions of today. Non-traditional wedding toasts have been more popular in recent years. The new non-traditional order tends to give the impression of greater equality among the wedding’s participants.

Non-traditional wedding toasting may begin with a toast to the couple by the master of ceremonies. This toast is then followed by a response from the groom which includes thanks to the MC and the wedding guests, then a toast to the bride.

A non-traditional set of wedding toasts may continue with words from the bride which include thanks to the groom and a toast to her parents. This wedding toast may also embrace the groom’s parents, as well.

The father of the bride may propose a toast, or the master of ceremonies may introduce others who want to toast the happy couple. At some point, the toasts will end and celebration will begin.