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Who Should Say a Toast at Your Wedding?

Your wedding day is one of the most memorable events in your life, and toasts are a cherished tradition that add a personal touch to the celebration. Choosing who gets to speak at your wedding is an important decision that can shape the tone and feel of your big day. Here’s a guide to help you decide who should raise a glass and share a few heartfelt words at your wedding.

1. The Best Man

Traditionally, the best man is one of the key speakers during the wedding toasts. His speech often includes funny anecdotes, heartfelt stories, and a toast to the bride and groom. As someone who likely knows the groom very well, the best man’s toast is a highlight that guests look forward to.

Why Choose the Best Man?

  • Tradition: It's a long-standing tradition for the best man to speak.

  • Close Relationship: He often has a close bond with the groom, offering personal and meaningful insights.

  • Entertainment: Best man speeches are known for their humor and engaging stories.

2. The Maid/Matron of Honor

Just like the best man, the maid or matron of honor plays a crucial role and is often expected to give a toast. Her speech usually reflects on her friendship with the bride and the journey the couple has taken together.

Why Choose the Maid of Honor?

  • Emotional Connection: She often shares a deep connection with the bride, leading to heartfelt and touching moments.

  • Supportive Role: As a close friend or family member, she can offer sincere well-wishes and encouragement.

  • Balancing Act: Her speech can balance the tone set by the best man, often bringing warmth and emotion.

3. Parents of the Couple

Parents' speeches are a beloved tradition at weddings, where they can share their joy and blessings. Whether it’s the father of the bride, the mother of the groom, or both, their toasts are a special part of the ceremony.

Why Choose the Parents?

  • Family Significance: Parents’ speeches emphasize the union of two families.

  • Wisdom and Experience: They can offer advice and share experiences from their own lives.

  • Emotional Weight: Parental toasts often carry deep emotional significance and heartfelt blessings.

4. The Couple Themselves

It’s becoming more common for the bride and groom to make a toast. This allows the couple to express their gratitude to everyone who made their day special and to share their own feelings about the journey ahead.

Why Choose Yourselves?

  • Personal Touch: You can thank guests, family, and friends personally.

  • Shared Moments: Sharing your story adds a unique and personal touch to the celebration.

  • Gratitude: It’s a great way to acknowledge the efforts and support of loved ones.

5. Close Friends and Family Members

Sometimes, other close friends or family members are invited to give a toast. These can include siblings, grandparents, or lifelong friends who have played significant roles in the couple’s lives.

Why Choose Close Friends and Family?

  • Diverse Perspectives: Different speakers can offer varied and rich perspectives on the couple’s relationship.

  • Special Bonds: Siblings or close friends often share unique and cherished memories.

  • Surprise Factor: Unexpected toasts from loved ones can be delightful surprises.

Tips for Choosing Your Speakers

Consider the Audience

Make sure your speakers are comfortable speaking in front of a crowd. It’s important that they can engage with the audience and keep their attention. 

Balance the Speeches

Aim for a mix of humor and heartfelt moments. This balance ensures that the toasts are entertaining and meaningful without being overwhelming.

Communicate Expectations

Talk to your chosen speakers about the tone and length of their speeches. Providing some guidelines can help ensure that the toasts align with the overall vibe of your wedding.

Plan the Order

Plan the order of the toasts to create a natural flow. Typically, the best man and maid of honor go first, followed by parents and other chosen speakers.

couple laughing on wedding day along with their toasts
Photo credit to Daniel Spess Photo

Why You Should Avoid an Open Mic Toast Moment at Your Wedding

We can not stress enough how important it is to avoid an open mic moment at your wedding. This scenario is opening to door for a lot of challenges, drama and boredom. Here's why you should NOT give your guests free reign to give toasts at your wedding.

1. Unpredictability

Uncontrolled Content

With an open mic, you have no control over what will be said. This can lead to awkward or inappropriate comments, stories that go off-topic, or even unintentional insults. SPECIFICALLY, if you’re not doing speeches until later in the evening and it becomes a drunken Ted Talk from your Uncle John.

Emotional Variability

Guests might not be emotionally prepared to speak, leading to tears, long pauses, or uncomfortable silence. While emotions are natural, they can disrupt the flow of the celebration.

2. Time Management

Extended Timelines

Open mic sessions can easily extend beyond the planned schedule, causing delays in the reception timeline. And hey, as your planner, this becomes our nightmare. This might affect dinner service, dancing, and other planned activities.

Boredom and Restlessness

Guests might become restless or bored if too many people decide to speak, especially if the speeches are lengthy or repetitive.

3. Quality of Speeches

Lack of Preparation

Speeches given on the spot are often less polished and coherent compared to prepared toasts. Guests may struggle to articulate their thoughts, leading to rambling or unclear messages.

Nervous Speakers

Not everyone is comfortable speaking in front of a crowd. Nervous speakers might struggle, resulting in awkward or uncomfortable moments.

If you do have your heart set on open toasts, consider offering this at your rehearsal dinner or even your bridal shower. From personal experience, your wedding night is not the time or place to offer this.

wedding guests raise a glass to cheers to the newlywed couple
Photo credit to Daniel Spess Photo

Selecting who should say a toast at your wedding is a personal decision that reflects your relationships and the unique dynamics of your special day. Whether you stick with tradition or opt for a modern twist, the most important thing is that the toasts come from the heart and add to the joy and celebration of your wedding. Cheers to making beautiful memories!


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