Who Gives a Wedding Reception Toast & When?
What You Need to Know Before Clinking Glasses for a Wedding Reception Toast
Think about the best wedding reception toast you’ve ever heard…
Chances are there was nothing extraordinary about the toast itself, but the warm emotions that it stirred likely have had a long-lasting impact. This clearly illustrates the purpose of a wedding reception toast: to be simple, charming, and sentimental, all in honor of the lovely couple that’s about to spend the rest of their lives together.
So whether you’re giving the wedding toast or anticipating them at your reception, here’s everything you need to know.
Consider this your Wedding Reception Toasts guide!
Who toasts the couple?
- The maid of honor and best man will usually give a toast before dinner service begins.
- The father of the bride will often give a welcome speech before toasting the newlyweds.
- The groom, bride or both may toast their guests and each other if they like.
What’s listed above is standard procedure but it’s your reception, so anything goes! Create a timeline of who will be toasting and when. Consider how long your guests will be asked to listen to well wishes and how the toasts will impact dinner service. Your wedding DJ will act as the MC to introduce each speaker and keep the timeline moving.
When do wedding toasts take place?
Most receptions follow a similar timeline of:
- Grand entrance
- Cake cutting
- Toasts before dinner service begins
This allows your guests to focus on the messages without the distraction of wait staff. However, toasts can occur at anytime during the reception, between courses, after the meal – it’s your choice.
What to say and how to say it
Toasts should be fun and for public consumption. If you wouldn’t say it to Grandma, don’t say it in the toast (Grandma is likely seated close by).
- Keep it brief. Make the message heartfelt, but brief. You can always expand on your wishes on the wedding video. Listeners start to tune out after two minutes.
- How to begin. The MC will introduce you so it isn’t necessary to restate your name. You can let everyone know your relationship to the couple.
- Be original. Sure you can google wedding toasts for inspiration, but does that really say what you want to? A few heartfelt statements, a wedding quote or joke, or a personal memory can be a great foundation to get you started.
- Focus on the couple. The toasts should mention both the bride and the groom, not focus on one exclusively.
- Raise your glass. Remember to invite the listeners to toast the couple at the conclusion of your toast.
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