No one knows the hard and fast history of the wedding toasts, but they have been a long part of the wedding tradition. Protocol dictates that the father of the bride, as host of the wedding, is designated to give the first toast and that it is rude to offer a toast without his approval. Next the best man offers his congratulations and the official toast is at the end of his speech where he offers a short sentence or two of well wishes for the couple. Some countries have traditional toasts that are common for this part. Usually the maid of honor will go next, offering her own short speech tailored towards the bride. In some weddings the groom offer a few words thanking the guests and the wedding party for attending.

We’ve all been to that wedding where the best man drones on and on boring the guests to tears. Or the maid of honor has had one too many celebratory glasses of champagne and is practically incoherent. We’ve had those toasts so outrageous you feel uncomfortable just listening to it, and worst of all, the toast that is so bland and generic you think they just picked a bunch of famous quotes out of a book.

But sometimes, you get that wedding toast that really goes to the heart. The toast that is the perfect mix of funny and sweet, caring and teasing, and shows the love between the toaster and the couple. Those are the toasts we all hope for our wedding, and as a happily engaged wedding I have big expectations for my best man and maid of honor! If you have a wedding come up where you’ll be making one of the toasts then I hope you’ll keep these tips in mind.

Virginia MOCA reception

Wedding Toasts How To

  1. Short and sweet
    1. For the average wedding crowd you’ll have their attention for maybe 5 minutes. Keep your toast short and sweet and your crowd will appreciate it and remember your toast fondly. 
  2. Keep it pg-13
    1. Deprecating humor at the expense of the groom is to be expected, but please keep it family friendly. Grandma doesn’t want to hear about her sweet grandsons wild bachelor party escapades. 
  3. Include both people
    1. A toast is about celebrating the couple, both of them. While the first part of the toast is generally about your friend, don’t forget to congratulate the both of them. Drives me nuts when the toaster forgets that fact and focuses solely on one person.
  4. When in doubt, tell them how much you love them
    1. You’ve been invited to share a toast in honor of someone very important to you. Remember that and you’ll be fine! 
  5. Be prepared
    1. Practice your toast ahead of time, don’t drink too much beforehand, write up notes and don’t be afraid to use them!

fall southern charm stylized wedding

Wedding toasts are my favorite part of the reception. I love hearing how the best man and maid of honor know that bride and groom, I love hearing the sweet stories and I love when a toast is sweet and funny. If you were asked to give a toast then you should do your best to take these tips under advisement, your friend and your audience will thank you!

Author note: Nicole is the creator and owner of Little Blog on the Homestead where in addition to planning her own homestead wedding she also writes about emergency preparedness, essential oils and a variety of homesteading topics. You can follow along with her tales over at