Wedding Toasts

Image of glasses for a wedding toast

Toasts at a wedding are a long-held tradition. There are several toasts made at a rehearsal dinner and wedding reception. Specific members of the wedding party are expected to make a toast to the happy couple.

The Wedding Toast

Although toasting is done for many different reasons, most of the time the meaning behind the toast is the same. It is performed to wish the couple the best of health and good luck for many years to come. The only beverages that were not used in a toast over the years include coffee, tea and water- as these beverages are considered bad luck and an insult to most people if they are used in a toast. The clinking of the glasses have been said to ward off any evil spirits that may be hanging around to bring bad doing to a wedding couple. The toast is used to express collective feelings, and these feelings are put into words and are shared with everyone in attendance of the special event. It is also said to bring the formal part of the special day to an end, and to let the informal part begin!

History of Toasting at Weddings

Toasting at weddings has a long upstanding history dating back to the Greeks in the sixth Century B.C. When there was a gathering, the Greeks would pour the wine from a common pitcher. The host would drink from his glass first to ensure his guests that there was no poison placed into the wine. Back then, the Greeks would spike the drinks of their enemies to ensure silence and even use to prevent a messy divorce! This was later picked up by the Romans but for different reasons, about one hundred years later. In the 1800's, the toast was a common act and was done as a gesture of good faith and to wish health and happiness to the guests attending the special occasion at hand.

Order of Traditional Toasts

The first toast is always to the bride and is done by the best man, friend or close relative. The second toast is done by the best man to the bride and groom. The third toast will be the groom's response to the person or people who made the toast before him, a few words to his new wife should be said and a thanks to the parents and the bridesmaids. The second to last toast is the best man, and he will thank the groom on behalf of the bridesmaids and then the bridesmaids himself. The last wedding toast to be given is from the father of the bride. He thanks everyone on behalf of himself and his wife and will indicate that the party can begin.

Nontraditional Wedding Toast

A nontraditional toast starts with the best man making a speech to the guests and the wedding party. After the best man says his speech there is no set order in which anyone can speak. The bride can also make her speech in thanking her family and friends for joining them on the special occasion. The bride typically does not give a speech in a traditional wedding ceremony as the groom thanks everyone on his and her behalf, but in nontraditional wedding toasts, often the bride will give a short speech as well. Ushers, bridesmaids, and even wedding guests are more inclined to give small speeches.

Tips for Giving a Great Toast

When it comes to acknowledging the bride and groom with a toast, make sure that all the glasses of the guests are filled and then fill yours last before making the toast. The proper order of the pouring will always start with the bride, then the groom, then the maid of honor, then all parents of the bride and groom, and the best man receives his last.

Hold the glass in the right hand and extend it straight out from the right shoulder. This is a gesture done to show that you come in friendship and peace. The toast should always end with an indication to all guests to repeat the last line of the toast. For an example, "Please join me in wishing the happy new couple many wonderful years to come, To the bride and groom." At that point, the first sip of wine should be taken.

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Wedding Toasts