Tips for successful wedding toasts

by Halina St James

Later this month I will be celebrating 22 years of marriage with my partner, Neil Everton. When we got married, I broke with tradition and delivered a speech.

I started with ‘It’s my wedding and I can do whatever I want’. I recall getting a laugh. My speech was short and funny. It worked.

It was a lesson leaned from the first time I made a toast at a dear friend’s wedding. I went on way too long. One of the guests was actually making get-off-the-stage-now movements with his eyes. I was too nervous to follow his wise advice.

I remembered these two incidents while  reading a newspaper article this weekend. It was about delivering a great wedding toast.

The first thing the article said was ‘Be Brief’. Five minutes is plenty. People want to party, not listen to you go on and on.

The article has several good tips. I would add one more: ‘Always keep in mind, it’s not about you’. It’s all about the person you are talking about. And it’s about the audience. Here’s to you. Cheers!

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