A wedding toast and speech is a way of wishing a newly married couple good fortune and good luck on their wedding day. While a toast maybe 1 to 6 lines long and may last only one to two minutes, a wedding speech may be longer, for 5-6 minutes.
Traditionally the toasting is done by the Best Man but the bride and groom's fathers also have taken to toasting and speech giving. Normally the person delivering the toast will have a short, humorous story to tell about the bride or the groom and then proceed with the actual toasting.
Toast ideas may be from some time-honored quotations to self-crafted speeches and also humorous anecdotes.
Forty years in heaven is popular:
May you two have plentiful food, drinks and friends,
A soft pillow for your head,
May you both be forty years in heaven,
Before the devil knows you are dead.
Or very short:
May I see you gray
And combing your grandchildren's hair.
May peace and plenty be the first
To lift your latch on the door,
And happiness be guided to your home
By the love of our Savior Jesus Christ.
Irish wedding toast:
Wherever you go and whatever you do,
May the luck of the Irish there be with you.
The secret to having a good marriage is to understand that marriage must be total, it must be permanent, and it must be equal - Frank Pittman
The secret of a happy marriage remains a secret - Henry Youngman.
There is no more lovely, friendly and charming relationship, communion or company, than a good marriage. - Martin Luther King
These kinds of quotes can be used to embellish your toasts and make it a success. More such quotes, ideas for toasts and speeches are available for free on the net on various websites. The site 123helpme.com has 118 essays on wedding toasts.
The site bestmanspeech.com has an elaborate template for generating wedding speeches. It includes criteria such as description of groom's traits (ambitious/ accident prone/ nerd), Interests of the groom (Betting/books/computers/cricket), Career (Accountant/consultant), Appearance (Bald/short/skinny) . It has a choice of opening lines (please-all ice-breaker/ laddish ice-breaker/nervous best man)
It has wedding type (Church service/traditional service/ Scottish dress) Also allowance is made for commenting on your role as Best Man, providing an insight into your friendship, your relationship with the groom, the happy couple's romance, insight into bride and groom's relationship and a heart-warming tribute. Finally there is the closing line before raising a toast, which may be humorous, sincere, or an Irish blessing. Thus you have a great speech ready!
The site Butlerwedding.com has a selection of free wedding toasts like:
"May the joys of today
be those of tomorrow,
The goblets of life
hold no dregs of sorrow."
While PoemsandLove.com has lines like:
"May you both live as long as you want
And never want as long as you live".
Freeweddingspeech.com has a search engine for searching for appropriate wedding speeches and also to submit your wedding speech creations.
A toast is a blessing or a good wish offered to a couple. It may be humorous, sentimental or serious. There are some points to remember while making the toast. Keep it short, around 1 to 2 minutes. Do stand up for all to see. Hold your glass in your right hand raise it up pointing towards the couple. Speak clearly and loudly. Give time for guests to refill their glasses and raise their toast.
Your toast must be in good taste. It can be humorous but not humiliating. It must appeal to the elderly as well as the children present. Look at all the guests while speaking and make eye contact with the couple while ending. After the toast, it is customary to clink the glasses before drinking.
A badly written toast will haunt you forever, while a good copy will be cherished a lifetime. Avoid expletives like the F-word, avoid reference to past failed romances, don't blasphemy or put down Religious references, do not tell a long story about your role in the marriage or expenses incurred for the wedding.
So cheers to a good toast!