Wedding Etiquette Forum

Toasts

I was just reading the discussion on throwing the best wedding. One thing mentioned in a few posts was toasts. That got me thinking, who generally gives toasts at a reception? Are they required, proper etiquette or expected to have at the reception? Do we, the B&G ask those people would you mind giving a short toast at reception? Also, are the B&G expected to make any toasts, either at reception or RD? Sorry for all the questions in one post. Wedding is in less than 2 months, so lots of questions are starting to pop up. Thanks in advance to all answers for these questions, and other's I've recently asked and future ones. It's been a big help!

Re: Toasts

  • Most weddings I've been to have had a few.. Sometimes MOH and BM, sometimes parents of the bride or groom. One wedding had parents of the bride, parents of the groom, best man, MOH, and the bride and groom. It took AGES, and I was hungry.
  • WinstonsGirlWinstonsGirl The Cold North member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    We allowed my Mom and DH's Dad to do one, cos my Mom really wanted to talk.  We would have preferred none.  

    The worst wedding I attended had about 90 mins of speeches.  It was too awkward to get up and go to the bar.  They then had a 15-ish min "intermission" where we could pee and get a refill.  Then there was about 40 more minutes of speeches.  Shoot me in the head it was so dull

    Heffalump
  • I don't think I've been to a wedding where there wasn't one.  We are 99% sure we'll decline any toasts people offer to make. 

    The one where I had the most had 5:

    MOB and FOB did separate speeches (they were divorced)
    FOG
    Maid of Honor
    Best Man

    The parents did theirs right after salads hit the table, and the attendants did theirs after dinner and before cake.  It wasn't awful- FOB's was a bit awkward because he was crying and couldn't pull it together for a bit.  And I'm pretty sure the BM was 90% trashed and his kind of rambled a bit.  The MOH's was good actually.  One of the better one's I've heard and quick.

  • Our parents want to just do toasts at the RD.  Our BM and MOH both volunteered to do toasts at the reception, so they'll be the only ones.  We are doing a short "thank you" toast at the RD as well.  I was at a wedding not long ago where toasts just went on and on (they had like 6 fairly long ones), it was too much.  There was a mad rush for the restrooms and bar after.
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  • mrscomposermrscomposer Mani-snow-ba member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments First Anniversary First Answer

    Both sets of parents did a 'welcome to the family' speech the night before, at our rehearsal dinner.  The night of the wedding, my sister did a toast to the bride, J's brother did a toast to the groom, and then we said a few thank yous.

    **The OMH formerly known as jsangel1018**
  • They aren't mandatory and if you have wedding party members who aren't comfortable with public speaking, then don't force it (I've had one friend tell me about a wedding she was a bridesmaid in where the bride and groom required the best man and MOH give speeches and the MOH was so terrified of public speaking and kept saying she didn't want to do it until she was finally shamed into it and basically spent the entire day leading up to the speech stress puking).  I've been to weddings where no one has given a toast.  I've been to weddings where only one wedding party member did a toast or a speech.  I've been to weddings where the bride and groom will do a toast or very short speech thanking their families and friends for being there.

    Regardless of what you do, they should be short and sweet.  1-2 minutes max. per person.  Enough to say thank you or congratulations, maybe one short and sweet anecdote, and that's it.

  • SP29SP29 member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Not mandatory.

    At our RD, which was more casual, DH and I gave a general thank you for coming and we appreciate all your support... now let's eat!

    As for weddings, it varies. What I've seen most commonly (again, common doesn't necessarily equal etiquette approved), is a thank you from the B and/or G, the best man, MOH, and a family member from each of the bride and groom's family. I have been to some weddings where each WP member (they were small parties) made a toast.

    At our wedding, we did a thank you, and we had my dad, DH's mom, best man, MOH and a groomsman do a toast. At my friend's wedding that just happened, the bride's brother, the groom's mother and the groom did toasts.

    I think the best thing is to let people offer to do one, if they want. Me, not really knowing how this all went about asked our WP "is anyone interested in doing a toast?" My bridesmaid said no, which was cool. Looking back, I'd let people offer.

    And if anyone does offer, keep it to 2 mins or less!

    I think toasts/thank yous can be sweet and/or funny (at another friend's wedding the groom's mother gave one of the funniest toasts I've ever heard! A guest actually asked to buy it from her), but the key is short and sweet.
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Tenth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    edited August 2015
    They're not mandatory.  Anyone other than the couple can offer toasts.  But keep them short and refrain from turning them into roasts or revealing sensitive information about the couple.  This is not the time to bring up exes or pregnancy, or to mock either of the couple or their decision to marry.

    And don't pressure anyone to do it who isn't okay with public speaking.
  • We didn't have any at mine, although my FIL keeps bringing up that he had a book and "was ready" to give one.  That made me think maybe it was expected rather than something the B&G ask for, but whatever... not my wasted time!

    This is where my DH gets "not using his words."

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  • The worst wedding I've been to was where there were several people giving long rambling speeches that were incredibly awkward and boring (this wedding was bad for other reasons too, but sitting through all the drawn-out speeches was just painful). 

    Most of the weddings I've been to have had the MOH and BM give a short, simple toast, and on one occasion I've seen the B&G do a quick toast (pretty much just thanking their families for support and thanking the guests for coming). I don't think I've ever seen the parents give one, although that's pretty common too. 

    At our wedding, the best man gave a toast, and then two of my bridesmaids asked if they could do a toast. One of them asked me what she should say. I said, "Just keep it short and sweet! You could literally just say 'cheers' and it would be good!" I didn't want any of us to have to sit through a half hour or more of awkward speeches. That's also why I put my foot down and did not allow my dad to have the microphone. He once spoke for 40 minutes at his birthday party. Yikes. 
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  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    At ours, my dad did a little welcome and thank you for coming thing, and then introduced my grandpa to say grace for the meal. After dinner, each of our sisters did a little toast. DH and I said something at the RD, something along the lines of a thank you, and gave out gifts.

    MOH/BM are the most common in my area. I've never seen a couple toast or say anything at the reception, but most do a thank you at the RD. I've also seen roasts at the RD, but I'm not a fan. 

    As the bride and groom, it's not something you'd ask someone to do. That's something people will offer if they want to do. 
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    We had zero toasts at our wedding.  I don't know, I just find toasts awkward.  Someone gets up and starts rambling about how wonderful you are.  I mean it is pretty obvious what people are going to say.  It isn't like someone is going to go off on a tangent about what a horrible couple you make and how you will be divorced within a year.  I guess I just don't feel the need to have people stand up and pat me on the back.  As guests we all know why we are at the wedding and we all (mostly) wish the couple well and a long, happy marriage.  So I guess I just don't see the point of having someone stand up and make a toast, with most likely a bunch of inside jokes only a handful of guests will understand.

  • marie2785marie2785 member
    100 Love Its 100 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited August 2015
    We're doing MOH and 1 bridesmaid, BM, my father (as the host), and then a quick thank you for coming by my FI/husband and I. My FI and I are giving our more detailed toast at the RD, but we do want to make sure all of the guests knew we were thankful they came to the wedding. 

    We told everyone 5 min or less each, and nothing inappropriate. 

    The worst wedding I went to had all of the above speeches, plus 2 more, and then a 20 min slideshow (in powerpoint, set to music), of the bride and groom growing up and pictures of them together. Parents loved it, everyone else complained.
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    marie2785 said:
    We're doing MOH and 1 bridesmaid, BM, my father (as the host), and then a quick thank you for coming by my FI/husband and I. My FI and I are giving our more detailed toast at the RD, but we do want to make sure all of the guests knew we were thankful they came to the wedding. 

    We told everyone 5 min or less each, and nothing inappropriate. 

    The worst wedding I went to had all of the above speeches, plus 2 more, and then a 20 min slideshow (in powerpoint, set to music), of the bride and groom growing up and pictures of them together. Parents loved it, everyone else complained.
    I would be revising that to 1 minute or less.  If each person took the full 5 minutes then that is 20 minutes of people talking about you and your SO.  That is A LOT of time and your guests will be zoned out.

    novella1186MyNameIsNot
  • marie2785 said:
    We're doing MOH and 1 bridesmaid, BM, my father (as the host), and then a quick thank you for coming by my FI/husband and I. My FI and I are giving our more detailed toast at the RD, but we do want to make sure all of the guests knew we were thankful they came to the wedding. 

    We told everyone 5 min or less each, and nothing inappropriate. 

    The worst wedding I went to had all of the above speeches, plus 2 more, and then a 20 min slideshow (in powerpoint, set to music), of the bride and groom growing up and pictures of them together. Parents loved it, everyone else complained.
    I would be revising that to 1 minute or less.  If each person took the full 5 minutes then that is 20 minutes of people talking about you and your SO.  That is A LOT of time and your guests will be zoned out.
    Ditto.  5 minutes doesn't seem that long when you are thinking about it, but it's FOREVER when you are sitting there listening to someone you may or may not know talk about the couple.  I took a public speaking class in college and had to make a few 5 minute speeches.  I would time myself while I was practicing, and it was really difficult to fill up those 5 minutes... like what the hell was I going to talk about for FIVE full minutes?  It's just way too long, IMO.  I'd keep it to 2 mins, max.  After that, the speaker is filling time with a bunch of anecdotes and inside jokes that most of your guests probably won't get.


  • marie2785 said:
    We're doing MOH and 1 bridesmaid, BM, my father (as the host), and then a quick thank you for coming by my FI/husband and I. My FI and I are giving our more detailed toast at the RD, but we do want to make sure all of the guests knew we were thankful they came to the wedding. 

    We told everyone 5 min or less each, and nothing inappropriate. 

    The worst wedding I went to had all of the above speeches, plus 2 more, and then a 20 min slideshow (in powerpoint, set to music), of the bride and groom growing up and pictures of them together. Parents loved it, everyone else complained.
    I would be revising that to 1 minute or less.  If each person took the full 5 minutes then that is 20 minutes of people talking about you and your SO.  That is A LOT of time and your guests will be zoned out.
    Yep.  Dad was really excited to give a speech at sister's wedding.  I told him he had no more than two minutes.  He had notecards and everything!  I told him to practice it and keep it to under two minutes.  He practiced it once in front of my cousin, cousin told me it was around 8 minutes long.  I told dad he really, really needed to shorten it to under two minutes.  I think when he finally gave it, it was around 4 minutes long.  Not bad, but still twice the length I told him to have it.  If I had told him to keep it to 5 minutes, it would have been 10 minutes long.  Sigh.  Seriously tell people to keep it to under 2 minutes.
  • We had my Mom and Dad, H's Mom, H's Uncle, our BM, our MOH, and my siblings all ask to speak.   We said okay, but all under a minute and gave the ma friendly reminder that the longer the talked, the longer the bar was closed.  BM's turned into "Hey guys, thanks for making me the BM. Love you both, you're great for each other. Let's drink."
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