Tips on doing the wedding toast

Use stories and anecdotes to create an engaging wedding toast

Long drawn out wedding toasts can put your guests to sleep. If you’re not used to public speaking don’t wing it, practice your speech (or get coaching). The speeches offer an opportunity for family and friends to gain insight into the parties involved and have some light fun.

wedding toast tips

  • Notes on index cards (not word-for-word, but key words to remind important areas) can help remind you of the important areas. The notes are there to jog your memory not be your speech. Writing and reading the entire wedding toast stops eye contact and can make the speech sound robotic.
  • Personal stories work best as you already know them. Jot down a few personal anecdotes about the happy couple or the people to be thanked. These work far better than a list of adjectives (she is sweet and kind, smart and loyal). A short story or anecdote which speaks to the character of the person, how they have added to your life is far more effective. One reason for the speeches is to share with friends and relatives the reasons the happy couple are so good together.

Speech order and points to cover

Not all speeches are required, this is the normal order for those who are speaking. The Master of Ceremonies (MC) normally introduces the speakers and ensures the day runs smoothly.

Father of the Bride speech/toast

  • Welcome the guests to the wedding, thank them for joining you to celebrate the wedding of your daughter and new son-in-law
  • Share an anecdote or two that show the nature and character of your daughter and son-in-law
  • Call for a toast to the Bride and Groom

Bride’s speech

  • Share the story about how you and your groom met
  • Thank the Maid of honour and bridesmaids, groomsmen, other helpers and flower girls for their help and support
  • Thank your groom’s parents for giving you this wonderful man and share an anecdote or two demonstrating how they have welcomed you into the family
  • Thanks your parents for their support and generosity (even if they aren’t paying for the wedding) and share an anecdote or two demonstrating how they have helped you become the woman you are
  • Call for a toast to your groom

 Groom’s wedding toast

The main focus of the groom’s speech is your bride and your life together (at least 40% of the speech) and to thank those people involved in making the wedding memorable.

  • Thank the Father of the Bride for his toast/speech, share an anecdote that demonstrates his kindness and friendship
  • Share a similar anecdote demonstrating the character of the bride’s mother
  • Thank your new in-laws for their daughter 🙂
  • Thanks them for their generosity and for the wedding of your bride’s dreams (if appropriate). It is normally considered inappropriate to mention money, you can make clear that you appreciate their generosity
  • Share an anecdote (each) about your parents and thank them for their support (making you the man you are today)
  • Thank the Guests for attending, their good wishes, and wedding gifts (incl. those from far and wide)
  • Thank your Bride (Wife) for marrying you
  • Share the story of how you met (or when you knew she was the one, if your bride has shared the story already)
  • Share stories that demonstrate why you love your wife
  • Talk about your future together, call for a toast to her
  • Thank the organisers and the Bridesmaids who have helped your new wife in the buildup to the day. (Share how lovely they look – but not too much 😉 )
  • Thank the groomsmen and the Best Man (add a personal anecdote about best man’s character)

Gentle teasing is acceptable, but focus on the positive.  Use anecdotes to illustrate what these people mean to you rather than just a list of “Thank you’s”

Best Man’s Speech  

Normally the last of the Wedding speeches. The best man is normally the official spokes man for the bridal party

  • Share how you first met the groom with an anecdote that illustrates your relationship
  • Share a few insights about the groom and bride and what makes them work, their experiences and qualities (tasteful jokes and anecdotes about the groom are acceptable, even expected)
  • Share some details about the bride and groom, such as how they met or how she changed him (for the better)
  • Thank the the bride and groom on behalf of the bridal party, the bridesmaids and groomsmen
  • Read telegrams and cards
  • Thank the hosts of the reception (the parents of the bride and/or groom)
  • Why the bride and groom make such a wonderful couple and wish them a long marriage
  • Propose a toast to the newlyweds

(jokes about the groom it should be in a gentle ribbing, in a positive way – remember the family and friends present and it is also the groom’s day and nobody likes ridicule.)


For help on how to use stories and anecdotes to create an engaging wedding toast contact us today!

Follow me

Richard Riche

Change Communication and Employee Engagement specialist at One Clear Message Consulting
Richard specialises in helping you build real human communication skills. Employee Engagement / Experience, Emotional Intelligence skills, building high performance teams and a great place you want to work. TED style speaking and presentation skills. Training, consulting and coaching.
Follow me

Leave a Reply


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.