Giving a great wedding toast: 6 do’s and 6 don’ts

In 2004, I gave the maid of honor toast at my sister’s wedding. I cried and rambled quite a bit. I would like to blame that on being only twenty years old at the time, but I am not sure that blame would be accurately placed…

Over the years, I have heard some great wedding toasts and I have also heard some not-so-great toasts. Below are six DO’s and six DON’Ts from LoveintheD for any of you readers who might be giving a toast at a wedding sometime soon! But first, here’s a photo by Orris Photography of my sister, Josie, giving her matron of honor speech in 2011.

Josie toast


1. Introduce yourself. Who are you and how do you know the bride/groom?

2. Keep it short. Read your speech to yourself a few times and cut out pieces that distract from your main points.

3. Make your toast personal – share a personal memory of your newly married friend or your first time seeing the couple together, etc.

4. Think about the range of family members and wedding guests present at the reception. After you write the draft of your toast, think: What will grandmother/uncle think?

5. It’s fine to joke around, but please keep it classy and refer to “DOs” #4 and DON’Ts #4,5,6.

6. Be clear when you are ending the toast. “Now let’s all raise a glass…”


1. Talk for a long time about just one member of the newly married couple without talking about BOTH individuals and how happy you are about their commitment to one another. The wedding is about both people, not just your friendship with one of them.

2. Make the toast about yourself or use too many inside jokes. Not everyone at the wedding is in the inner circle but everyone is there because they are happy for the couple

3. Give a toast while you’re drunk.

4. Mention any previous significant girlfriends/boyfriends/spouses of either of your newly married friends.

5. Try to make the toast something that doesn’t fit your style. If you don’t normally use a lot of fancy quotes, don’t feel compelled to use a quotation in your speech. If you normally don’t open a speech with a joke, you don’t need to do so at the wedding!

6. Think that the goal of a toast is to embarrass the bride or groom. You are giving a toast, not a roast.

Readers: What do you remember about the best wedding toast you’ve heard? What about the worst wedding toast you’ve heard?

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