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Every bride wants to plan a flawless and memorable wedding. But one minor pitfall can sometimes seem beyond your control: someone making a tasteless toast or a speech that sucks the air out of the room. If you suspect that a friend or family member is planning to get up and talk without your blessing, you may want to step in and say something.
To be clear, toasts should be scheduled well ahead of time so the big day goes as planned and guests aren't treated to an impromptu, long-winded roast while their salads wilt in the kitchen. Joyce Scardina Becker of Events of Distinction says that speeches are typically done in the following order: the best man, the maid or matron of honor, and then the father of the bride. So anyone outside of this tight trio probably shouldn't be standing up behind the mic at your reception.
But what if a pal from college or cousin you were once close with insists on being in the spotlight? "Share with them that you and your fiancé have already asked a couple of specific people to give toasts and would like to keep this portion of the reception shorter so that you and your guests can enjoy more dancing time!" says Lauren Groeper a Chancey Charm Denver wedding planner. "This is a respectful way to decline and you can end your conversation on a high note by letting them know you're so excited to celebrate with them."
Whether you're worried about an utterly boring or over-boozed and potentially embarrassing situation, you should make it clear that there are specific key people giving speeches and the schedule doesn't allow for additional comments from other attendees. Leah Weinberg, owner and planner of Color Pop Events, says that's the most diplomatic way to strongly discourage someone from making a toast. "And if all else fails, blame it on the wedding planner. We're more than happy to be the scapegoat," she says.
Graciously rejecting a toast doesn't mean you can't involve that person in some other way. Groeper recommends asking him or her to help as a special attendant. "A few options include distributing wedding programs, passing out bubbles or confetti for your send-off, or directing guests to the gift table," she says.
Finally, Emily Sullivan of Get Polished Events notes that while you probably want to limit the speakers at your reception, you may want to let eager guests speak at the rehearsal dinner, "especially if it's smaller and more low key." So offer up the opportunity to say a few words when just close family and friends are around. Then, rest assured that nobody unexpected is going to stand up and keep you from enjoying your first night as husband and wife.