If you've been tapped with the task of speaking at an upcoming wedding — whether you're giving a maid of honor speech, a father of the bride toast, a best man speech, or something in between — you may find yourself with a sudden case of writer's block, unsure of where to start and what to include in your wedding toast. In order to give a memorable and LOL-worthy speech, it's best to remember to keep it short and simple — and to try and avoid these 7 common wedding toast mistakes.
1. Making it Multiple Pages Long
Keep your wedding toast short and sweet. If you see that your speech is more than one page, shave off as much as you can to get rid of those additional pages. The shorter you make it, the more engaging it will be.
2. Doing it Improv
You might have the idea to just wing your speech and speak from the heart, but the problem with this route is that when nerves, and a few glass of bubbly come into play, you may end of forgetting what you want to say... and then end up standing in front of a room filled with people speechless. Even if you don't write the whole thing down, make sure you at least write out some bullet points so you can stay on script.
3. Not Making Eye Contact
It's OK if you don't memorize your speech, but if you're reading off the paper be sure to take breaks to make eye contact with the bride, groom and guests.
4. Going With a Blast from the Past
Dig deep to find funny stories to color your toast with, but don't fill your speech with a bunch of inside jokes that only you and the bride or groom will find funny.
5. Making the Bride Blush (or Mad)
When you're choosing the best blast from the past memories to add to the toast, leave off any that may make the bride feel embarrassed or uncomfortable.
6. Forgetting Your Audience
Remember that you're not just giving this toast to the bride or groom; you have a room filled with guests to entertain as well. So keep them hooked with anecdotes, open body language, and laugh lines that they can appreciate.
7. Talking too Fast
The key to giving a memorable speech is giving one that people can understand. So remember to speak slowly and practice your tone and pace before the big day.
Jen Glantz is a "Professional Bridesmaid" and the founder of Bridesmaid for Hire. She's the author of All My Friends Are Engaged and frequently wears old bridesmaid dresses to the grocery store and on first dates.