Q: As the maid-of-honor, am I expected to give a toast at the rehearsal dinner? At the reception? If so, what do I say?

A: Traditionally, the maid-of-honor didn't give a toast at either the rehearsal dinner or the reception. These days, new traditions are emerging, and it's very common for her to give one on either or both nights. The couple should talk to both the maid-of-honor and the best man about these toasts—not to dictate what is said, but to determine if each person is comfortable giving a toast. It's up to the maid-of-honor if she would like to speak at either event. However, if she would be petrified to give a toast, the bride shouldn't pressure her to do so.

When the time comes, stand up with your glass in hand, and use a microphone if one is available. Toasts don't have to be long; in fact, short and sweet is appreciated by most guests: A minute at the most, or even just a few simple sentences. "Kate, you have been my friend all my life, and I couldnt imagine someone better for you than Jeremy. I wish you both many years of happiness together! To Kate and Jeremy!" Raise your glass as you end, and everyone will follow suit. Then take a sip—you earned it! —Anna Post, The Emily Post Institute

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