The father of the bride used to give the most important toast at the wedding reception, but things have changed. Now, more often than not, the mother of the bride also gives a toast — sometimes it's done with her husband but often times it's done alone — as a personal moment between the mother and bride.
Depending on what she talks about, toasts by the mother of the bride can be absolutely amazing or a total disaster. Nonetheless giving this toast is a big deal, and the mother of the bride should treat it with the honor it deserves. So here are five suggestions for giving the best possible toast on your daughter's big day.
1. Plan out your toast ahead of time.
And remember, it's a "toast," not a speech. Give thought, ahead of time as to what you're going to say and plan to keep the time to a maximum of three or four minutes — after that, you'll lose the attention of your audience — no matter how interesting you think you may be.
2. Choose only appropriate and flattering memories to share.
Telling a story that highlights how your daughter overcame something unpleasant or embarrassing shouldn't be shared on her wedding day. Never mention previous relationships or marriages and don't talk about unfulfilled dreams. Only talk about the best and happiest memories of your daughter's life.
3. Wedding toasts are not supposed to be resume overviews.
Theoretically, the guests should already know what the bride does for a living. Reciting every success she's ever had, in detail, is completely unnecessary. Being proud of her accomplishments is fine, but you don't have to list each and every one of her achievements at her wedding to make a point.
4. Make your toast about your new son-in-law (or daughter-in-law), too.
Unbelievably, there have been too many parents that have completely forgot to mention their child's new spouse in the toast. It's a cringe-worthy faux pas, and most likely something that your daughter's new in-laws won't forget.
5. Humor is good.
But if you're not a naturally funny person, don't push your limits on your daughter's most important day. Just be yourself — be sincere and honest — the rest will follow and your daughter will love it.
Sandy Malone is the owner of Sandy Malone Weddings & Events, a full-service traditional and destination wedding planning company and Do-It-Yourself wedding planning consulting service for DIY brides and grooms based in the Washington, DC area. Sandy is the star of TLC's reality show "Wedding Island," about her destination wedding planning company, Weddings in Vieques. Sandy's book "How to Plan Your Own Destination Wedding: Do-It-Yourself Tips from an Experienced Professional," will be released on March 1st, but is available online for pre-orders now where books are sold.