This one's for the grooms! These days, much of the wedding planning comes down to the bride — wedding dress, bridesmaid dresses, flowers, all of these are largely her domain. One tradition that is still largely a groom's responsibility, though, is the toast. It usually occurs during the reception or at the rehearsal dinner; at the reception, it comes after the best man and both sets of parents make their remarks. Even if you doesn't have stage fright, it can be daunting to say something meaningful in front of a room of people! With the adrenaline of the wedding day, an unfamiliar microphone, and perhaps a glass of champagne or two down the gullet, it can be downright scary. That shouldn't be a complete deterrent, though. Here are some dos and don'ts for making the toast a smashing success!
Do: Prepare ahead of time. Unless you're a stand-up comedian or a politician, don't try to wing it. Jot down a few notes in the days or weeks before the wedding, memorize them, and practice them. Remember that it's totally fine to read the speech when you give it, too!
Don't: Go on and on. Long speeches are deadly, particularly after a long, emotional day of celebrating.
Do: Be sincere; let your true feelings come through.
Don't: Forget to thank everyone for coming; be sure to thank your parents (including the bride's) for their love and support.
Do: Tell brief personal stories of moving experiences shared with your bride, but...
Don't: Make your guests suffer through a year-by-year litany of youthful indiscretions or drunken high jinks — you may simply end up embarrassing someone, including yourself.
Do: Turn to your bride and look her in the eye. Tell her how proud you are to be her husband, how happy you are on this special day, and how much you love her.