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Preparing the Perfect Wedding Toast 
by Kirsten Lasinski May 19, 2005

Say It With the Right Body Language

Do watch your body language. Make sure you’re standing up straight and making eye contact with the crowd, and be sure to divide your attention evenly between the couple and the rest of the assembly. Don’t tuck your chin into your chest and mumble or you may end up looking like a Neanderthal on the wedding video. If you tend to fidget or gesticulate too much when you’re nervous, a champagne glass in an obvious choice for something to hold in your hand. If all else fails, keep one hand behind your back or in your pocket while you’re speaking.

Be Sober

Do lay off of the alcohol until your part in the reception is over. No one wants to hear you slurring through a disjointed ramble about the first time you fell in love. Even though a drink or two may make you feel more comfortable, even a little alcohol can dull your senses enough to ruin an otherwise touching speech. A wedding toast is not the time to give your tongue free reign.

If Only Someone Had Told Me to Be Discrete

Don’t mention anything that may be potentially embarrassing to anyone present. This is not the time to tell everyone how great the groom was at picking up girls in his college days or how drunk the bride was at her bachelorette party. Any knowledge you have of the couple’s romantic life before the wedding is strictly off-limits. This may be a way to get a cheap laugh, but it’s absolutely inappropriate and may offend a lot of people. A good rule of thumb: what would you want your grandmother hearing about you at your wedding? If it’s crude or even questionable, leave it out.

No Inside Jokes

Don’t include inside jokes that only you and a few other people will understand unless you like awkward pauses and blank stares. No one likes to feel left out of a good time, and explaining the humor of the situation to folks after you’ve already dropped the punch line may leave you with a “you had to be there” kind of moment. If an anecdote isn’t funny on it’s own merit forget about it. A good way to tell? Share the story with someone who wasn’t there to experience it and see if you get a chuckle.



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