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.
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.