Tips for a Toast to Remember

Being asked to be someone's best man or maid of honor is an honor to be cherished. Often the best friend of the groom or bride, the best man and maid of honor often want to reciprocate the honor of their role with a toast that illustrates just how much they care for the bride or groom.

But once the time comes to sit down and think about their toast, the best man or maid of honor are often in the dark. Giving a wedding toast, after all, is not an everyday event, and for many people it will be a one-time experience, if they're even asked at all. Though a certain amount of pressure comes with the responsibility of giving a toast, keeping a few ideas in mind when writing a toast will make the process go more smoothly.

* Thank the guests. Thanking the guests for attending is a good way to break the ice. Be sure to thank the hosts as well. Traditionally, the hosts are the bride's parents. However, thanks to the escalating costs of weddings, many are now financed by both the bride and groom's parents, and oftentimes by the bride and groom themselves. Therefore, you can avoid any missteps and simply thank the parents of the bride and groom after thanking the guests for joining in the festivities.

* Introduce yourself. While the bride and groom certainly know who you are, chances are many of the guests do not. Many weddings boast guest lists with more than 100 people, so introduce yourself at the beginning of your toast. When doing so, you can explain your relationship to the bride or groom (i.e., older/younger sibling, college roommate, etc.).

* Keep things light. While jokes should remain appropriate (every wedding has kids in attendance), keeping the toast jovial is a good way to keep the festive mood of the day going. While it's important to get across how much you cherish being the best man or maid of honor, a jovial approach to doing so will be enjoyed by all, and your message will still come across to the bride and groom as well.

* Add an anecdote. The best man or maid of honor no doubt have many funny anecdotes to tell about the bride or groom. Add a light-hearted anecdote that illustrates your relationship to the bride or groom and how much they mean to you. An older brother, for instnace, might tell a tale of the innocent joking around brothers do, while a younger sister might spin a funny yarn about how she once used all of her older sister's makeup. Just make sure the anecdote is appropriate for everyone in the audience.

* Raise a glass, but do so after the toast, and not before. While everyone knows to raise a glass at the end of the toast, some best men or maids of honor raise one too many glasses before it's time to give their toast. Don't drink to excess before it's time for you to give your toast, or you'll risk being the talk of the reception for all the wrong reasons.

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