I remember one recent toast in particular—it was touching, heartfelt and sprinkled with a dash of humor. How could I not cry? I mean, I’m not a robot.

In my years of being a wedding planner, I have stood in the back of the room, wiping tears from my eyes, while the bride’s dad eloquently toasts his daughter and her new spouse.

Aaaaand, yeah … I’ve also stood in the back of the room, looking at my watch, seeing everyone in the room shift uncomfortably because “OH MY GOD IS HE STILL TALKING AND WHAT IS HE EVEN TALKING ABOUT?” It’s hard to watch. Really, it is. Slow, painful … *crickets*

Toasts are important to the wedding day. They are a tradition I love—a time in the day when those closest to the couple can raise a glass to them and their future. But, ain’t nobody want to hear crickets while they’re up in front of 250 people.

Don’t worry, I can help. Below are a few tips and guidelines you can follow when planning your toast to help ensure there are no “is this thing on?” moments.

This Is Not A College Term Paper

So, don’t wait until the night before to start writing it. Plan ahead and start a couple weeks out from the wedding. This way you’ll have time to polish it up and practice it out loud a handful of times before the big day. Also, because this isn’t a 20-page, single-spaced term paper, it should be short, sweet and to the point: 3–4 minutes is the perfect length.

Timing Is Everything

Let the couple know approximately how long your toast will be. Having these well planned out in the reception timeline will make sure the toasts flow but also don’t interrupt the continuation of dinner service. So, if your toast is going to be10 minutes, and there is just no way possible to shorten it, please let the couple know ahead of time so their wedding pros can plan accordingly.

No, but Really

If a toast goes waaaaay longer than anticipated, even the very best wedding pros can only do so much to accommodate this, and there is no guarantee things will continue to go on as planned. For example, the food might not be as hot as you’d like, and we may have to push the dance floor opening back a bit. 

Pull Out Those Index Cards

Write your toast on an index card or two. (It’ll look nicer than a cocktail napkin and work better than your sweaty palm.) Try not to read the toast directly from the cards, but instead have them in case you need to glance down when you get caught up in the moment and need a refresher on what you wanted to say next.

Inside Jokes Should Be Kept Where They Belong: Inside

Any great comedian will tell you, it’s important to know your audience. So, definitely have jokes in your toast, but the inside ones—the ones that only you and the groom think are funny? Those are a little harder for all the guests to appreciate, and they leave everyone feeling a little out of the loop.

Remember When You Dated That One Girl – WOOF

Do NOT ever say this. In fact, don’t bring up any exes ever, ever, ever. EVER.


Can’t read the last sentence on the napkin where you jotted down your toast 10 minutes ago? No problem. Simply raise your glass, ask others to do the same, congratulate the happy couple and toast to their future. This is how all toasts should end … with a toast, get it?

It all comes down to the couple and, when you get this reaction from them, you know you’ve nailed your toast!

Know someone who is planning to give a toast at a wedding soon? Forward this their way and help make this important task a little easier!

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