We’ve all heard those lovely wedding toasts, you know – the movie-worthy speeches that are the perfect combination of sweet and sentimental + funny. I’m sure most of us have also heard a couple of those cringe-worthy wedding toasts. Maybe from a wedding guest who’s had a few too many or a bridesmaid who wants all the attention on her. The Chancey Charm team is sharing some insight from when wedding toasts went wrong + tips for avoiding bad toasts (by politely telling someone you don’t want them to give a toast at your wedding).
-The Chancey Charm Team
Photo Credit: Lindsey Marie Photography, Lauren Weidley of Chancey Charm San Diego
When Wedding Toasts Went Wrong
The Sobbing Sister: I had a maid of honor, who was also the bride’s sister, not be able to get a word out because she was crying so hard. I believe it was tears of joy, but she just could not stop crying or catch her breath. It was terribly awkward for her, and for everyone listening. I’m sure she is so embarrassed by the video. It truly was about 3 minutes of pure silence at the reception, before the best man stepped in to help her read her speech. Tears of joy are ok, but weeping is not. Please practice your speech before hand, to make sure you can get those words out!
Terrible Tipsy Advice: At a recent wedding, an un-planned toast took place when the microphone was passed around and an intoxicated groomsman shared his marriage “wisdom” with the couple, encouraging them individually to “never change and stay true to who [they] are.” Besides being annoyed that the toasting schedule went off track, I was most bothered by the advice that couldn’t be more untrue of what is required in a thriving marriage: to be willing to compromise and grow with that person you are committed to for life!
Maid of Dishonor: My favorite bad wedding toast was from a maid of honor. Let’s just say she had a little too many adult beverages before it was her time to speak. I fully support one or two drinks to calm your nerves, but keep it classy! She basically repeated herself for 5 minutes saying, “I’ve got your back,” in a myriad of different ways. Toasts are meant to honor the bride and groom, this one did not, and it was awkward to watch.
Avoiding Bad Toasts At Your Wedding (Politely Telling Someone You Don’t Want Them To Give A Toast At Your Wedding)
- Share with them that you and your fiancé have already asked a couple specific people to give toasts and would like to keep this portion of the reception shorter so that you and your guests can enjoy more dancing time! This is a respectful way to decline and you can end your conversation on a high note by letting them know you’re so excited to celebrate with them and have them be a part of your special day.
- If you don’t want this family member or friend to give a toast, but would like to include them in some way, you can let them know that you would love to involve them by having them help as a special attendant. A few options include distributing wedding programs, passing out bubbles or confetti for your send-off or directing guests to the gift table!
- Some couples choose to forgo the toasts altogether! If this is the case, gently let your friend or family member know that while they won’t have the opportunity to give a toast, it means a lot to you and your fiancé that they are coming to celebrate with you.
- Honesty is the best policy! You could also tell them you don’t want them stressing at the wedding, and to just have a good time. State that you don’t want them worried about speaking in front of crowds, taking the time to write the speech, etc. Instead, ask that person to write the speech they might have spoken, frame it, and give to you and your spouse as a gift for your new home!
- Think through who you truly want giving a toast at your wedding or rehearsal dinner. It isn’t always about not wanting certain guests to toast, sometimes it is honestly about the time you have to do everything you want to do during that time. I like to limit the toasts to four people – and then ask those four people a head of time (usually the best man, maid of honor, father of the groom, and father of the bride). With those four people, you cover everything that needs to be spoken to during the toasting time. If you make it clear you are only having four toasts, then it is less likely for someone to decide it’s time to talk.