Nerves are a normal part of the speaking process, but nerves can also make you a sour note in an otherwise lovely event if left unchecked. When delivering a wedding toast, it’s normal for your hands to shake, your throat to go dry and your pace to quicken, but you need to be able to overcome this response if you want these few minutes to be remembered for the right reasons.
Very few people feel at ease when speaking in front of others. In fact, the body actually goes into a mild form of fight or flight during stressful situations. You might suddenly feel cold or shaky, and you may even stumble a bit in your speech. The key to avoiding this is by not viewing the situation as stressful, and you can do this by practicing frequently beforehand.
Photo Credit: Maria Angela Photography
Start crafting your speech as early as possible. Create an outline immediately, and write notes about your speaking points. Over a few days, flesh out what stories you’d like to tell and any words you’d like to impart. Find out the length of your speech before you begin writing. Every page will take you roughly a minute, so keep the time in mind when you’re writing. If you aren’t sure what to write about, break your speech into three parts. Begin by introducing yourself and how you met your friends. This is an appropriate place to add a story. After that, focus on the couple. Talk about how they met each other and how you met them. Talk about their progression and what events led them to marriage. Finish by thanking the bride and groom and wishing them the best.
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Public speaking can be nerve-wracking even during a routine staff meeting, so when your family member or close friend enlists you in making the wedding toast, anxiety thresholds can reach a new maximum. A wedding toast isn’t just a presentation; you’ll be speaking during a lifetime event and will have to provoke emotions and laughter without stealing the show. Before you pull out your pen, there’s a lot to consider to create the perfect wedding toast.
Start off by introducing yourself and how you know the bride and groom. Regardless if you’ve been asked to speak by one or the other, always include both the bride and groom in your speech. This is their day, and you need to keep the focus on them and their union. Once you’ve introduced yourself, explain how you all met. This is a good place to include a story if you think it’s appropriate. If you met one of them first, start with the story of how you two met. Afterwards, share the story of how your friend met their spouse. You can comment on things like how awkwardly they may have started out or how smitten they instantly were, but always keep it positive. If the relationship started out cold, focus on its progression. You can use humor, but don’t embarrass either person.
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The Beginners Guide to The Perfect Wedding Toast is a Free book that will not only help you write your wedding toast, but also prep you for the big moment. Here is a snippet of the free downloadable book
Intro Wedding Toasts 101
When your friend bestows the honor of the wedding toast upon you, it should spark feelings of respect and accomplishment. However, most people feel a deep sense of dread at the notion of getting up in front of a large gathering during a lifetime event and giving the couple their send-off. Public speaking is a common fear, and when you add the fact that this is the event that ties two lives together, it’s only natural to be a little scared.
A million fears and questions can play out through your mind. Will you forget your speech halfway through? Will your palms start sweating? Will you shake so badly that your words come out in staggered bursts? Will you mumble? How much eye contact is enough? How should you move around? How do you gesture? Should you speak quickly or slowly? Are jokes okay? How sentimental is too sentimental? How long should this speech even be? (Don’t end up like this: Horrible Wedding Toast)
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Congratulations, you’re engaged!…Now what? One of the first things you’ll probably look for are starting points and ideas to plan your wedding. Time is limited, it’s unfamiliar territory, and there are so many good ideas and vendors to choose from it can all seem very overwhelming.
Not to worry. Here is your basic list to handle everything you’ll need for your wedding.
The length of an engagement averages about 1 year, but there is no one-size-fits-all schedule. All wedding tasks (those on this list and any specific to your special event) can be prioritized, broken down into sub actions and assigned follow-up dates. We’ve created this list in stages, ranging from broad and highest priority to more specific and detailed tasks, so you can tailor to fit your individual needs. (Consider using an interactive task manager to help you track and schedule deadline updates. Our favorite can be found on Wedding Wire.)
(here is a snippet of the full bridal check list)
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