And How to Propose Them
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So you have been asked to propose a toast at a wedding ... Here are a few helpful hints.
Be prepared. Don’t be like the House of Commons colleague Winston Churchill once described as “one of those who before they get up, do not know what they are going to say; when they are speak.ing do not know what they are saying and when they have sat down, do not know what they have said.”
Give substance to your remarks. A good wedding toast can be enriched with a few words of wisdom. The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations or Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations are most useful and can be found at any public library.
It is appropriate to include quotations, anecdotes and jokes in your speech as long as they do not detract from the message you are trying to deliver or the sentiments you wish to convey.
Know your audience. Ask yourself, what would they like to hear from me? Do not use obscure words or overly complicated phrases unless you are sure of their meaning and confident that your audience will understand them.
When mentioning names of persons or places be sure they are correct and you pronounce them properly.
Avoid cliches, hackneyed quotations and overused phrases. Don’t be too emotional or too serious. Remember, a wedding is a happy occasion. The toast you propose should be lighthearted and cheerful. Be sincere and speak with affection and interest.
Be witty but never vulgar. Vulgarity is the bankruptcy of wit. Select your jokes carefully and stay away from those that are too risqué, a bit sick or of an ethnic or religious nature. You likely have an audience that is mixed in age, origin, background and education - you never know who you might offend. Nor do you have to have them rolling in the aisles - leave that to professional comedians.
Play your funny lines with a straight face. Never smile, however much your audience is in stitches.
Do not memorize your remarks. It does not matter if you occasionally refer to the main points listed on cards, as long as you do not read or recite your speech. Reading means that your head is down, and you therefore lose eye contact with your audience.
Before you start your speech be sure you know how you are going to finish it.
Do not eat or drink too much before it is time to give your speech. Even if your overindulgence is not apparent, it will make you feel uncomfortable and will ultimately hamper your delivery.
When using a microphone, become familiar with it beforehand and make sure it works properly. Don’t be afraid of it but remember that, unlike the human ear, it can “hear” everything with equal clarity. Do not wear noisy jewelry and avoid crinkly paper for your notes. Instead, use small easy to read cards placed at arm’s length. Hold them below the level of the microphone where they will not touch it and where you can glance at them without moving your head or straining your eyes. Stand in one place and remember, you are addressing an audience, not the microphone. Speak in a normal voice, about one-third slower than you normally would; don’t shout but if you are soft-spoken, raise the level a little. Enunciate clearly and vary your pitch so that it doesn’t come across monotonously. Avoid posturing or “reciting” your lines as if you were an old-time Shakespearean actor.
The toasting usually begins as soon as the wedding meal has been consumed or after the cake cutting ceremony. But it can also be started any, time after the receiving line has disbanded.
Everyone - the guests as well as the wedding party - is served a beverage. Champagne or wine is traditional for proposing toasts - they add a special note to the occasion. However, fruit punch (alcoholic or non-alcoholic) ginger ale or white grape juice are acceptable substitutes. Tea, coffee or water should never be used for toasting.
When there is a head table, the beverage for the toast is first served to the bride, then to the groom, next to the maid of honor, the other head table guests and lastly to the best man. When there is no head table, the wedding party usually forms into a group as soon as the receiving line is disbanded. After being served the beverage for the toast, the wedding party waits for the speeches to begin.
It is the job of the master of ceremonies to keep things running smoothly. He must make sure that all toasts and speeches tie together and that there are no time gaps between presentations. If there is an orchestra, he should ask that a few bars of music be played to get everyone’s attention. The toasting is now ready to begin.
Flexibility is the watchword of any wedding these days. However, the following sequence is the one traditionally followed:
It usually is made by a friend of her family, a relative or by the best man. The speaker is introduced by the master of ceremonies. ‘When addressing the bride, don’t just wish her happiness. Recount an amusing incident that you have both shared and that is appropriate to the occasion. It should provide a personal glimpse into her life, such as a mischievous deed that some will fondly remember. Mention one or more of her idiosyncrasies without embarrassing her, flatter her and pay tribute to her, but don’t be overly sentimental.
In recent years it has almost been the rule to include the groom in the toast to the bride. In this case, talk about each individually. You might mention some inside knowledge of the relationship between the two families and/or the background to their courtship - where and how they met. If you played a part in the budding of their romance, refer to it affectionately. If you are familiar with their professions, hobbies and specific interests, work these into your theme. You can be facetious but make sure all your remarks are in good taste. If you are a friend of one of the families, don’t just praise them but give at least equal time to the other family. This even applies if you are proposing a toast to the bride alone. In both cases, be brief; this is neither the time nor the place for lengthy family histories. Five minutes or less is sufficient for a personal salute to the bride, to the bride and groom or for other toasts that follow.
Do not forget to conclude your remarks by proposing a formal toast - whether you are addressing the bride, the bride and groom, members of the wedding party or the guests. It is customary to end the toast to the bride (and groom) by saying, “And now, ladies and gentlemen, may I ask you to rise (if they are seated; if they are standing only ask them to raise their glasses) and join me in wishing the charming couple health and happiness. Kathy and Bill!” The audience will respond with, “to Kathv and Bill,” while they raise their glasses. They then sip the contents.
If the toast is made to the bride alone, the groom rises with the others. When it is offered to both, they simply nod and smile, remaining seated together; they do not drink to themselves.
The Groom’s Response to the Toast to the Bride (and Groom)
This is not an easy task to perform. If you have difficulty expressing your feelings, then saying “thank you” is often harder. You must first focus attention on yourself and your bride, making a few complimentary remarks about her. You then switch to the person who has earlier proposed the toast to your bride (and to you), thanking him / her for their kind words. You then thank your new in-laws and your own parents. It is also customary for the groom to propose the toast to the bridesmaid(s) to which the best man will respond on their behalf. Be sure to mention everyone by name that you wish to thank and say who he or she is. Not everyone is familiar with each member of the wedding party. Above all, deliver your words gracefully and without awkwardness, making those you address part of your own happiness.
Although traditional wedding etiquette does not provide for a speech by the bride, there really is no reason why she cannot say a few words after her husband has spoken. She can thank the wedding guests for coming and for being so generous with their gifts. She also can thank her new in-laws for making her feel “like a daughter” and express gratitude to her own parents for being so supportive.
If the groom has indeed proposed a toast to the bridesmaids, the best man replies on their behalf, adding a few complimentary remarks and a vote of thanks. If, however, the bride has decided to follow her husband with a short speech of her own, the groom should not propose a toast to the bridesmaids, leaving it to the best man to do so. The response can then come from someone else, perhaps a relative or friend.
Other toasts that may have been omitted earlier also can be proposed at this time.
Introduced by the master of ceremonies or the preceding speaker, the father of the bride proposes the final toast. In his and his wife’s name, he thanks their guests for coming to their daughter’s wedding; he also can say a few nice words about his wife and welcome his new son-in-law’s parents into the family. As the host of the party, he proposes a toast to the members of the wedding and to the guests, to which the entire assembly can respond in unison. He then invites everyone to continue the festivities in the spirit in which they have begun.
Following the last speech, the best man or the master of ceremonies reads any telegrams that may have been sent by absent friends and relatives, congratulating the young couple. If the greetings are witty, they will add gaiety to the proceedings.
Toasts are just as welcome as at first marriages and although certain traditions can be dispensed with when the bride and/or groom have been married before, the best man or a friend of the couple can lead off a series of toasts. The groom, in his response, should certainly toast his new bride, and there is no law against the bride toasting her new husband. It is however, in poor taste to refer to either of the spouses’ earlier marriages. It is acceptable to mention any children from a previous marriage.
The various toasts that follow are merely examples. They should encourage you to compose your own toasts that will be unique, original and tailor-made for the occasion.
These examples are similar to recipes that only list the basic ingredients for making a dish. It is up to you, the speaker, to add the spicing - the personalized references, anecdotes and quips.
My friends, I am delighted to have been asked to propose a toast to the bride. I consider it a privilege and an honor, especially since I have known __________ and __________ for some time. Our bride has beauty, charm, intelligence and many other assets that have endeared her to her family and friends. Her handsome groom has also been endowed with many outstanding qualities. If there is one thing they both have in common, it is exquisitely good taste, which they have shown, once again, by choosing each other. I also know that they will shun no effort to make their marriage succeed. They- are both very special people any by letting us come to their wedding, they have provided us with an opportunity to participate in the celebration of their love.
As I am about to propose the health of the bride, I am reminded of the words of Williarn Congreve that old cynic of English literature: “Though marriage makes man and wife one flesh, it leaves them two fools.” When I look at these two young people, I realize that they don’t seem to object to their so-called “foolishness,” and when I look around this room, it occurs to me that they are in good company.
What can I wish you? Let me address you, dear __________, in the words of Berthe Rubin, a prominent adult educator: “May your independence be individual; your dependence mutual and your cooperation reciprocal.”
And now, ladies and gentlemen please join me in the traditional toast to the bride: ‘health, happiness and love, with all the best life has to offer. To _________!
TOAST TO THE BRIDE
If my long acquaintance with the bride constitutes the right to propose her health and happiness, then I certainly qualify. I have known her pretty well all her life, and no one is more delighted than I to see her get married to ____________ who seems to have all the qualifications she has been looking for.
You two will bring to the world a richness that deserves to grow and flower; _________, with the culture and history of _________ and you, my dear ____________, whose ancestors came from ________. Both of you can combine your heritages to create a marriage that will balance each partner’s needs with the other’s ability to fulfill them. Maintaining that balance should be your most important goal.
I am confident you will reach that goal. May the love and affection that surround you today accompany you throughout your married life. Let me wish you a long and happy life, with silver and golden wedding anniversaries on the horizon.
Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in responding to my toast to the bride, for I know you feel as I do. To __________!
TOAST TO THE BRIDE
This is a particularly happy moment for me. Having been asked to propose a toast to the bride, who today looks more beautiful than ever, got me thinking about her many good qualities. Apart from being considerate, kind and a loyal friend, it has always come easy to her to say things that made people feel good. Expressing what you feel is not easy, although some people master it without being branded mushy or soft. In this context, I am reminded of an anecdote about Britain’s famous wartime prime minister, Sir Winston Churchill. Toward the end of his life he attended a function in London where each guest was asked, “If you couldn’t be who you are, who would you like to be?” When it was Sir Winston’s turn to reply, he rose, turned to his wife Clementine and said, “If I couldn’t be who I am, I would most like to be Lady Churchill’s second husband.”
How many young husbands would say that to their wives - in public? Sir Winston had nothing to fear. In our social structure, the young men who are supposed to be macho find it hard to say, “I love you” to the person who means the most to them. I don’t know whether you, _______ suffer from this hang-up but regardless of whether you do or not, I say to you; don’t be afraid, tell her you love her. She wants to hear you say it; and if you do, I promise your rewards will be immeasurable!
I have no hang-ups about saying how wonderful I feel to be here, and I expect you, honored guests, to respond heartily to the rousing toast I am about to propose:
Here’s to the health of a lovely bride
May happiness be always at
And may each day of married
Be as sweet and as loving as all
TOAST TO THE BRIDE
Ladies and gentlemen: I am not an experienced speaker, but after I had consented to propose a toast to our lovely bride, I thought that the first thing I would have to do is research the origin of the ritual I had been asked to perform. I went to the library and, after wading through reams of wedding-related material, I discovered that the custom probably started with the Greeks, was copied by the Romans and then spread to several European cultures. However, it was not until the seventeenth century, during the reign of Charles II in England, when the custom of toasting a beautiful lady began. At that time, it was common practice, I understand, for a famous beauty to bathe in public. On one such occasion, a gallant admirer was so taken with a lady’s charms that he scooped up a cupful of her bathwater and proceeded to drink to her health with it. His more fastidious companion, somewhat befuddled at the time, proclaimed he would willingly have the toast, that is the beauty floating, in it - but not the liquor.
In more recent times, toasts may have been drunk out of a lady’s slipper, the toastmaster kneeling before her or standing on a chair with one foot on the table. Fortunately, my task is simpler. I can remain standing on both feet, raise my glass and ask this distinguished assembly to rise and join me in a toast to a lovely bride and her handsome groom.
In keeping with the medieval theme, I would like to conclude my little speech with a charming old English wedding toast:
I wish thee health, I wish thee wealth
I wish thee gold in store
I wish thee heaven upon earth.
What could I wish thee more?
To ________ and __________!
TOAST TO THE BRIDE
Happiness in marriage has been investigated, studied, experimented and analyzed by many people in a thousand different ways. I don’t want to indulge in a long dissertation on that; all I want to give you, ________is a hint or two on how to stay happily married.
Have you ever asked yourself, what are the most important ingredients for success in marriage? If you haven’t, this is as good a time as any. Some people say it’s sex, for others it’s companionship and the opportunity to share mutual interests. There is nothing wrong with any of these but to my mind talking things out and a willingness to compromise are equally vital. The French writer, Andre Maurois put it this way: “A happy marriage is a long conversation that always seems too short.” Another one whose name escapes me believed marriage was an adventure in cooperation: the more we share, the richer we’ll be, and the less we share, the poorer we’ll be. Cooperation means compromise, - and compromise means speaking out on issues that are important to our well-being.
There are two kinds of compromise: in one you meet your partner halfway - in that case, at least fifty percent of your desires will be fulfilled. The other type involves a tradeoff. You do what you want in one area, and he’ll do what he wants in another. But it is important for both of you to play an active part in this barter; it will only be effective if each of you believes you are getting a good deal.
Humor is another worthwhile ingredient. However, as I know you have the ability to laugh and make people happy, you probably have thought of that one yourself. Stay happy!
Ladies and Gentlemen, here’s to our lovely bride and her handsome groom; may they have good fortune and good health always. To ______and __________.
Many of you probably know that our lovely bride is an April child, born in the month when the sky can change from sunny to cloudy in minutes and soon after the day can be warm and balmy again.
I have seen ________in many moods, for she can be as unpredictable and changeable as a day in April. Her “blue periods” never last long and before you know it, she is her usual sunny self again.
I am sure our groom knows that, too. For isn’t it her vivaciousness that makes her so much fun to be with? We all have our ups and downs, our good days and our bad days. Let’s face it, spending a lifetime with someone who is cheerful all the time must be a pretty strenuous existence.
That is why I say to both of you, watch the rise and fall of your individual barometers and be prepared for sudden changes in temperature. Then, be patient, tolerant and above all - keep your sense of humor. Learning to respect and even love each other’s little idiosyncrasies is he first rule for a happy marriage. This I wish for you with all my heart. I believe your love is strong enough to weather any storm.
I have old Scottish toast to conclude my little speech:
May the hinges of friendship never rust
Ladies and gentlemen, ‘the bride and the bridegroom -may they live happily ever after. To _________ and ___________.
TOAST BY THE BRIDE’S UNCLE
I meant confess that when I first was told about the arrangements for the wedding of my favorite niece, I was secretly hoping that someone would ask me to propose a toast to her. She is very dear to me, and the fact that she chose a spouse of whom I approve wholeheartedly made this assignment twice as attractive.
Ever since _________was old enough to walk and talk, I noticed certain traits in her character that convinced me that she would grow up to become a kind and caring adult. She also had good looks and great intelligence when she was little, although I will not bore you with all the clever things she said to me. But there was always something about her that I couldn’t define, something in her personality that made her different from some of the kids I knew. She had charm, ladies and gentlemen, oodles and oodles of charm.
Now what is charm? The Scottish dramatist, Sir James Barrie, defines it this way: “If you have it, you don’t need anything else and if you don’t have it, it does not matter what else you have.” I agree with that, and ____certainly has it. Obviously, _______discovered it too, as it must have been the many things that attracted him to her. __________, I congratulate you on your good taste and perceptiveness.
What can an old romantic like me wish you both? May your married life be the kind about which poems are written and songs are composed. May your be each others comfort and joy for many years to come, and may your love stay as fresh and young as you both are to today!
Ladies and gentlemen, To the bride!
TOAST TO THE BRIDE BY A FRIEND OF THE FAMILY
The very pleasant duty has fallen to me to propose a toast to the bride. As an old friend of the family, it is not difficult for me to pay tribute to so beautiful a young woman as ________. She is loved and admired by everyone for her many qualities - her charm, her integrity and her kindness towards others. __________, now is about embark on one of the most important ventures of her life- matrimony, an institution that seems to hold so many attractions that even those who have done poorly at it the first time do not hesitate to walk down the aisle a second, third or even fourth time. I am sure _________ knows that to make marriage run smoothly she will have to work on it daily. It will not automatically make her happier than ever before, although it will bring many happy moments. There will be frustrations, ups and downs, and occasional conflicts. Therefore, I say to both of you: when a problem arises, deal with it honestly, diplomatically and above all - without anger: but deal with it you must. If, in the end, you can get your own way often enough to feel content and happy your marriage will be on a solid footing, and you will both be able to grow and flourish harmoniously together.
Ladies and gentlemen, may ask you to rise and drink a toast to a lovely lady. Someone once said that nature intended woman to be her masterpiece; in this case she certainly succeeded. To good health and happiness.
To me, giving advice is like breathing - you cannot stop me. According to the French writer Rochefoucauld, old men delight in giving good advice as a consolation for the fact that they can no longer set bad examples. It is debatable, whether I can or cannot set bad examples - I leave that to you young ones to decide - and needless to say I have my own ideas or the subject. I am also told that one should shun advice from those who use parables and proverbs to reinforce it but, nevertheless, I am inclined to quote the famous Dr. David Reuben, who compared marriage to a long trip in a tiny rowboat. “If one passenger starts to rock the boat,”he said, “the other has to steady it, otherwise they will go to the bottom together.
As you are about to embark on your long trip of matrimony together and I would hate to see you go down to the bottom, I offer this piece of sound advice. No doubt, from time to time, one or the other will be tempted to “rock the boat.” There is no harm in that, but whenever one of you gets the urge, make sure the other is prepared to do the steadying so that your ship can continue its voyage on an even keel without dipping too much to one side or the other.
Another, more down-to-earth piece of advice is never be bad-tempered at the same time; if one is in a bad mood, let the other be sweet and kind and let the storm blow over. If you can’t say something nice, say nothing but continue to communicate. Total silence can be as destructive as talking too much. Be patient and tolerant but don’t forget to do something crazy and unexpected once in a while to keep excitement and romance alive.
Ladies and gentlemen, please rise and join me in a toast to two happy and wonderful people the bride and groom!
TOAST TO THE BRIDE BY A FRIEND OF THE FAMILY
Some people say that proposing a toast to the bride is going out of style. However, I am sure that you will not mind if I, who has known _________ since her childhood, say a few words paying tribute to her beauty and charm as well as to some of her other attributes that have endeared her to us all. I remember her as a sweet and happy child, as a girl with a sunny disposition.
Now that she has become a young married woman, I know she will be the kind of mate who will cause people to say her husband is bragging when he is talking about her. Her talents for sharing are inborn. She has developed the art of attentive listening. She responds not only to expressions of joy, love and success, but she also empathizes with the negative feelings and blue moods of others.
Together with _______, whose human qualities are no less commendable, they will grow and develop, achieving the kind of Relationship they both desire. The amount of satisfaction you get from your marriage will not only depend on your agreement to meet certain of each other’s physical and emotional needs; but also on now much encouragement and opportunity you receive from each other to freely pursue individual growth. For growth can only occur if you seek opportunities together as well as apart.
I know that your enthusiasm for life and your love for each other will help you meet the ever-changing demands of our time and your expectations for a long and happy life together.
________, let me wish you much luck in your new role as I wish the same to ______.
Please join me in drinking a toast to our lovely bride and her handsome groom. To _______and _______.
I know that long after _______ and _________ found out that they loved each other, the thought of actually having a wedding was not uppermost in their minds. But when they did decide to get married, both had a pretty good idea what each expected from the other and what this union would mean to them. I also know that they were searching for new ways to live happy and fulfilling lives, and the ceremony we attended today not only symbolized their commitment beautifully, but also reflected the values, interests and tastes they hold dear and for which we all have come to love and admire them.
Marriage is an estate to be entered into advisedly and with utmost caution. As it has many pitfalls, it is to be approached with discretion and respect, for the responsibilities it imposes on two often-unsuspecting people can become heavy burdens to bear. In the case of ___________ and ____________, we know that they have considered the implications. Moreover, we are celebrating a union that was not only blessed by the church and made legal by the state, but was born of love and will be sustained by the will of two wonderful people. Neither church nor state could have created it, and we hope neither will ever terminate it.
We, who have been privileged to take part in the celebration, can only wish them well as they set up home together. For the home is the ultimate proving ground of civility, where civilization can flourish or end. Let us hope that theirs will be a place where memories are made over time in an atmosphere of warmth and tranquility.
Friends - let us rise and drink a toast to the happy couple. To _______ and __________!
Ladies and gentlemen, we have witnessed ___________ and ________ mutual vows to love respect and trust each other. Two individuals the richer for their oneness because of their love, brought to this moment the fullness of their hearts as a treasure to share. They brought their dreams and the mutual respect for their unique personalities in a spirit very much their own. And they brought the most important ingredient necessary to hold two people together in a long-term relationship - trust. Trust is the constant in the ordinary, everyday routines of married life. Out of it will grow the reality of a happy union.
The famous satirist Ogden Nash once said, “marriage is a legal and religious alliance entered into by a man who can’t sleep with the window shut and a woman who can’t sleep with the window open.” In the case of________ and ____________, it may be the other way around, or the one may wish to read in bed while the other wants to turn off the lights. That is why Ogden Nash also said that “marriage is more interesting than divorce; it’s the only known example of the happy meeting of the immovable object and the irresistible force.”
But a few little annoyances and a little controversy can go a long way to add zest to married life as long as solutions are found and irritants removed amicably, yet, with full regard for each other’s needs.
Finding ways to successfully merge two distinct personalities is not easy. However, I believe _________ and ________, have all the qualifications to do the job!
Let me now propose a toast to their continued happiness, joy and good health. Long may they live together in the spirit of their mutual vows! To _________ and _________!
“God creates new worlds each day by causing marriages to take place.” These words, taken from a fourteenth century collection of teachings on Jewish mysticism, are equally significant in our time. Many cynics look upon the traditional wedding ceremony as a meaningless ritual performed after the basic decisions already have been made. ________ and _______, have allowed God to create a new world for them today by publicly and in His presence acknowledging their love for each other. By so doing they also strengthened their bond of marriage.
The wedding, ceremony is more than words that are read and spoken. It is a dramatic pageant in which movement and many symbols are used to communicate the feelings the couple wishes to express. It leaves us looking out onto a road that can lead to endless joy. There will be hardships and disappointments along that road, and to travel it will require strong disciplines and an intelligent approach. Much that is ahead is uncertain, but some things can be depended upon - faith, hope and mutual trust. You two can set forth along the road because you have all three in your hearts.
The giving of the bride by the father to the bridegroom is not so much a transfer of property as it was symbolized in olden days as it is a giving of parental blessing to the newlyweds.
A bride and groom bring to their marriage cultural and religious heritages that will influence how they think, feel and act toward each other. I believe ________ and __________ are two well-adjusted young people who are willing to take the risks of revealing themselves meaningfully to each other, finding a style of marriage that will work for them. I am happy to propose their health to this assembly.
Ladies and gentlemen, to _________ and __________!
Ladies’ and gentlemen, while we were in church this morning, I thought of a story I once heard about a prominent judge who attended the wedding of the daughter of an old friend. After the ceremony, the happy couple came down the aisle, smiling gaily at relatives and friends. As they passed the judge’s pew, he felt a strong urge to step out and tell them to make theirs a lifelong partnership. He so much wanted to tell them never to let anything drive them into a divorce court where he had seen so many marriages terminated. He didn’t do it because the very thought of divorce seemed to him a desecration of that joyful moment.
When the judge returned home after the wedding, he thought about the contrast between the happiness of a wedding day and the harshness of the many days he had spent in court. He thought about the many accusations and reasons given for breaking up a marriage. Based on that experience, he put down the following ten commandments, which I hope will help you to retain the joy of this day:
1. Avoid the first quarrel.
2. Don’t argue, nag or find fault.
3. Let there be no boss to rule the house.
4. “Ours” and not “mine” should be the possessive pronoun.
5. Confine your intimacies to yourselves; don’t share them with your friends.
6. Don’t live with your in-laws. No matter how humble, have a home of your own.
7. The love and affection you displayed during your courtship will go a long way to prevent petty squabbles.
8. Running a household can be tough, tedious and tiresome. Keep that in mind and be tolerant when nerves are slightly frayed.
9. Respect each other. When respect goes, love vanishes.
10. Protect the home with love. Have as many children as you can afford.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is indeed a happy occasion and without a doubt the happiest day for ______ and ___________. They are a wonderful couple.
Please rise and drink with me to their happiness and a long and joyful life together. To ________ and __________!
When I was, asked to propose a toast to the bride, I searched through all kinds of literature. I came across a letter written in the nineteenth century by a married man to a friend about to be married. This made me decide to include our groom in my toast, because I realized that the respective attitudes of husbands and wives towards each other have changed so drastically since the letter was written. Let me read parts of it so that you can see for yourselves.
“Can it be possible, has it come to this at last? You cynic, railer against women, the unalterable bachelor - is it possible that you have, at last, been captured and have surrendered all your ordnance, heavy guns and small arms to the enemy? “What a defeat! That large strong heart all crumbling to pieces and surrendering to Cupid’s battery. Well, now seriously, my friend, from my point of view you have done the sensible thing. The man who goes the journey alone through life, lives but half a life.”
Our correspondent goes on to congratulate his friend for having found a “woman fitted by temperament and accomplishment to render his path through life joyous.” Not a word about her because, after all, she is the enemy. What young woman today would enter into a marriage under similar circumstances?
There is one thing about _________ and __________, they were friends long before they were lovers. It used to be said that to make marriage work required a fifty-fifty commitment; not so. Each must give one hundred percent for the other to receive one hundred percent. And we know that ______ and __________ are willing to do that. Their temperaments and accomplishments are well suited to each other to render their paths through life joyous.
Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in saluting _________ and _________, and wishing them all the happiness life has to offer. To _______ and ________!
TOAST TO THE BRIDE AND GROOM
First, let me thank ________ and ______ for asking me to propose the traditional wedding toast, which I wish to address to both of them. It not only gives me a chance to tell you both how great I think you are but it also allows me to say how delighted I am that you chose each other and finally decided to marry. The fact that you will be living under one roof from now on promises to be of great benefit to me personally since I will only have to dial one telephone number instead of two whenever I want to reach you.
Also, since ________ plans to do most of the cooking, I will no longer have to pretend how much I enjoyed the groom’s past culinary efforts. We know he has many admirable qualities and skills but, frankly, cooking does not happen to be one of them!
Until now, I thought that the only justifiable marriage was the one that produced me. Why have I changed my mind? Why do I approve of this particular union? Because I have seen these two in action. Two people who can laugh at each other’s jokes and accept with so much good humor each other’s imperfections, faults and foibles. In fact, they not only can accept the flaws in each other’s characters, they have learned to love them with passion. I believe, that by doing so, each has given the other a very rare and precious gift - the right to be themselves.
Ladies and gentlemen, as we raise our glasses to wish them well, let us remember how privileged we are to be able to participate in the opening scene of what promises to be a beautiful story, played with love and affection on the stage of life.
To _______and ___________! Much joy and happiness, always!
When I was asked to propose a toast to the bride and groom I assumed that, in addition to expressing my good wishes, I would be expected to offer some good advice from the vast storehouse of my experience. But knowing them as two wonderful and intelligent people, I began to wonder whether they really needed my words of wisdom. After all, I got married many years ago when the respective roles of husband and wife were much more clearly defined and when the remarks at a wedding reception would be considered sexist by today’s standards.
I believe that _______ and _________, long before announcing their intention to marry, already had a pretty good idea what to expect from their union. But isn’t it also true that marriage is a kind of business? Before being able to accept a job you have to undergo extensive training. To qualify for marriage you don’t need a Ph.D., nor do you need to serve an apprenticeship. The two partners come to it with no more than their dreams and expectations. There are no computer programs to guarantee success.
Half a century ago, a famous psychologist predicted that matrimony, as he knew it, would not last beyond 1977. Here we are, _____ years later and ninety percent of the population of this country still finds the institution appealing. Why? Granted, it has become more flexible - emphasizing the mutual giving and receiving of emotional and physical satisfaction - but there just does not seem to be a substitute for a stable and committed relationship.
_______ and __________ care about theirs; they want it to grow and flourish. And we, who have come to witness the exchange of their sacred vows and receive the blessing of their church, can but wish them well.
May I ask this distinguished assembly to rise as I propose a toast, to the fulfillment of their dreams and expectations. To _____ and _________!
In order to do justice to my pleasant task, I shunned no effort to make this toast very special, because the two people I wish to honor with it are very special. To be certain of a flawless delivery, I consulted famous orators, and to give substance to my little speech, I sought out philosophers, and men and women of letters who were supposed to help me phrase these people’s ideas in a manner appropriate to the occasion. However, in the end, I felt compelled to say - in my own simple words - the things that are most dear to my heart. I have known_______ and _________ for a considerable number of years, and we are good friends. Early on in their friendship, I was able to observe that it was developing into something more lasting. The English essayist and critic William Hazlitt once said, “To be capable of steady friendship and lasting love are the greatest proofs, not only of goodness of heart but of strength of mind.” ______ and _________ have both, and when they decided to build a life together they already knew that marriage would be a rewarding experience for them.
I suppose as their good friend, one who so far has been successful in his own marriage, I ought to leave them with at least one piece of advice. The goal of marriage is not to score points or to decide who is right and who is wrong. Marriage is a cooperative, not a competition where the one wins and the other one loses.
Friends, let us wish these two fortunate people many wonderful things as they start life together. Please rise and join me in a toast to their good health and happiness. ________ and ________, the bride and bridegroom.
TOAST TO THE BRIDE AND GROOM BY A MUTUAL FRIEND
I believe brevity is the soul of wit, and I promise in that sense I am about to make a very witty speech. I have known the bride and groom for a very long time and was honored when they asked me to say a few words today. If it hadn't been for me, they probably would never have met, and when they did meet, I did my best to encourage their relationship, much to the detriment of my own social life. For look at me - it is they who are married and not I.
Like most married people, they will smugly try to fix me up with someone, telling me it's for my own good. So be it!
True to, my promise to be brief, I now wish to propose a toast to _______ and _________, my good friends, asking you to raise your glasses and drink to their continued happiness. To ___________ and __________!
A SECOND MARRIAGE TOAST TO THE BRIDE AND GROOM
There must be something good about marriage as more and more people are finding it appealing. To get married for the second time is an even greater step to take, and it calls for a very special celebration. You both are more mature and perhaps a little less starry-eyed than the first time around, although you still will have to learn to adjust to each other in the same way as the couple who is getting married for the first time.
Yet you are different, perhaps more aware of the pitfalls of married life, more anxious to avoid making the same mistakes a second time. You will make others, but that is only human. There will be new decisions to be made, new problems to be solved, but I know you will handle the task with love and discretion.
Ladies and gentlemen, may I ask you to join me in a toast to the happy couple. In proposing it, I would like to avail myself of the witty words of the famous Dr. Samuel Johnson, "Here's to a second marriage - the triumph of hope over experience." To ________ and _________, good health and happiness for a long and prosperous life!
RESPONSE BY THE GROOM
Mr.______________, honored guests, my wife and I have decided to start married life with our first agreement - to thank Mr. ___________ for the wonderful way he honored us on. We also wish to thank all of you for your enthusiastic response to the good wishes expressed by our friend. I know that everything he said about ________ is true, but I was overwhelmed by the nice things he said about me and cannot help wondering whether I really deserve them. I shall have to set myself very high standards to live up to the praises he bestowed upon me. I also want to thank __________'s mother and father, Mr. and Mrs. _________ for the way they accepted me as their new son. Again, I shall do my best not to disappoint them. I promise to be a good husband to ________.
Special thanks are in order to my own Mom and Dad, who have supported me in all my endeavors ever since I can remember and who have, by the example they set as husband and wife, showed me what a good marriage is.
I say thanks to our guests for their generosity. In return, we hope to offer you our hospitality, as soon as the "Cuisinart" is unpacked and we have learned how to use it.
RESPONSE BY THE GROOM
Ladies and gentlemen, _________ almost took my breath away by saying all those wonderful things about us. I know my lovely bride deserves them, but I? To live up to this kind of tribute, I really shall have to mend my ways; I don't think I'm as good as he says I am. I do, however, wish to thank _________, for consenting to become my wife. I also want to thank her mother and father for entrusting her to my care. They will be pleased not to hear my voice on the telephone every day of the week or to be a constant visitor at their house. To my own parents, I would say thank you for your love and understanding, you have never failed to support me in any of my endeavors, crazy as they may have been at times.
There is nothing more cheering as the wholehearted support of family and friends. By being here and sharing with us this wonderful occasion, you have helped us get the right start. My wife joins me in thanking you. The lovely gifts you have bestowed upon us and the many good wishes that went with them will be a constant reminder of your many kindnesses.
RESPONSE BY THE GROOM
Mr. ________, ladies and gentlemen, I thank you for your very kind words and for all the good wishes, coming as they do from good friends and members of both of our families. I fail to see why and how we should ever lack the happiness you wish for us. For whatever the future may hold, your affection and friendship will assist us in meeting any adversity with confidence.
In thanking you for sharing this wonderful day with us, my wife and I also wish to express our gratitude to our immediate families, the bridesmaids and the best man. Last but not least, I say to my lovely bride, you are beautiful, charming, and delightful to be with and thank you for agreeing to become my wife.
RESPONSE BY THE GROOM INCLUDING A TOAST
Ladies and gentlemen, first, my wife and I wish to thank our good friend _________ for the wonderful way he proposed the toast to my lovely bride. He said many things that I knew already, but it was nice to hear them repeated so eloquently. That and his good wishes have made us both very happy.
I want to thank you all for the wonderful gifts that began arriving even before our wedding day, and let me assure you that they will be given places of honor in our new home, which I hope you will visit very soon.
Some special thanks I have set aside for a few very important people - my new in-laws, my own mother and father and, last but not least, the bridesmaids; all of you have contributed so much to making this day so memorable.
I propose a toast to you and to my lovely bride. To _________!
RESPONSE BY THE GROOM, INCLUDING A TOAST
Ladies and gentlemen, first, my wife and I - and this is the first time I have used her new title wish to thank _________ for his very kind words and good wishes. To you, our honored guests, I express my thanks for responding with so much enthusiasm and spontaneity. I also would like to say thank you for the generous gifts you have bestowed on us, and I sincerely hope you will visit us soon to see them.
A very special and hearty thanks goes to my new in-laws, who have not only entrusted their beautiful daughter to me but have spared no effort to make this celebration memorable and meaningful for us.
Let me propose a toast to them as well as to my own mother and father, who I love very much. Also included in my toast are ________, ____________ and ______________,who did such a great job being the best bridesmaids in the whole wide world. To Mr. and Mrs. ____________, Mom and Dad and ______ and __________.
RESPONSE BY THE GROOM INCLUDING A TOAST
Mr. ________, distinguished guests, we thank you for your kind words, which touched us deeply. We appreciate your confidence in our ability to know what we want from this union. Indeed, we have our love and mutual trust to guide us, but any piece of advice from a veteran of the marriage business such as you is always welcome, I assure you.
My beautiful bride has accepted me with all my weaknesses, and I thank her for it. So far, I have not yet discovered any in her, but if I do, I promise to accept them with tact and understanding.
My response would not be complete without expressing sincere thanks to Mr. and Mrs. _________, my new in-laws, who accepted me with so much magnanimity. To my own mother and father I say, thank you for all your love and devotion which, in turn, gave me the security and confidence to love and cherish my darling wife, _______.
I would also like to convey to our honored guests how much your presence here, today, means to us. My final thank you goes to the bridesmaids, whose dedication to their jobs was unsurpassed. I hereby propose their good health and happiness. To __________ and __________.
RESPONSE BY THE GROOM INCLUDING A TOAST
Ladies and gentlemen, we thank you for the way you responded to the toast to the bride and for your good wishes. I am a very happy man today, and when I look at _________ my bride, she looks lovelier than ever, which may in part, be due to her own happiness.
The reason why things have gone so well for us today is also due to the efforts of a group of wonderful ladies who with infinite skill helped _________ get dressed this morning, assisting her with numerous little deeds. I am talking of _________, ________ and ____________, our charming bridesmaids. Please join me in drinking a toast to their health and happiness - to you.
BEST MAN'S TOAST TO THE BRIDESMAIDS
Ladies and gentlemen, it now is my pleasant duty to propose the good health of the bridesmaids. So far, all the attention has been focused on these two fortunate people, the bride and groom - but I know I speak for them when I say that they will not mind if some of the glory goes to these delightful ladies who have done more than their share to make this day such a rousing success.
Without further ado, let me thank them and ask you all to join me in a toast to __________________ and _____________.
BEST MAN'S TOAST TO THE BRIDESMAIDS
Today it has not only been my pleasant duty to attend the bridegroom and cater to his every whim, I also was asked to look after the bridesmaids, which proved a very simple task because they very ably took care of themselves.
Once the ceremony was over and my friend was safely married, I thought there would be nothing more for me to do. For a while my spirits flagged, but the appearance of the bridesmaids in this hall suddenly revived my interests. I therefore hasten to propose a toast to them, thanking them for performing so splendidly at our friends' wedding. To _______, _______ and _______.
BEST MAN'S TOAST TO THE BRIDESMAIDS
As best man I am called upon to propose a toast to the bridesmaids. But being the best man at a wedding puts you in a kind of dilemma, because you really have no way of proving how good you really are. All eyes are on the lovely bride, the handsome groom and the beautiful bridesmaids. Nobody ever says: "Look at the best man, he really is the best!"
But enough of my problems; I was, after all, handpicked for the job by my good friend, ________. He entrusted me with the job of getting him to the church on time and seeing to it that he had a ring to put on _________'s finger. The rest was really done by this group of ladies, whose abilities are only exceeded by their charm and beauty. I love them all and in thanking them for the many tasks - large and small - they performed today, I wish to propose a toast to their good health and happiness. To _______, _____ and _______!
BEST MAN'S RESPONSE TO A TOAST TO THE BRIDESAIAIDS PROPOSED BY THE GROOM
In response to my good friends toast to the bridesmaids I would like to thank him on their behalf for all the nice things he said about them. I don't think he said quite enough, but that is forgivable on a day like this. I am surprised he even noticed them. Unattached as I am at this point in time, I must confess, I did. In fact, I think they are the best looking bridesmaids I have ever encountered at the many weddings I have been to lately.
I would like to add my good wishes to the happy couple, and I know the bridesmaids, _________, ___________ and ____________, would like me to include theirs.
TOAST BY THE FATHER OF THE BRIDE
This is a joyful occasion, and it turned out to be a very happy day for all of us. My wife and I wish to thank you for joining us to celebrate the marriage of our beautiful daughter, ___________ to ______, our new son-in-law. We have known for many of you for some time and hope that those among you we only have met quite recently, especially __________'s family and friends, will also become our good friends.
I therefore propose a toast to you, our honored guests, to wish you joy and happiness. To you!
TOAST BY THE FATHER OF THE BRIDE
Honored guests, according to all on wedding etiquette that my wife made me read, the father of the bride is unanimously appointed as the speaker who ends all speeches. But as the host of this wonderful party, I want to make sure that my verbal contribution will herald the beginning of more merry-making - dancing, eating, drinking and enjoying ourselves.
Your presence here today has been the icing on the cake and we thank you for it. We are overjoyed to see our daughter so happy; what greater reward can a parent expect? Special thanks goes to my lovely wife and to all of you who have helped make this day so special.
I propose the following toast with the words of Washington Irving's Rip van Winkle: "Here's to your good health and your family's good health, and may you all live long and prosper."
TOAST BY THE FATHER OF THE BRIDE
As the father of the bride, I feel especially proud and happy, for I have heard so many nice things said about my little girl. Yes, she may be a grown-up married lady now, but to me she is still a little girl. I guess fathers are just sentimental old fools when it comes to their daughters. When they are small you cannot help wondering who the creep will be they may want to marry one day. But ___________, like her father, has always shown good judgement , and when she introduced _______ to us, we were more than happy with her choice.
This has been a happy day, but we don't want to end it just yet. To all of you, our honored guests, who have come from far and wide to share with us this joyful occasion, I say a hearty thanks; I am sure my wife joins me in this.
I think we should all raise our glasses and drink a toast to the bride and groom - good health, long life and great happiness to all of you!
TOAST BY THE FATHER OF THE BRIDE
They say that a son is a son until he gets himself a wife, but a daughter is a daughter all the days of life. If that is so, I am very happy as the father of a daughter who had enough sense to marry someone who already is like a son to me. In this way, I am doubly blessed.
I am also delighted that our two families hit it off so well, although it still remains to be decided at whose house the young couple will spend next Christmas
I wish to thank all of you for being here to help us celebrate, for this day will be long remembered by all of us. Next, I wish to thank my wife for the unqualified success of this event. She worked out every minute detail with so much love and affection and, therefore, must be commended for her tireless efforts. After all, she is the perfect wife and a good example for ____________ to follow.
The festivities are far from over; the music is about to begin. I raise my glass and drink a toast to the happy couple and to you - our honored guests. To you!
Use the following quotations, poems and toasts when putting together your particular wedding toast.
If there is such a thing as a good marriage it is because it resembles friendship rather than love. Michel E. de Montaigne
Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance. Jane Austen
A man's friendships are, like his will, invalidated by marriage but they are also no less invalidated by the marriage of his friends. Samuel Butler
One should believe in marriage as in the immortality of the soul. Honore de Balzac
The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved, loved for ourselves, or rather loved in spite of ourselves. Victor Marie Hugo
Thinking is easy, action is difficult; to act in accordance with one's thoughts is the most difficult thing in the world. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
To be wronged is nothing unless you continue to remember it. Confucius
A wife is essential for great longevity: she is the receptacle of half a man's cares and two-thirds of his ill-humor, Charles Reade
The sexes were made for each other and only in the wise and loving union of the two is the fullness of health and duty and happiness to be expected, William Hall
The only gift is a portion of thyself. Ralph Waldo Emerson
Here's to marriage, that happy estate that resembles a pair of scissors: "So joined that they cannot be separated; often moving in opposite directions, yet punishing anyone who comes between them." Sydney Smith
Marriage has many pains, but celibacy has no pleasures. Samuel Johnson
For in what stupid age or nation, was marriage ever out of fashion? Samuel Butler
We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Strong and bitter words indicate a weak cause. Victor Marie Hugo
Matrimony - the high sea for which no compass has yet been invented. Heinrich Heine
(For a second marriage)
Wedlock's like wine, not properly judged of till the second glass. Douglas William Jerrold
There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved. George Sand
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal Grace. Elizabeth Barrett Browning,
To be loved, be lovable. Ovid
True love is like ghosts, which everybody talks about and few have seen. Francois La Rochefoucauld
Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, half shut afterwards. Benjamin Franklin
To marry is to halve your rights and double your duties. Arthur Schopenhauer
What is love? It is the ardent outflow of the whole being - the yearning of one human heart to lavish all its treasures upon another. James de Mille
To the bride and groom may they have a lifetime of love and an eternity of happiness. Anonymous
May your joys be as deep as the ocean and your sorrows as light as its foam. Anonymous
Please feel free to make copies of this guide for friends and others that may benefit from it. The original authors are unknown, but, we wish to acknowledge them in any case.
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