Wedding Toasts: Raise a Glass to the Bride and Groom

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When it’s time for toasts to be made during a wedding reception, it can be a time of great emotion, humor, or even embarrassment.
If your wedding reception falls along the straight-and-narrow lines of being ultra-traditional, wedding toasts are expected to go in a certain order. In a more contemporary wedding, you can make your own rules.
These days, it can get pretty confusing to try and plan who toasts whom and who goes first. Even if you make meticulous plans, will someone throw you off by offering an impromptu toast? Will someone tell a story or two that you really wish they would keep quiet about?

TRADITIONAL
Traditionally, the father of the bride is the first to offer a toast. He welcomes everyone to the reception since often he and the bride’s mother are hosting the event. The father of the bride toasts his daughter.
1. Next, the groom toasts his new wife.
2. Finally, the best man toasts the new Mr. and Mrs.
3. Following the best man’s toast, it’s time for the meal to begin.

CONTEMPORARY
If the traditional order of toasts doesn’t please you, or if you’ve got more family and friends who would like to speak, perhaps you would be more comfortable with something along these lines.
1. First, the best man toasts the groom.
2. Next, the maid of honor toasts the bride.
3. The father of the groom toasts the bride
4. The father of the bride toasts the groom.
5. The bride offers a toast.
6. The groom completes the toasting ceremony.

OPEN MIC
If you’d like for your guests to feel welcome to come forward and speak during your reception, an open microphone is one way to go. It lets guests know that you’re ready o hear what they have to say, whether it’s an impromptu toast or a story from your college days.

Be aware, however, that you will have no control over what guests might say, which could be a source of stress if alcohol flows freely or if your spouse’s college roommates haven’t quite learned tact yet.

Some wedding professionals warn against having an open mic, out of respect for the guests. Once the traditional toasts have been taken care of, guests are often tired of sitting in one spot, listening, and taking a sip. Also, the flow of the event may be compromised by an open mic, with both the meal and dancing interrupted repeatedly.