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Wedding Toast ~ Do's and Don'ts ~ Raleigh Wedding DJ


The toast has become a staple at almost every wedding reception and many other functions. It/they can take from 30 seconds to over an hour!! There are different customs from around the world making the toast somewhat unpredictable. I’ve seen a German newlywed couple take the time to mention everyone in the room by name and say a little something about each person! That same night there were about 10 people that decided they wanted to say “a little something” about the bride, groom, the evening…their favorite colors, etc. I’ve seen other receptions where the toast consisted of the Best Man speaking for about 18 seconds....live, love and be happy. Let’s dance!

The one person most likely to be expected to give a toast is the best man. Many of the other family members take the time to say a few words at the rehearsal dinner, however, some may decide to speak during the toast as well.

I highly recommend that the people who will be giving a toast be identified PRIOR to the reception. This will help to avoid confusion and let those people know, so they have a little time to plan their speeches or activities.

….so YOU have been identified as someone who will be giving a toast????

Here are a few “do’s and don’ts” to help you plan your speech to be productive, positive, informative and FUN!

The DO’s (in no particular order):

  • Try to keep your toast no longer than 4-5 minutes. You want to keep things moving, people interested and connected to the evening.

  • Make sure the DJ has reminded people to FILL THEIR GLASSES in plenty of time BEFORE the toast begins.

  • Remember to STAND when giving a toast and sit if you are the person to whom everyone is toasting.

  • I always recommend adding a little humor, but remember there are all types of people in the room, try to keep things “above the bar” of good taste.

  • It is always a good idea to rehearse your toast a few times. Most people are not accomplished speakers and going with the flow normally winds up being a bad idea.

  • Try to stay connected with everyone in the room by making eye contact with everyone in the room as well as the bride and groom.

  • Speak slowly and pronounce your words clearly so everyone can understand what you are saying.

  • ALWAYS wrap up your toast with a wish, blessing, congratulations, cheers and RAISE your GLASS! It’s the TOAST!

The DON’TS:

  • Try to limit your drinking before the toast. Hearing a toast from someone who can not speak clearly is NOT a welcome occurance at a wedding reception!

  • DON'T swear and DON'T bring up "R" rated stories about the bride and/or the groom! Keep your toast "PG-13"!! You have all ages of people present at weddings!

  • You DON'T need to apologize for being a bad speaker. Everyone assumes most people are not professional speakers.

  • DON’T mention previous girlfriends, boyfriends or past marriages! Need I say more?

  • DON'T go on forever! DON'T go over 5 minutes if you can help it!

  • DON’T open the floor for anyone else to “say a few words”. It is just inviting disaster!

  • DON’T forget to raise your glass in a toast! It’s why you are up there in the first place!

I hope this was helpful!

Keep on Dancing!

Jim Unger

Professional Raleigh DJ & Owner

Ninety Nine Entertainment

Raleigh's Source for Professional DJ Entertainment


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