How to Give the Proper Wedding Toast

Learn 3 tips for giving a proper wedding toast and find out what not to do.

Richie Frieman
4-minute read
Episode #137

This past June, I had the honor of being the best man at my brother-in-law’s wedding. His wife has a huge family--most of whom I had never met--so I was nervous about making sure I would A) uphold my title as the best man and B) give a speech that even those who I didn’t know could still appreciate. I am happy to say that I pulled it off… even when I made a couple jokes aimed at the hometown crowd’s favorite sports teams. If you want to follow in my footsteps and be remembered for your good toast—not your disastrous one, read on.

How to Give the Proper Wedding Toast

My wedding toast went well, however, there are many, MANY times in which it can go south faster than an etiquette class taught by the cast of Jersey Shore. So, in this episode I will give you my top 3 tips on how to pull off the proper wedding toast, as well as what not to do.

Proper Wedding Toast Tip #1: Leave the Skeletons In the Closet

It is beyond rude to use a wedding toast as the time to divulge information about either member of the happy couple that will make their mother sob, “My baby did WHAT!?!” Don’t get me wrong, it’s always funny to tell an embarrassing story that others may not know, but it has to be done with class—which means nothing inappropriately embarrassing. For example, one story I told about my buddy Joe was how he punted a basketball into the stands at a college basketball game after having just missed a free throw worth $10,000. It was hilarious and everyone got a good kick out of it (no pun intended).

One big misconception about giving a wedding toast is that you have to be funny.

What’s inappropriately embarrassing? Well, here’s an example: even if the groom was the biggest stud on campus do NOT use his wedding as the place to tell the guests about how many girls he’s--ahem--“dated.” Even worse would be to end it with, “Am I right ladies? I mean half of the bridal party knows what I’m talking about!”

Let the personal stuff stay between you and your friends. It is highly improper to humiliate the couple--let alone the parents of the bride or groom.

Proper Wedding Toast Tip #2: If You Aren’t Funny, Don’t Try To Be

One big misconception about giving a wedding toast is that you have to be funny. That couldn’t be further from the truth. The proper wedding toast comes in two acceptable forms: the sincere and the humorous. Sometimes it’s good to combine the two, but if you are not so good with one, then by all means don’t use this time as your opportunity to try it out.