The key is to be comfortable, be yourself, and be sincere. Anything else can lead to embarrassment.
One big misconception about giving a wedding toast is that you have to be funny. That couldn’t be farther 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 do not use this time as your opportunity to try out some new material.
People can sense when you are uncomfortable; and when you deliver an awkward joke that lands about as well as a sumo wrestler on a trampoline, everyone will know it. If you feel better speaking eloquently and seriously about the happy couple, then go for it. If you need ideas, buy a poetry book or a book of quotes and use some lines that work for the couple and the occasion. Or choose a certain song lyric you feel really represents the couple.
Your audience will appreciate a thoughtful wedding toast just as much as one that makes them laugh. In the end, you’ll get a nice round of applause even if you didn’t get laughs. If you do want to tell jokes, have your friends help out with ideas of appropriate, yet still humorous, topics.
Most importantly -- do not include any jokes that reference previous relationships, infidelities, or other touchy subjects. They will NOT go over well.
Champagne image courtesy of Shutterstock.