Wedding toasts can be terrible; we have all sat through cringe-worth speeches during a reception. Perhaps the speaker helped themselves to a bit too much liquid courage, rambled on for ages, or made unfortunate digs at the bride or groom that went beyond good-natured jokes. No one likes to be humiliated, particularly in public and certainly not at their wedding. A great speaker can woo a room into a chuckle, or a tear, and every bride wants to feel like she and her wedding party, family and new husband are done proud.
Here are five essential tips to make sure your wedding toasts are delivered without a hitch:
· Decide exactly who you want to give toasts and encourage them to please be brief. Three to five minutes is a long window of time to fill. By encouraging your speakers to keep their wedding speeches short and sweet, you might ease also any pressure that they have put on themselves to go on at length.
· Choose speakers that you feel confident can handle the task gracefully. If you have concerns about your maid of honour being too nervous or too lengthy, perhaps you could pair her up with the best man? Strength in numbers!
· If there is a particular speaker that you worry might go rogue, or tell that one humiliating story, speak to them privately and share your concern. Confide that you will undoubtedly be emotional on your wedding day and could use their support in holding it together, particularly during toasts. Hopefully as a good friend, they’ll concede and take it easy on you.
· Trust in your emcee to keep things in check. Request that this person keep things running smoothly on your behalf.
· Relax. Once you have set the stage, so to speak, it is out of your hands. Sit back and revel in the love.
Etiquette expert Karen Cleveland has joined Weddingbells as a guest blogger solving all of your decorum dilemmas. For more on her column, Finishing School, find her on Twitter or send her your questions and conundrums here.