Burnt Toast Podcast

Let These Wedding Toasts Serve as Examples

June 30, 2016

When you google “how to make a wedding toast”—as many of us who’ve been asked, I’m sure, have done—this is what you get:

Step .5: Google "how to make a wedding toast."

Without even clicking into the first search result, there it is: step by step, a formulaic guide, more of a cultural rubric than a chance to express, in open-form, how you feel about the happy couple. The search results that follow offer other various tips on how not to embarrass yourself, cheerlead lightly (“Giving a Quality Wedding Toast is Easier Than You’d Think”), and give hope by way of debatably-clever puns (“Leave Wedding Guests Speechless”).

THIS is what you're going for. It's good to have goals.

But mostly, desperate googlers and novice speech-givers are presented with a math equation: Input niceties, add a story or two, output one wedding speech. You did it! A simile for this kind of toast came to mind during my research: It’s like a mad-lib. The names and stories change—maybe you met Groom Steve in third grade; another speaker met Bride Lisa in seventh—but everything else stays the same.

Shop the Story

That was until I found an actual mad-lib wedding toast. A snippet from the article on Huffington Post:

But seriously, can [name of speaker] really not come up with [pronoun] own [adjective] words?

We’ve lost a little of the human here, haven’t we? In an attempt to put it back in—following Tad Friend’s brilliant wedding toast advice we published a few weeks back—today’s episode of Burnt Toast is devoted to the art of the wedding toast.

We asked for your stories—the best toasts you’ve heard, the worst, ones you’ve given—because what better way is there to learn than by example? Learn what to do, what not to do, what never to even think of doing, as well as the answers to important questions like: What if I’m asked to write a toast in ten minutes? What if I start to cry for a fifth time during the speech? What if, before the groom even knew her, I had feelings for the bride?

This and more, right this way:

I know there are more of you out there: Share your toast stories in the comments!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

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Kenzi Wilbur

Written by: Kenzi Wilbur

I have a thing for most foods topped with a fried egg, a strange disdain for overly soupy tomato sauce, and I can never make it home without ripping off the end of a newly-bought baguette. I like spoons very much.


Marcia April 8, 2017
Our son was married at a small ceremony in our backyard in December, 2014. I have never given a wedding toast, but felt compelled to make one that night. I told the story of when he was in kindergarten and with his new found sense of independence, asked to be allowed to walk home from the bus stop on his own. My vision of him being kidnapped on the walk across the park where the bus stopped to our house a few steps away kept me from okaying it until he finally wore me down and I compromised by allowing him to walk across the park while I stood on the other side and kept him safe. The very first day he was to do this, I dutifully stood on my side and waited for the school bus. It came, the kids got off and the bus left. My little kindergartner didn't get off. My first impulse was to run across the park, waiving and flailing my arms while screaming at the bus to stop. After chasing the bus for a block or so I realized the driver wasn't going to stop and pretty much panicked when I wasn't sure what to do next. I ran back home to call the school and as I walked in the door, the phone was ringing. A neighbor with a little girl in my son's class had gotten a call from their teacher. She didn't let the kids out in time, so they'd all missed the bus and our neighbor was going to pick up all the stranded little ones from our neighborhood. I told that story as an analogy for marriage. I said that now, our son and his new wife were going off down the street in their own little bus, but I promised to not run after them screaming and waiving my arms like a crazy person. With that, I wished them much love and happiness on their new adventure.
And I managed to get through it without crying, but I practiced over and over until I could get through it and only choke up a tiny bit. I think toasts are best when they tell a story.
AntoniaJames July 3, 2016
Interesting . . . .
gandalf July 1, 2016
Hard to beat the wedding toasts (for better and for worse) from "Four Weddings and a Funeral." Unfortunately, most of us can't carry it off like Hugh Grant!