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