Raise your glasses - Here's to the bride and groom! A wedding toast honors the couple with well wishes for happiness, prosperity, health and general good luck. As the wedding toast concludes the wedding speech it should sum up the speech with a short, memorable and meaningful ending. Whether the toast is a quote, a proverb or your own original wedding toast idea there are several forms of etiquette in giving and accepting a toast.
Start your toast by standing and raising your glass in your right hand to shoulder height. Wait until all the glasses have been filled. Traditionally, the bride's glass is filled first then the groom's, maid of honor, the bridesmaids and groomsmen, then the parents and finally the best man. Give your toast. End it with an indication for the guests to raise their glasses and repeat your good wishes. For example the toaster says "Please join me in wishing the happy couple a long and happy marriage - to John and Mary", to which the guests reply, "To John and Mary." Clink your glass with those of other guests. According to wedding tradition the clinking sound was said to be good luck as it drove away evil spirits. Finally take a drink! Those receiving the wedding toast are not supposed to take a sip, nor stand up or raise their glass. However, you should acknowledge the toast with a smile or a nod. As a rule of thumb those giving the speech stand and those receiving it remain seated.
Wedding toasts should be given with champagne, wine, mixed drink or punch, but never with tea, coffee or water.
Wedding toasts can follow the same order of the wedding speeches, especially if the speaker wishes to end their speech with a toast. However, if the wedding toasts are being conducted separately from the speeches here is the traditional order:
- Toast to the Bride and Groom (by close friend or relative)
- Response and toast to the Bridal Party by the Bride and Groom
- Response on behalf of the Bridal Party by the Best Man
- Toast to the Bride's Parents (by close friend or relative)
- Response by the Bride's Parents
- Toast to the Groom's Parents (by close friend or relative)
- Response by the Groom's Parents
If the wedding party (maid of honor, bridesmaids and groomsmen) or other friends and relatives wish to give a toast it should occur following the groom's parents.