The Sweet Christian Bride

Wedding Toasts

by admin on May 25, 2011 in Reception Traditions, Rehearsal Dinner with No Comments

Toasting a marriage is such a great way for a unified celebration.  People love the opportunity to cheer for something they believe in. 

For the bride and groom who are being toasted, wedding toasts are a rare opportunity to hear what positive things people think about them.  Funerals are the other common place for public affirmations, but at that point, those comments aren’t meant for the deceased but for those left behind.

Seize the opportunity to receive others’ praise and redirect that in your heart as worship for the Lord and as gratitude for the people He has put in your life.  And give the opportunity to others, even if you are shy, to encourage you.  Affirming someone is a mutual gift that is hard to come by in the ordinary busyness of everyday life but that blesses both parties when the opportunity is present.  Your friends want to tell you how much they love you!

You can invite as many people as you want to offer you toasts, though I do want to offer a caveat:

Not everyone is a good speaker.  If your friends or family ramble without a planned point, they will usually lose the attention of your guests.  In one sense, that’s okay because the toasts are for you, not for them.  If you are trying to make your wedding enjoyable to your guests, however, avoid lining up four or more toasters in a row. 

While it is entertaining to listen to someone funny and touching to listen to someone sentimental, it is painful to listen to someone unprepared, inappropriate, or off-track.  In those circumstances, the significance of their affirmation to you, as well as the appeal of their stories, get lost amidst the fidgety boredom of a crowd that is politely waiting for the next fun thing. 

It sounds crass, but it’s typical party psychology.  It’s your prerogative how many toasts you allow, but if you choose many, choose knowing the effect they will likely have on your guests. 

The traditional wedding toasts include the maid of honor and the best man, as well as the father of the bride (although it’s really nice to give voice to the groom’s parents too).  Sometimes the bride and groom take the opportunity to toast each other, which would be a fun way to invite your guests more deeply into the heart of your relationship.

If you do want more people to toast at your wedding, consider inviting them to take the mic at your rehearsal dinner instead.  The guests at your rehearsal dinner are presumably more closely connected to you than those who are not invited to the rehearsal dinner, so they are already privy to much of your personality and life story.  Even if they don’t know the person who is speaking, they know you and can relate with the sentiments that are being shared and can appreciate the stories that are being told. 

You would be surprised at how many people want to stand up and tell you how amazing you are.  I strongly encourage you to receive this!  So often, those affirmations are the words of God spoken through someone He knows you will listen to.  Including a time of affirmation at the rehearsal dinner is one of the most special and lasting pieces of the wedding weekend, not just for the bride and groom, but for those who need a witness of what Christ’s love is.   And it takes pressure off the wedding reception to include toasts from everyone meaningful to you, leaving a simple, clean, and engaging few wedding toasts that your guests will enjoy with you.

Photo © Garry Tan, featuring Jehaan and Julie’s wedding

By Lindsay

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