Father of the Groom Toast
Traditionally, the father of the groom has only offered a wedding toast at the rehearsal dinner. However, contemporary weddings afford much more discretion for more wedding participants to offer a wedding toast. In addition, many grooms and their families have begun to share in a portion of the wedding costs.
Giving a wedding toast is a time-honored tradition, as is considerable apprehension and public speaking anxiety associated with delivering an effective toast. Expectations can run high. Not only does the audience expect a heartfelt statement, but also a little comic relief. To add to wedding toast public speaking anxiety, you’re presenting to a very diverse audience (from Grandma June to Uncle Ricky), each with different expectations. Don’t fret. Prepare, use our tips for overcoming public speaking anxiety and consider using a herbal supplement application. You’ll be able to execute your wedding toast in style! These are some tips for your wedding toast:
What you should do:
- Prepare for your wedding toast far in advance (one to two weeks) of your presentation. Jotting something down on a napkin immediately before you present will only make you look unprepared. This approach will likely result in considerable public speaking anxiety.
- Prepare notes or an outline. Presumably you are not a professional public speaker; no one is expecting to see Barack Obama. Prepare notes that state your wedding toast introduction and transition sentences verbatim (but don’t read them verbatim). Outline your key topics and write down your wedding toast in its entirety.
- If you choose to offer a wedding toast, make sure you coordinate your efforts in conjunction with the father of the bride. This will also allow you to have smooth transitions with the wedding toasts. The best man is supposed to be the master of ceremonies. But, some best men lack the age, experience and maturity to act accordingly; be prepared to assume this role.
- Officially welcome your new daughter-in-law into your family at the beginning of your wedding toast.
- Compliment your wife and the mother of the bride on their hard work preparing for the wedding.
- Compliment your new in-laws specifically by name (you should probably write them down) on their hard work and enthusiasm for being a part of each other’s family.
- Specifically recognize special guests to the bride and groom. This does not mean your boss or coworkers. For example, recognize grandparents that were able to attend.
- Specifically recognize special individuals to the bride and groom who could not attend because of death, disability or otherwise.
- A great wedding toast should last five to seven minutes. Most people speak at a rate of roughly 150 words per minute, so plan accordingly. In addition, public speaking anxiety (stage fright) may increase your rate of speech.
- Propose a toast to the newly married couple. Even if you’re not drinking, don’t forget to bring a glass to use when you toast.
What you can do:
- Specifically thank wedding attendees who traveled great distances and probably incurred great cost to attend the wedding.
- Recall childhood stories about your son and/or your relationship with your son. This section should account for one to two-thirds of your wedding toast. What memories do you have about him that others may not know? What attributes that make him special and unique are most appreciated by you and possibly unnoticed by others not as close to your son? Make it personal and specific; do not use something you read in the internet.
- What sets your son apart (personality, friends)? What makes him unique (accomplishments, goals)? What would he want you to tell other people? What are his hobbies and priorities?
- If your son is the product of divorce, you may want to recognize the role of his step-father/step-mother in his life (in a positive fashion, of course).
What you should never do:
- Make the wedding toast about you. Telling a story about yourself not in relation to your son or discussing your achievements will embarrass your son and yourself.
- Tell a joke in bad taste. Good-humored jokes are always appreciated, poor humored jokes are not.
- Give the wedding toast intoxicated. Your wedding toast will be more effective sober, and will save your son undue humiliation.
- Use the speech to get revenge on your ex-wife. If you have divorced or separated from your daughter’s mother, your wedding toast is not an opportunity to get revenge.
- Mention business partnerships. Inviting a significant number of your business partnerships is fine (if you are paying); however, mentioning them in a wedding toast is not relevant to your daughter’s future with her husband.
Joanne Wilgren, Staff Writer
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