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Episode 012. How To Give A BAD Wedding Toast

March 15, 2022

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Weddings & Life with Taylor Nicole, a podcast by Denver Wedding Photographer,
Taylor Nicole Photography

wedding podcast, wedding planning advice, wedding planning podcast

So we’ve all heard a toast like this… ‘so I’m Sally, I’ve known the bride since Kindergarten, we have lots of inside jokes like this one time blahblahblah, and I’ve been her best friend through all of her past relationships and out of all of those relationships her now husband is basically the hottest and best person she has ever been with. So cheers to the happy couple’

Okay so hopefully you haven’t heard a toast exactly like this because it’s really bad haha. But as a wedding photographer I hear a lot of toasts and especially a lot of BAD ones. If you listen in to this episode I am going to list off 11 ways to give a BAD wedding toast, jokingly of course, and then at the end of the episode I will give you a list about how to write and give a good wedding toast.


I am going to give you a list of how give a BAD wedding toast advice and then at the end of the episode I will share the list of dos.

  1. call someone overweight, underweight or just speak poorly of bride or groom’s appearance
  • Even if its a joke like ‘she looks so beautiful and he looks okay today I guess’ like I see the joke behind it but why was that necessary?
  1. Bring up the exes. Or did you date them first? Even better tell all about the past relationships, especially ones you liked better than the now spouse.
  • Wrong! Guess who probably is NOT invited to the wedding. The bride or grooms exes. So no they don’t need to be mentioned. And no this is not the time for the bride or groom to learn something new about their spouses past. If you’re looking for something funny keep going right on by the past relationships. It’s a big no-go
  1. Mention their poor life decisions
  • That one time she couldn’t afford her rent after university and had to move back home after she lost her third job in a row…. Ect. 
  • Nope, this is not the day to remember any so called ‘failures’ and even then it all lead this couple to end up together. So leave any negative life stories alone.
  1. Sharing an embarrassing personal story of the couple’s with the guests
  • You might not know that Sharon has struggled with depression her whole life but story goes on. Or When Max was struggling with the insert life long internal family drama story here. 
  • If the bride or groom wouldn’t share that story in front of the whole room then you don’t need to either. And even if they will share that story is it really your story to tell?
  1. Drink a lot before your speech, and then tell everyone how drunk you are. Or better yet let your drinks tell everyone for you.
  • Have a drink or a partial drink before your toast, but save the rest of the fun for after the speech is over.
  1. Tell everyone how nervous you are… (this would be me haha)
  • There are comments like that are either implied or not necessary.
  1. Share a very long story that was actually an inside joke and don’t give context for the guests to understand
  • No one gets it, if you need to reference it make it short for just the bride/groom to understand, don’t dwell on it if the guests/family won’t get it anyways.
  1. Speak very softly and hold the mic far away. Ignore all the hand motions from guests and family members to hold the mic closer, surely that general rule doesn’t apply to you.
  • Please for the love of everything hold the mic close. No one will hear you if you don’t you’re not exempt from this even if you ‘talk loudly’ Ask the DJ for clarification if needed.
  1. Mostly talk about yourself, maybe mention the couple right at the end.
  • It’s not your day friend. I’m sorry but no one is here to hear about how great you are. Now is not the time to brag about your new job, degree, promotion ect. Now is your time to talk your friends up more than yourself! 
  1. Make lots of jokes about how much marriage sucks and that they’ve both given up their freedom now.
  • Hopefully you don’t actually believe this is true, but just a hint. That joke isn’t funny today. Actually it might not actually be funny ever, but especially not at a wedding.
  1. Make it long, were thinking 20-30 minutes at least. And while you’re half way through your obviously long list of notes make a comment along the lines of ‘I know this is long but I’m almost done’
  • I’d say a good wedding speech would be somewhere around 5 minutes or so. If you are feeling the need to apologize to your listeners that it is taking a longtime, that’s your sign. Wrap it up and write the rest in a letter friend. 

Okay so if you’ve given a wedding toast I hope this list of obvious wrongs didn’t make you feel too bad. And if you’ve been an offender of this list before you don’t need to worry too much. How many other wedding toasts can you actually recall from weddings you’ve attended? Probably not many. The ones that tend to stand out are truly just the bad ones. The overall purpose of the toast is to share heartfelt stories and details about the couple to their guests, and show how much their relationship and friendship means to you by complimenting them in public.

Here is a quick list of actual good toast advice

  • Write your toast in advance
  • around 5 minutes long
  • Speak clearly into the mic
  • Wait for more drinks until after your toast is over
  • Speak well of the couple both individually and together
  • Try to address both the bride and groom, not just the one you’re friends with
  • Share fun stories of the couple with plenty of context for everyone to relate to
  • Speak highly of the marriage commitment and give advice if applicable
  • If this is the traditional champagne toast don’t forget to actually toast the couple at the end ‘so let’s raise our glasses to the new happy couple’ ect.

Good luck with your toast planning friends! You can do it! 

xo,

Taylor Nicole

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