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wedding
BY AUTUMN RHEA CARPENTER
FINDING THE PERFECT WORDS
Toasts
How many movies have you watched where a wedding is taking place and the camera focuses on the best man who stammers on the microphone and tells embarrassing stories that don’t elicit any laughs? Usually the scene ends with the bride looking mortified and the guests feeling more than uncomfortable.
DENNIS CRIDER PHOTOGRAPHY
Hollywood likes to portray these moments as awkward, when in reality they should be heartwarming and thoughtful opportuni- ties. There are steps the best man, as well as the maid-of-honor and other wedding party participants, can take to ensure that their toast is one that the family will be remembering anniversaries from now.
What is the difference between a speech and a toast? A toast is defined as: “A person or event honored with raised glasses before drinking. Or, a proposal to drink in honor of some person, etc.” A speech is defined as: “The act or manner of speaking, or a talk given to an audience.” Truthfully, any best man, groomsman, bridesmaid or maid-of- honor who gives a toast usually precedes it with a speech about the man, woman or honored bride and groom.
When developing the wedding toast, some careful questions should first be addressed.
How long have you known the bride and groom? How did you meet? How did the bride and groom meet? Were you involved? How did the groom propose to the bride? What was her immediate reac- tion? How long has the bride and groom been a couple? Do they have children? What are the bride and groom’s mutual interests? What five words come to mind when you think of the groom? What five words come to mind when you think of the bride? What is the funniest thing that happened to the groom while the bride was present? And vice-versa? What is the funniest thing that happened to the bride or groom while you were present? What
would you like the future to hold for the bride and groom? If you are married, you may wish to think about marriage advice you’ve received or have learned.
These questions open the door for the speechwriter to expand on their friendship and experiences with the couple or with the bride or groom individually. It’s a brainstorm session, meant for recalling memories. A great toast contains a power- ful opening and closing and the first words are the most difficult and the most memorable for the guests. First start by introducing yourself, and before you get too far into your speech you should thank the people hosting the wedding and reception, traditionally the parents of the bride. If the bride and the groom are pay- ing for the wedding themselves, simply say, “We’re all delighted to be here today on this joyous occasion.”
Maintain the guests’ attention by im- mediately saying something interesting. Funny wedding spiels work well to catch an audience, but if humor isn’t your style,
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