Two Things to Never Say in a Wedding Toast

 Over the last 15 months, I’ve attended 13 weddings and have been privy to countless toasts. I’ve learned a lot from watching other people’s mistakes. I could write a long list of all the things you need to know about a wedding toast (not too long, thank the hosts, no ball-and-chain jokes, make sure you actually toast, etc.), but I today really just want to focus on two very common mistakes:

  1. Lauren weddingDon’t start by saying, “For those of you who don’t know me….” There are two groups of people at any wedding: People who know you, and people who don’t. Everyone knows which group they fall into–you don’t have to remind them that they know you or don’t know you. In a backhanded way, you make the people who don’t know you feel like their on the outside looking in. You’re saying, “Some people here know me, and you’re not one of them.” In the end, it’s just plain redundant. Start your toast by saying, “I’m Jamey Stegmaier, brother of the groom.”
  2. Don’t include any inside jokes in the speech. This is so tempting. You have the opportunity to show hundreds of people how well you know the bride or groom. What you don’t realize is when you make that private reference to some cheer you and your girlfriends used to say–a reference that garners a few hoots and cheers from your table–you are alienating 90% of the people in the room. An alternative is to bring everyone in on the joke, but that’s really, really tough to do. Just avoid inside jokes all together and stick to what’s important: The love between the two people who just got married, and how much you care about them. That’s all you need.

Also see: 8 Things Every Man Should Know