Great wedding toasts
March 3, 2013 9:03 AM   Subscribe

Give me examples of awesome wedding toasts. Touching, unique, funny - whatever. Just ones that stood out to you. Either what was said, or his they delivered it, or whatever made it great. It can be from personal experience, or link to a movie scene or something from a book passage. Anything applies.
posted by rastapasta to Writing & Language (13 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
We did the toasts at our rehearsal dinner instead of the wedding so it was a smaller group limited to family and really close friends and there were some great toasts. What made them great was how well they represented both the person making the toast and their appreciation of us as a couple. For example, my maid of honor gave a toast talking about the song Worst That Could Happen by Johnny Maestro and the Brooklyn Bridge and about how in fact, marrying Mr. Pterodactyl was the best thing that could happen to me. It was perfect because she and I both really like oldies and she often thinks about the world through lyrics so it was completely representative of her while also expressing her joy for us.

My mother absolutely loved the toast by the best man because it was so profoundly him; he was funny and moved his hands nervously and a few minutes in pulled out index cards in a way that was nerdy but not awkward and he kept backing up into the wall and he turned bright red and it was very sweet (and hilarious and awesome). I don't remember what he said (Mr. Pterodactyl might) but I do remember that it was great because he was who he is.

The best man and maid of honor were in the wedding because we love them and care about them and wanted them to celebrate with us so really the thing that made their toasts great was they that let the best parts of their personalities shine while celebrating their love for the bride and groom (us!) both as individuals and as a couple.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 9:28 AM on March 3, 2013

Guy, you're so lucky to have met girl. She'll care for you. Make you whole. Support you in tough times. She's wonderful is so many ways. She completes you in a way no one else could, cherish her until your last breath she is the pinnacle of your life.

Girl, never under estimate how important it is having someone around to hook up your stereo.
posted by chasles at 11:00 AM on March 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

When I think of wedding toasts, the first thing that comes to mind is one of David Rakoff's pieces for This American Life.
posted by jacobian at 11:17 AM on March 3, 2013 [2 favorites]

Two of the most moving ones I remember were from the same wedding, of a friend of mine.

The mother of the bride (in part): "Bob and I have been married for 45 years. (Applause) Ted and Alice [the groom's parents] just celebrated their 47th anniversary. (Applause and cheers) We think this bodes well for Fred and Ginger! (Laughter) And we wish them 92 happy years of marriage together."

The younger (but adult and impeccably-dressed) brother of the groom: He started off by saying how glad he was that Fred had waited a while to get married, because think of how bad this wedding toast would have been when he [the younger brother] was 19. "I would have been all like, whipping my hair back and going (surfer voice): Duuuuude. Awesoooome." He then went on to give a brilliant, funny, polished speech about Fred, and about the family getting to know Ginger and how much they all loved her, and then closed, with earnest, deadly sincerity: "Dude. AWEsome."
posted by Dixon Ticonderoga at 11:33 AM on March 3, 2013 [5 favorites]

I've been to a LOT of weddings and I only remember 1 best mans speech, and it's from 18 years ago.

The bride had a funny poem that she used to recite - particularly on nights out when she'd had a wine or two - called "Ach no.". The best man basically re-wrote the poem to tell the story of the meeting and courtship of her and her new husband (my cousin). It was really funny and touching and totally personal to them. It stole the show.
posted by billiebee at 12:06 PM on March 3, 2013

One of my friends gave a toast at her childhood bff's wedding recently. She had saved a bunch of the notes they had passed to each other in middle and high school, and she read from some of them in the toast, which was both incredibly funny and surprisingly moving.
posted by Charity Garfein at 12:56 PM on March 3, 2013 [2 favorites]

The Best Man at my sister's wedding said, "May you live richly, but not ostentatiously. And I say that before you get my gift." A week later, we found out he gave them a high-end wine refrigerator/chiller.
posted by absquatulate at 1:03 PM on March 3, 2013

A good one usually has a combination of these factors:

1) Anecdote from when speaker and groom/bride new each other
--this is usually a telling but in-good-humor embarrassing story about the groom or bride, usually demonstrating the circumstances of how you met or why you are close or an aspect of the groom's/bride's personality.

2) Story of why the couple is good for each other/the sweet occasion in which they met

3) Sentimental well-wishing for the couple's future

4) An expression of gratitude for being a part of the couple's lives.

All of this should be peppered with jokes that are personal to the groom/bride but understandable to the audience.

Never talk about sex, it really is just in poor taste unless one or both of them are famous porn-stars.

Keep it under ten minutes if you are a great, confident, experienced orator, under five if you are not.

This pretty much boils down to funny and sentimental and brief (don't take too much of the spotlight)--I've done two toasts now using the above formula, and they seem to have gone over pretty well.
posted by greta simone at 1:04 PM on March 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

There are good answers in this thread. One thing I would add is to only say things that are true, I find it helps delivery. Do you think the couple is great together? Tell us why. Do you really love the groom? What makes him so great.

Also do not bring up old relationships no matter what.
posted by shothotbot at 2:18 PM on March 3, 2013

At my wedding, my wife and I decided to have a toasting circle, where people stood around and offered toasts if they wished (we passed around a bell). The one I remember the most was my (now deceased) father's anecdote about a young colleague of his who was heading off for a new job in the big city. At her going-away party, everyone wished her well, but at the end, she pointed out that they had all told her to be careful, take care of herself, etc., but no one had told her to have fun. So, my dad concluded, have fun!

It wasn't that profound, but I still remember it.

When I gave the best man's toast at my best friend's wedding, I began by saying that when he called me to tell me that he and his girlfriend were getting married, the first thing that went through my mind was: "What took you so long?" But then, I remembered that he had been dropped on his head as a baby [true; he had told me the story], so he was a little slower than other people. It brought down the house. But we had known one another for a long time, and I knew his parents, her parents, and many of their friends, so I was on safe ground.
posted by brianogilvie at 6:46 PM on March 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

I recently gave the following toast at my friend's rehearsal dinner. It went over well. The bride and groom were high school sweethearts that broke up and got back together a few times. Paraphrased, from memory, it went something like this:

I didn't have the pleasure of knowing A when she and B were younger; when I met B it was during one of their breaks. I only knew about A through stories; she was like a unicorn; this beautiful, wondrous creature that wasn't around anymore, but was spoken of with reverence.

I thought of their high school romance when I was back home for my high school reunion a couple of months ago. The people that knew you back then are important, if only for the fact that they remind you of who you used to be.

After seeing A and B together, I realize that they have something special. A doesn't remind B of who he was, she reminds him of what he wants to be. That's rare. And precious. And something we are honored to be a part of.

To A and B. l'chaim.

"A" also gave a great toast at my wedding; we had a small wedding up in the mountains where 50 of our friends and family basically just hung out for 4 days. The thesis was that the personality of a couple is reflected in their friends and family, and the people we had at the wedding were all awesome, therefore we were awesome. Great toast, and it managed to compliment everyone there.
posted by craven_morhead at 11:04 AM on March 4, 2013

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