How to make a wedding toast when you only know one half of the couple?
July 9, 2007 9:49 AM   Subscribe

I'm supposed to give a toast at my friend's wedding, but I don't really know his fiancee very well. What should I say?

My friend and I have been close since high school. For the last 6 years or so, we've been living on opposite coasts. However, we see each other at least once a year, and talk every month or so. He's asked me to be the best man at his wedding, and I've gladly accepted.

From what I understand, the best man makes a toast. I imagine that the toast should be to the couple, and not just to the groom. I have a ton of things to say about my friend, however, I really don't know his fiancee very well at all. I mean, she seems really cool, but we've only really hung out a few times.

What can I say about this person who I barely know that one of my best, oldest friends is about to marry?

Also, do you have any other tips for giving the toast? I've never given a toast before, let alone one as important as this.
posted by Elmo Oxygen to Grab Bag (9 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I'll give you mine. Take what you like. I was co-maiden of honor, so my bff did the jokey rhyming poem speech, and I handled the touching, formal(ish) one. It killed.

For those of you who don’t know me, My name is Ambrosia Voyeur, and I’m here today as Lindsay G’s Maid of Honor. You know, If I’m Lindsay’s idea of an honorable maiden, you can imagine… Ryan’s in for a pretty wild night. But before we get freaky, I have a few things to say.

Lindsay, I am honored to stand by your side today, above all days.

On behalf of the bridesmaids and myself I want to tell you how lovely and radiant you are today, and how pleased we are to share in this moment of bliss.

Lindsay and I have been friends for about 7 years. Over that time, she has taught me a lot about friendship and loyalty. We have a wonderful and strong relationship, built on a foundation of honesty, trust, and commitment. That bedrock has given rise to very many happy memories, like the time she came to visit me in Santa Cruz as a birthday surprise, or the time I took her on her first rollercoaster ride. Yeah, that one was mostly happy for me. Of all the great memories, the fondest memory I will now have is watching her marry this wonderful and worthy man, the love of her life, Ryan.

Congratulations to you both!

One barrier I faced while thinking of what to say in this speech was the feeling that I don’t know Ryan as well as I would like. I know he’s tall and handsome and funny and my representative in California’s state legislature, (inside joke: I tease him for being older and waspy) but other than that…I’m lacking insights. He could be into dressing up like Captain Kirk for all I know. (joke: he does)

But as I was thinking about that, it dawned on me that I will have all my life to get to know him, because if I know Lindsay, I know the strength of her dedication, it’s like a vise… on my head… and my vision begins to distort... Honestly, she’s loyal to a fault. Even through her… substantial… jitters, she’s made it clear that this is a couple that doesn’t cross their fingers, they roll up their sleeves. There are no two people more loyal and loving, honest and hardworking, or deserving of happiness than Lindsay and Ryan.

Be good to each other. Be gentle, and you will be strong. You make one another shine. I love you both very much.

Now, I would like you all to please raise your glasses and join me in a toast .

Today we all celebrate love. Your love, and what you have in each other: a best friend, a coach, a sweetheart and a partner for life. CHEERS!

posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 9:57 AM on July 9, 2007 [12 favorites]

Best answer: You don't really have to talk about the bride- that's what the Maid of Honor toast is for. You can make the focus of your toast the groom- here's a cute funny story from our childhood, here's a story about what a great guy he is, here's the sweet things he says about you, Sally, we're all so excited he found such a great woman, CHEERS!

On preview, Ambrosia Voyeur's example is lovely.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:59 AM on July 9, 2007 [1 favorite]

2nd what is above. Just describe why the groom is such a great guy and all the wonderful things about him...mention the good things he says about his bride perhaps a few platitudes about a long, helthy, happy life together and then raise your glass of ceremonially appropriate beverage.
posted by mmascolino at 10:08 AM on July 9, 2007

Also, if you called the bride's family and friends before hand and asked for funny stories, you could probably add levity white avoiding blame ("And then her dad told me about this one time at band camp...").

I recently gave an impromptu toast at a wedding (knew her dad wanted to, but he seemed nervous to go first). I knew the groom much better that the bride, so I forced myself to precede each statement about him with one about her - at least kept a semblance of balance.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 10:19 AM on July 9, 2007

When I gave my "best person" toast, I talked about how long I'd known the groom (including a joke about grunge and flannel), what kind of guy he is, how much he's grown since he met her, how great the bride is for him. Just don't get too gimmicky, and be sincere, and I think you'll be fine.
posted by matildaben at 11:03 AM on July 9, 2007

Keep it short.

Tell a personal story about the groom. That's better than trying to be abstractly profound (unless you're really really good at being abstractly profound).

As others have said, you don't need to talk about the bride. If you know the groom, talk about the groom. You can welcome the bride, but no need to try to fake inclusiveness.
posted by alms at 11:14 AM on July 9, 2007

Address it to the bride. 'Now that it's too late to scare you off, here's what you ought to know about your husband...' insert embarrassing but family friendly stories here. Conclude with how happy she's made him.
posted by happyturtle at 12:12 PM on July 9, 2007

Keep it short.

I'm not usually a big fan of formality, but ask yourself if going the extra mile would mean something to your friend. A casual anecdote is great, but something really sweet and special on that day isn't uncalled for.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 4:21 PM on July 9, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks for the all-around good advice. I'm glad to know that my situation isn't all that abnormal, and that there is something to be done about it.

Much love for AskMe.
posted by Elmo Oxygen at 8:53 PM on July 9, 2007

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