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Most people have been to a wedding where the toasts presented at the reception seem so well planned and effortless. Are they rehearsed or spoken off the cuff? You can believe that wedding toasts are planned, rehearsed, and are given in a specific order. A wedding toast allows close family, friends, and members of the wedding party to provide a glimpse into how they feel about the newly married couple. In most cases, wedding toasts are mixed with tears, humor, and advice. The wedding toasts also serve as a natural and smooth transition from the formal affair of the wedding to the more informal reception

Before the first toast is made, it is proper etiquette to ensure everyone has something to drink even if this means waiting 15 minutes until the servers have a chance to take care of this. Whether using a traditional wedding toast or one that you wrote, the glass is raised high in the air, being held in the right hand. Depending on the number of people at the reception and how noisy the room, the person toasting may need to get everyone's attention by raising his or her voice.

The tradition of clinking glasses together is an old tradition just as ringing bells. This tradition began as a way of scaring evil spirits away. A wedding toast does not have to be with champagne only. A toast can be made with wine, a mixed alcohol, or even non-alcoholic beverages. The only beverages you should never offer a toast with include coffee, tea, and water. When the beverage is being served prior to the toast, the bride would be served first, followed by the groom, the maid of honor, the bride and groom's parents, and finally, the best man.

As the bride and groom on the receiving end of the toast, you should remain seated but still lift your glass along with the individual giving the toast. Proper acceptance of a toast is to take a sip of your beverage and then aloud thank the toaster.

A traditional toast would go as follows:
  • The best man, close friend, or family member makes a toast to the bride
  • The best man then toasts the groom
  • The groom responds with a few words of endearment to his bride, a few words of thanks to his best man, a few words of thanks and love to both the bride and groom's parents, and finally a toast to the bridesmaids
  • The best man gives thanks to the groom on behalf of the bridesmaids
  • The father of the bride makes a toast to his daughter on behalf of her mother and himself. The bride's father then toasts the groom, welcoming him to the family and finally, the guests for attending the wedding
A non-traditional toast would go as follows:
  • The best man of the bride proposes a toast to the bride and groom
  • The grooms then stands and thanks the best man and toasts his bride and thanks the wedding guests
  • The bride then stands and thanks her new husband and the guests. She then offers a toast to both sets of parents
  • The father of the bride stands and thanks the bride for her toast, toasts his new son-in-law, and thanks the wedding guests for attending the wedding
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