tasteless toast -- you know the kind. It's that unplanned-drunken-TMI
salute to the bride and groom that leaves the couple and their
guests squirming uncomfortably in their seats. If you've never
witnessed one yourself, you've probably heard a story or two.
Whether it's a not-so-supportive parent or a groomsman who's had a
little too much to drink, you'll want to know what to do if disaster
strikes; and better, how to avoid it entirely. We collected
groan-worthy toast stories from Knotties, along with some tips for
the taking, so that you don't find yourselves listening to one of
these at your reception.
The Roast Toast
"The best man told everyone that he had
walked in on the newlyweds having sex (when they were in college). I
think it was supposed to be a big joke, but in front of the groom's
very religious and conservative family, he mainly heard crickets."
Toast Tamer: As soon as you
hear any crude remarks or sex talk, give your emcee (typically the
DJ or band leader) the signal to interrupt the speaker or cut the
microphone entirely, depending on the extremity of the comment. Your
emcee should either steer the speaker in a different direction or
introduce the next toast.
Avoid it Altogether: Before your friend with a knack for dirty
jokes is standing in front of your entire family holding a powered
mic, tell him, and all others toasting, that "sex talk" is
completely off-limits and that they can save their material for the
bachelor party. Then, put a wedding party member on the case. Have
one of your groomsmen find out what the toaster plans to include and
if it sounds a little off, have him direct the sentiments elsewhere.
"The mother of the bride's speech was
something like this: 'While he was clearly not who we would have
chosen for our daughter, what can you do? You work hard and teach
your children, but they do what they want to anyway.'"
Try not to let Debbie Downer get to you -- know that by making such
hurtful comments, she's really only embarrassing herself. Smile
through it, and have a more supportive friend or relative follow up
with a lighthearted, loving toast to end on a high note.
Avoid it Altogether: If you have a relative or close friend
who's not a champion of your union, don't ask him to give a toast at
the reception. If he asks to give one anyway, graciously decline the
offer due to "time constraints" suggesting instead that he give a
toast at the rehearsal dinner. A wedding toast is meant to honor the
couple and their marriage, and those giving the toasts should
believe that as well.
"During the bride's speech, the groom's
family kept talking and wouldn't stop. The groom actually had to get
up out of his seat and tell his family to shut up!"
An out-of-hand crowd can be frustrating, especially for the couple
and the person speaking. Instead of starting a family feud, have
your emcee do the job. If it starts to get loud during the toast,
ask your emcee to cut in and shush your talkative guests.
Avoid it Altogether: Talk to your emcee about making sure
your guests are attentive. Your emcee should make a loud-and-clear
announcement that pleasantly demands guests' attention before the
first toast starts. Also let the toaster know that he shouldn't
begin talking until the crowd has simmered down.
"I hate when they get up there and say,
'Uh... wow... I don't know what to say. I wish I'd written something
down...' for the first minute, then tell the couple they love them
and sit down."
There's not a whole lot you can do to stop a fumbled toast. Break
the ice (or the banter, more like) by politely heckling the toaster.
Say, "Tell them about the time we ____." Or just sit and wait for
the next speech.
Avoid it Altogether: Ask your toasters at least a month in
advance to give them plenty of time to plan. If you know your friend
doesn't have much toasting experience, ask whether she would like
any suggestions or anecdote ideas.
"The bridesmaid gave a drunken slur of
a speech and then turned and fell off the riser!"
If you hear the booze talking (and not the toaster), give one of
your other bridesmaids a signal to interrupt her slurred speech.
Have someone else step up to segue into the next toast, and ask a
friend to help the inebriated toaster to her seat.
Avoid it Altogether: Schedule the toasting early so there
isn't enough time for anyone to get truly intoxicated. If the
toaster is known for drinking too much at big events, or seems
nervous, ask a bridal party member to watch what she drinks and give
her a boost of self-confidence before she gets up to speak.
The TMI Toast
"The mother of the bride spent 30
minutes going over every single thing in her daughter's life. She
pulled out report cards from grade school, told us each teacher's
comments about her daughter, and every grade she got; it was
When the toast hits the 15-minute mark and you realize it's going
nowhere fast, have a close friend give the toaster a gentle nudge
for a quick wrap-up. If the toast cuts into dinnertime, make the
executive decision to save the other toasts for the post wedding
Avoid it Altogether: We all know family and friends love to
brag, but don't let that time be during the reception. When you
invite someone to toast, explain that the toasts should be between
two and five minutes each to leave time for all the reception
"The best man stood up, asked everyone
to raise their glasses and said, 'There are three rings in marriage,
the engagement ring, the wedding ring, and the suffer-ring.'"
It's unfortunate that the person toasting chose to go for an
overused "joke," but there's really nothing you can do about this
one. When the jokester is finished, pass on the microphone and be
done with it.
Avoid it Altogether: When you ask family or friends to give a
toast, tell them the reason you want them to speak is because they
mean so much to you. This should get them thinking in the
written-from-the-heart direction and away from the canned joke book