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Raise your glass to the one who toasts the newlyweds

Being asked to be the maid of honor or best man at a friend’s wedding is a great honor. And with that honor comes great responsibility. One of your many duties will be to toast the newlyweds at the reception. If the thought of public speaking is going to give you nightmares (you can’t remember your locker combination, you didn’t study for the test, you’re walking around naked and you just remembered you were supposed to show up for a new job two weeks ago), be honest with the couple. They don’t want you flaming out any more than you do. If you think you’re up to the tasks (all of them), here’s how to avoid having your toast bomb.

Avoid mortifying the bride or groom. Your job is to keep the tone celebratory and light. Reminisce about the time bride threw up in your new car with her privately.

The toast is not about you. Talk about things everyone can relate to. You’ve been asked to participate in the wedding because you’ve been important in the life of the bride or groom, but honestly, no one cares about you or your relationship to her or him.  Say something universal. Give some light marriage advice. Talk about why the newlyweds are so good together. Tell everyone what you hope for the couple’s future.

Keep it short. The toast should not take longer than it took for the couple to exchange their vows. Three minutes should be the outside edge for how long you speak. Remember, others will also be toasting the couple and the couple themselves may want to say a few words to thank everyone for coming. The guests who are not speaking do not want to sit through a half hour of toasts.

Stay away from inside jokes. And don’t try to be a comedian. No roasting. Keep it joyous by saying kind and generous words.

Good luck with your speech!

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