A 3-Step Formula for a Powerful Wedding Toast

This post was written by Lauren St. Germain, Facilitator and Coach for The Latimer Group.

Every year, our CEO and Co-Founder, Dean, shares his advice on how to give a great wedding toast. 

This year, I told him I wanted to have a crack at providing some advice and started my making my own independent list of what I’d recommend. Turns out, much of my advice is similar to his!

Keep it short. Don’t talk about yourself. Speak to both partners. Be wary of telling jokes that aren’t funny.

So today, instead of providing you with tips (you can reference Dean’s prior tips here and here), I’m going to provide you with a formula. One that I used when I gave a toast at my brother’s wedding and one that I’d use again if given the opportunity.  

Step 1. Make a personal connection or tell a brief story about the member of the couple you know best. 

In my case, it was my little brother so sharing a story was easy. But keeping it brief was hard! I could have shared a million and one stories about the hours we’d spent making forts in our family room as kids, the years we spent doing “cannonballs” into the pool on hot summer days, or the countless little league baseball games I’d attended as his biggest fan. Instead, I chose one story that highlighted how close we were and one that I knew others in attendance would find relatable.

Step 2. Share a special message for the member of the couple you’re welcoming into your life. 

In my case, my sister-in-law was officially joining the family and I was gaining a new sibling. I wanted her to know how beautiful she looked, how special she was and how excited I was to have her join our family. Choose words or a story that is most meaningful to you and brings in the other half of the couple.

Step 3. Give well wishes for the future and cheers to the couple. 

A wedding day marks a beautiful commitment two people will make to one another. Share something heartfelt or wrap up your toast by telling a short story reminding the room and the couple of the good things yet to come. In my case, I shared how excited I was that my brother had found his adventure buddy for life, given that they love to hike, travel and spend time outdoors. I then closed the toast with a joke about how it takes a special person to like camping without running water and how glad I was that they found each other. We then raised our glasses to a lifetime of adventures. 

 I know that any kind of public speaking can be intimidating, and the stakes may feel even higher at an event like a wedding where there’s more eyes on you than your standard business presentation. Follow Dean’s tips and my formula and I hope it helps you give a toast that celebrates the couple and keeps you feeling calm and confident as you deliver it. 

Does your team:
– Take too long to make decision?
– Fail to ask for what it wants or needs from you?
– Make things too complicated?
– Deliver unconvincing or disorganized presentations?
– Have new hires who are unprepared to communicate in the workplace?

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Lauren St. Germain

A book about change

The Latimer Group’s CEO Dean Brenner is a noted keynote speaker and author on the subject of persuasive communication. He has written three books, including Persuaded, in which he details how communication can transform organizations into highly effective, creative, transparent environments that succeed at every level.