People attend movies to laugh and cry. In a way, they look for some of the same things in a wedding toast, but in a couple of minutes instead of a couple of hours. So the two essential wedding toast ingredients? Sentiment and humor.
Leave out either and your toast is incomplete. Load up on too much of on one or the other and your toast will be lopsided, and may ignominiously crash and burn in uncomfortable snickering … or silence.
Too many toasters don’t know where they’re going in their toast. A nice technique is to begin with a little silly humor. For example:
“I just saw two nuclear technicians getting married. The bride was radiant and the groom was glowing.”
And then “marry” the quip to a little sentiment:
“And you know, [bride’s name], you truly are radiant today. And as for my friend, [groom’s name], we don’t typically use the word “glowing” to describe a groom. But I’ve noticed something about him. Every time your name comes up, his eyes light up. Every time you walk into the room, his eyes light up. Yes, it’s safe to say you’re glowing today, [groom’s name].”
Here’s a good use of wedding humor, compliments of stand-up comedienne, Rita Rudner:
“I think men who have a pierced ear are better prepared for marriage. They’ve experience pain and bought jewelry.
Then link the humor to a little sentiment.
“[Groom’s name] never got his ear pierced, but I know he’s experienced some pain in his life. And it simply made him stronger. [Bride’s name], you’re marrying a man of character. When life knocked him down, he dusted himself off and got right back up. That’s the kind of guy I like having as a friend. That’s the kind of man who knows how to love, honor, and cherish a wife, through good times and bad. Get ready for a great life.”
Humor and sentiment make a nice one/two punch when delivering a wedding toast.
How long does it take to make a great toast?
Nighy uses subtle humor when he references B.B. King, as if everyone in the world should know that’s one of the three men he honors most. And then he links it to his son with quiet tenderness.
The two essential wedding toast ingredients? Humor and sentiment, dispensed in perfect proportions.
Can a wedding toast be more than 65 seconds? Sure, but keep it down to a few minutes at most.
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