Rice Speechwriting

6 Steps to A Great Wedding Toast: A Wedding Toast Crash Course

wedding toast

6 Steps to A Great Wedding Toast: A Wedding Toast Crash Course

A wedding toast can be a nerve-wracking affair, and oftentimes speakers find the writing of one harder than the delivery itself. How do you sum up your thoughts for someone in just five minutes or less? And of course deliver that message with heart and humor.

These six steps, based on the course, Write Your Wedding Toast in a Day, will give you a head start and make the process less hard than it needs to be.

Ask the right questions

The content of your toast starts with great ideas. Before you write the line that you think will have everyone laughing, consider taking a step back to think of the overall ideas that you want your toast to hit. Find some quiet time to answer the following questions:

What are your favorite stories of the person you’re toasting?

How have you watched each member of the wedding couple grow and change over time?

What can you tell us about how the wedding couple met, and how did you know they’d be right for each other?

What heartfelt message do you want to say to each member of the wedding couple?

What advice can you give the couple on a happy life together? This can be funny or heartfelt or a mix of both.

Watch great examples

YouTube has plenty of great examples to watch. Whether it’s a best man toast, maid of honor, parents of the bride, or parents of the groom, the examples are endless. Take some time to watch other toasts for inspiration. 

Put some structure to it

Oftentimes, speakers get hung up on creating a toast that has no structure to it–it’s just an endless set of thoughts. Instead, try something simple like the following:


A funny story

A heartfelt story

A message to the main person you’re toasting

A message to the other person in the couple

Advice for the couple

Closing toast

In your introduction, make sure to tell people who you are. For the closing toast, a 1-2 line quote or wedding toast can work. You can of course subtract parts to the typical outline found above if you need to make yours shorter.

Write it

Once you’ve brainstormed ideas, watched examples, and outlined your toast, find some quiet time to write your speech. Isolate yourself from others and dedicate an afternoon or evening to writing it out. Follow the outline and the examples you’ve watched.

Edit it out loud

Now take your toast that you’ve written and practice it out loud. This technique will help you catch any errors or issues with the toast–you’ll hear parts that don’t land or ones that drag on for too long. Once confident, rewrite your toast and give it to considerate yet critical audiences that can help you fine-tune it.


Once you’ve got your toast to a place where you’re confident with it, rehearse it as much as possible. You want to internalize the toast even if you plan to use notecards or the full script on the big day. Your goal is to make the speech your own and be comfortable enough with each part even if you use notes.

Want to go more in-depth with each step? Sign up for the course: Wedding Toast in a Day

Photo credit: ben-wilkins on Unsplash

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