If you were to ask ten bride and grooms the appropriate way to toast at a wedding, you would probably get eight or higher answers. For some reason, this one subject seems to confuse people but with the right information, it does not need to. Instead of worrying about when to toast, where to toast, how to toast, and with what, we have put together information that you will find valuable for your upcoming wedding.
First, the tradition of toasting can be dated back to the 16th Century when in France, it was customary for a man to offer a tast to the health of women attention banquets. Over time, this custom evolved into what we know it today the toasting of a bride.
The tradition is that the first toast be offered to the bride by the Best Man. Typically, this toast begins after all the guests have been seated for dinner. If you plan to have a cocktail party or just dessert for the guests, then the toast would be offered after everyone has finished going through the receiving line and in the reception hall and seated. If the food at the reception will be blessed, then the toast will occur immediately after.
For the toast to begin, the Best Man will stand, getting everyones attention. If the wedding is small then a gentle tapping on the glass or plate and a good booming voice will usually do fine but if the wedding is large, you should definitely rent a microphone. After all, chances are you will have elderly people at the reception and even those seated in the back will need to hear.
If you want to keep to strict tradition or prefer not to drag the toasting out, you can limit the toast from the Best Man and it can then be offered first to the bride and then the groom. However, if you prefer to go the whole nine yards, then you want to make sure there is time open for the father of the bride and groom to offer their toasts. Others that would be expected to toast are the Maid of Honor, other members of the wedding party, and usually, the groom will toast his new bride and in-laws.
After the formal toasts are complete, the bride and groom should then toast. Now, you can do this in one of two ways. First, this can be a toast together where the arms are intertwined and champagne is sipped together or second, they each take a moment to offer individual toasts. Keep in mind that the toast between the bride and groom can occur anytime throughout the reception and does not have to be done immediately following everyone elses toast.
During the time that the toasts are being given to you and your new spouse, you both will stay seated. If someone offers only the bride a toast, then it is appropriate for the groom to stand in her honor. If the toast is offered to either set of parents, then both bride and groom should stand. If you are in a situation without seating, then standing is fine. Finally, when toasts are offered to the bride and groom, they do not drink. The only time they would join in is when the toast is directed to someone else.