Giving a toast is, arguably, one of the most nerve-wracking roles you’ll have on a wedding day. Although it’s a huge honor to be asked to give a speech, having to wrap up an entire relationship into five minutes can be a little scary if you’ve never done it before!
We’ve all seen the way toasts are normally done: the speaker stands on the side of the bride + groom, looking down at them and their notes, laughing and/or crying at all the beautiful words being spoken. While we do appreciate the more traditional way of setting up the speeches, at Bilski Productions, we pose your toasts a little differently! We’ll ask you to stand in the middle of the dance floor, instead of right next to the bride + groom. It may seem a little out-of-the-box, but the reason we do this is to avoid you looking down and the bride + groom looking up – creating awkward poses and an all around stiff feel. We want everyone to look perfect, and our way is sure to make you look like the rockstars you are!
It may seem a little terrifying to stand in the middle of the dance floor with all eyes on you, but never fear! We’re here to give you some pointers on how to create the perfect speech – and how to own the delivery!
Introduce Yourself and Tell Us How You Met the Bride + Groom
There’s nothing more amazing than hearing the story of how you met your favorite people ever, like Matt’s brother did in his heartwarming speech from Sophia + Matt’s Soundview Caterers affair. Whether you’ve known each other since you were born, or just met a few years ago, your relationship has a story – a unique and beautiful one at that! Sharing the highlights of your childhood or some funny moments from work will give your speech a deeply personal element, and we’re positive it will bring the waterworks when the bride + groom hear it so eloquently put.
Cover All the Bases
Incorporating the funniest or most emotional moments you guys have shared together into your speech is sure to have people laughing, crying, and clutching their hearts – but keep it PG! Remember that the bride + groom have family and friends from all over who are so excited to see their love story begin. Make sure you don’t overstep. Know your audience!
Tell us how the bride + groom came to be, like Vicki’s Maid-of-Honor did in her fantastic speech from Vicki + Marco’s wedding at Vanderbilt Mansion! Bringing in sweet, sentimental tidbits will show everyone their journey in love, and it makes for some seriously amazing memories!
Speak from your heart, and tell everyone why you love these two sweethearts. Getting married is a huge step in life, so there’s nothing better than giving the bride + groom some insight into why you’re incredibly happy for them. Throwing in a thank you for putting together such an incredible event is sure to warm the bride + grooms heart!
Give the newlyweds some advice! This part can come from personal experience, or from the experiences of those around you, but offering little gems of wisdom, like Danielle + Christian’s Best Man did at their Carlyle on the Green affair, is something that will resonate with the bride + groom throughout their marriage.
Beginning or ending with an incredible quote, like Jenna’s dad did at Jenna + Michael’s wedding at Carlyle on the Green, is a great way to tie in the interests of the bride + groom. Are they literary fanatics? Pick a quote from their favorite books. Movie buffs? Brush up on their favorite movie moments! Music lovers? Pick a line from their favorite song. Sports fans? Find a coach’s inspiring words and bring them to life with your own. The options are endless!
Don’t forget to raise a glass and toast to the happy couple!
Everyone gets the jitters before they stand up in front of a crowd. We get it! But try to stay as cool and collected as you can. Keep your thoughts together by bringing notecards up with you. Try not to wander (because us cinematographers want to capture you up there in all your glory!). Have someone hold your champagne glass while you talk, so you can keep your hands free. Remember that this is a big moment for the bride + groom too, and they’re dying to hear what you’re going to say! Plus, the calmer you are, the funnier you’ll be! Staying true to yourself is super important, like Kelli’s bridesmaid did so flawlessly at Kelli + Patrick’s wedding at The Watermill. Be funny, be sweet, be sentimental, and everything will fall into place!
Practice Makes Perfect!
Practicing your speech will seriously help you stay calm the day of. Show your fellow bridesmaids,friends, or significant other what you’ve come up with, and gauge their reaction. This will help you pause at the correct times (if you know there will be laughs), or inspire you to make a few changes. Practicing will also add a level of comfortability for when it’s time for you to speak, because you’ll already know how the speech will flow.
Keep it Short and Sweet
We know how easy it is to fill the pages with memories and emotion, but sometimes these types of speeches can go on for a little too long. Keeping it short and sweet (5 minutes or under) will ensure that you won’t ramble or lose your audience!
Pro tip: Consider writing the bride and groom a letter with all the sentimental moments you couldn’t fit into your speech. A letter will be something tangible they’ll cherish just as much as your toast!
Regular speeches not your thing? These days, anything goes! Raps, songs, and dances have all been known to make an appearance on a wedding day, so as long as the bride + groom don’t mind, show your personality and do what you do best! Make sure Or, kick off your toast with a playful jab at the bride and groom, like Ian’s brother did from Jennifer + Ian’s wedding at Carlyle on the Green. But, no matter what, makes sure to keep this moment about those two beautiful people who just tied the knot. Incorporate things the bride + groom love, things they’ve done together, and future plans they have for after the wedding.
No matter what happens, we know you’ve got this, and we’re always happy to help out if you have any questions on how to design your speech perfectly. That’s what we’re here for! At Bilski Productions, we’re not just cinematographers – we’re wedding professionals with more than 15 years of experience in the industry. We love your day just as much as you do, guaranteed.