The length of the wedding reception or rehearsal dinner toast is important.
The best toasts are short and sweet, no longer than a couple of minutes, and the content clean and suitable for a diverse audience. Those giving toasts should remember the guests attending are more than fellow frat boys or intimate family members. The grooms boss, the brides great aunt, their pastor, grandparents, nieces and nephews will all be listening intently, so keep it clean and upbeat. You might want to give your best man a few pointers on what you think is appropriate and what you would most enjoy, while still giving him the freedom to offer the toast he wants to give and feels comfortable giving.
There are several schools of thought on when to have a toast. An ill-timed toast, interrupting another activity such as the bride and grooms first dance or when the couple are at separate ends of the room greeting guests is awkward, so make sure your best man, the DJ, or your coordinator (if you have them), know how things are scheduled to roll out to help avoid any gaffes.
If the wedding reception is a sit down dinner, the best man will generally present his toast after all of the guests have been seated and have been provided a glass of champagne or another beverage. His toast is given before the meal begins, and any toasts that follow conclude with the bride and groom offering a final toast and inviting guests to enjoy their meal. Today, many couples choose not to follow traditional etiquette and will conduct their toasts after or near the conclusion of the meal.
This may be a good idea if the wedding ceremony is long, or if the reception is held at a different location. Your guests may be hungry, so feed them first. A relaxed and receptive guest is a well fed and happy guest. If the meal is buffet style, the best man can offer the toast after most of the guests have gone through the buffet and are seated. At cocktail or dessert receptions where guests tend to mingle and move about, the toast is given as soon as the bride and groom arrive at the celebration and are introduced to the guests in the room as the newly married couple.
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