Friday, March 18, 2011

Who Toasts Whom?

Modern weddings and receptions often throw tradition out the window.However, many of my brides want to know what is conventionally done at particular parts of their ceremony. With that in mind, traditional toasts are as follows:

1) Father of the Bride greets the guests (since he traditionally is paying for this great party) and offers a toast to his daughter and new son-in-law
2) The Best Man toasts the bride and groom
3) The groom welcomes guests and thanks them for coming thus signaling that the party has begun after the feast has been partaken.

Personally, I like toasts to happen right before the cutting of the cake. Champaign glasses are often near the cake, and the cake-cutting is a big deal, so offering toasts at that time draws the attention of your guests to the confection table. Once you are there, you can kill two birds with one stone so to speak and avoid disrupting the guests' conversations more than necessary. [I have been to receptions where the DJ was on the microphone too many times and interrupted our dinner conversation.] So, I think the flow of toasting first, then cutting the cake is ideal to help your reception run smoothly.

So, what do I think of toasts which follow custom? Honestly, I desire to bring to fruition whatever the bride and groom want at their reception. So, if they want Dad, Best Man, Maid of Honor, brother, sister, etc. all to toast, then I think that's excellent. However, I will say, that too many toasts and opening up the microphone to any guest who wants to make a toast can lead to some awkward moments and long winded well wishes. In my opinion, it's better to stick with the traditional, possibly adding the Maid of Honor to the list and then move on to the cake. I prefer open-mic toasts and well wishes at a rehearsal dinner so that close friends and family of the Bride and Groom can feel free to speak from the heart and share old stories. It's simply a more intimate setting designed for speaking kind words to the guests of honor.

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