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Wedding Reception Toasting Etiquette

Updated on April 13, 2011


Ever been to a wedding reception and it is pure confusion when it comes toasting time? The mother of the groom wants to over speak the best man, or the jealous cousin of the bride grabs the floor’s attention first? Hilarious as these antics are, you can control the toasting moment if you’re planning an upcoming wedding. Controlling the line up and toast structure will result in toasts to remember for a lifetime.  

The most favorable toasting line up is:

Best Man toasts the couple

Groom gives a toast of thanks to the best Man

Father of the bride toasts the bride and then the groom

Father of the groom toasts the bride and then the groom

Mother of the bride toasts the bride and then the groom

Mother of the groom toasts the bride and then the groom

Groom toasts his bride

Bride toasts her groom

Floor is then open to others that wish to toast.

(No love given to the Maid of Honor in the lineup. But if you would like to designate a spot for her, it would be appropriate to add her after the groom thanks the best man, and then follow with thanks from the bride).



Each toast should be personal but appropriate, simple, short, and prepared. Let’s review each of these categories to make sure the point is clear.

Personal but appropriate

Show true emotion through your toast (whether happy laughter or tears of joy) by providing your personal interactions with the bride of groom. Don’t focus so much on making the entire room laugh or cry, you’ll then lose the true audience of your toast – the bride and groom.


 Avoid detailing the life and times of the bride or groom since childbirth, but focus on events or topics that relate to the wedding and their union.


Avoid going off on tangents or rants because you think there is more that should be said. Stick to your topic, provide a few details, give your love and blessings, and have a seat. Remember: A short toast has a higher concentration of emotion than a long toast.


 There is nothing more traumatic than stumbling over your words or improvising in front of an audience, especially on someone else’s special occasion. A little editing and rehearsal ahead of time are moves to ensure a perfect memorable toast. 

 *If it is an oversized reception, then toasting is done at the rehearsal dinner*


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