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the order of wedding toasts [Page 1 of 1]

Wedding MCs should know the order of wedding toasts, both what's traditional and what really might go on. GroomGroove.com offers some suggestions for the Wedding MC to get it right.

Nowadays, there is much confusion about who toasts whom and when, and especially whether uninvited toastmasters can get up and spin a yarn about the groom's ex-girlfriends. It may not surprise you to learn that there are no hard and fast rules anymore, but that doesn't mean the wedding emcee should ignore tradition altogether.

The traditional order of wedding toasts

  • father of the bride
  • groom
  • best man

The father of the bride welcomes the guests to the reception (the reception he's paying for, remember?). He then offers a toast to his daughter. The groom then offers a toast to his bride. Traditionally, the best man toasts the newlyweds. Then, sound the dinner bell, because everyone eats.

Saying goodbye to tradition

You may never have attended a wedding reception where the toasts went in this order, and for good reason: it is slightly bizarre. No one says anything about the groom, for instance, and the groom's family seems strangely absent from the proceedings. You may also notice that no female ever lifts a glass to offer a toast.

It is for this reason that the traditional order has been supplanted by one with a little more gender parity nowadays. Many weddings now do their toasts as follows:

  • Best man toast to the groom
  • Maid of honor toast to the bride
  • Father of the groom toast to the bride
  • Father of the bride toast to the groom
  • Bride's toast
  • Groom's toast

The wedding that you emcee may still feature the father of the bride offering a welcome and a toast. Or, it may skip some of these toasts altogether.

Open mic?

The bride and groom may have the fabulous idea of an open mic throughout the wedding reception, allowing guests to come up, and present a liquor-charged anecdote about the bride and groom. Having witnessed a number of these performances, the guys at GroomGroove.com suggest that the Wedding MC should advise the groom and bride against this. For every touching anecdote, someone will invariably get up and make total fool of themselves, or worse, the bride and groom. And it's not as if there's a shortage of speeches at the wedding.

It is important that you compare notes with the toasters ahead of time to avoid repeating stories or themes, make sure that nobody says anything ridiculous, crude or insulting, and to calm any jitters of folks who aren't exactly debating club champions. Getting the order of wedding toasts down at the outset will go a long way to helping curb nervous nellies (including the bride and groom!) and assuring the even is a success.

P.S. Don't forget to check out our suggested wedding MC jokes by clicking on the link.

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Tue, Jul.28th 2009
would still like even more info but thanks, very practical advice.
Deb R
Tue, Jan.13th 2009
Great sensible advice! You might add that if you ae the MC you might want to keep the alchol consumption to a minimum just to be on the safe side.
Thu, Jun.26th 2008
In my experience there is no MC speech. It simplly refers to all of your duties throughout the night. After your welcome, and moving the program along, a brief "wish you well" at the end of the program is all I do.
Thu, Jun.26th 2008
I'm glad I found your website as a first time MC. One thing that is confusing me still though (maybe I didn't read thouroughly engough yet), you are always mentioning how to prepare the emcee speech, but do not mention when it is supposed to be delivered!
Thu, May.22nd 2008
Enjoying this! Some invaluable material; great job guys.

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