The wedding toast! A way to celebrate the wedding couple and welcome guests is an honored tradition at weddings. Where did this tradition start and what's the etiquette when it comes to toasts? Keep reading!
History of Toasts
Toasting has been around since as long as anyone can remember. Ancient societies would toast by raising a glass as a way to show the God's their offerings. The ancient Greeks also toasted to each other's health. The process of a toast has been around for many years and isn't specifically tied to weddings.
Back in the Sixth Century B.C., wedding toasts started happening. The Greeks would have a common pitcher for drinks and the host (usually the bride's father) would take the first drink to prove to guests that there was no poison in the wine. Back in that time, spiking the drink was a common way to silence enemies or cause a divorce for their enemies. Yikes! The actually wording of toasts dates back to the Romans where they would drop a piece of burnt bread into their wine. This toast would temper the wine which would make it taste better.
Now it's common to give a toast to the wedding couple to send good wishes and for the wedding couple to toast their guests to thank them for celebrating with them.
Etiquette of Toasts
Toasts are meant to celebrate the happy couple. Any off-color remarks or embarrassing stories would be left out. Sweet and funny stories are welcome as are positive thoughts and wishes about the wedding couple. You want to leave the wedding couple smiling, laughing, and maybe even shedding a happy tear or two.
Toasts should also be short and sweet. Ideally your speech shouldn't be longer than 3-5 minutes. This keeps guests entertained, allows other toasters to share, and keeps the wedding timeline intact.
When Do Toasts Happen
There are usually two types of wedding days toasts. One, the welcome toast, is where a parent of the couple or the wedding couple themselves will welcome and thank the guests for attending. The second type, a wedding couple toast, is where friends and family (usually a couple wedding party members) will toast the wedding couple.
The welcome toast will usually occur right before dinner. This is when everyone is in their seats and getting ready for the reception festivities to begin. The wedding couple toast will usually occur about 15-30 minutes before dinner is concluded. Everyone will still be in their seats at this time and it's a great way to wrap up dinner and kick off the party part of the reception!