Cape Cod Wedding Toast Tips by DJ Tommy – How to Propose a Toast to the Cape Cod Newlyweds.
Some have the wonderful gift of knowing just how to propose the perfect toast. They know how to use right amount of humor, heartfelt words, and most importantly when to stop.
However, most speakers do not possess this gift.
Here are a few suggestions aimed at those looking for ways to increase their chances of hitting it out of the park with a great toast.
Couples have shared with me that they have actually made these suggestions mandatory reading for certain family members whom they have asked to toast at their wedding.
Experience has shown me that the best toasts are often delivered by those who AVOID speaking too long, trying too hard to be funny, or who just feel obligated to entertain whenever they get their hands on a mic.
Take any suggestions you like and leave the rest.
- Less Is More – The guests are really enjoying the toast, then it gets longer and longer and begins to nosedive. At this point, they either have zoned out or are turned off because it was toooo long. To avoid going overboard with your toast, you might keep in mind advice Jimmy Durante offered his students. The late comedian/singer would tell up-and-coming comics and entertainers to “always keep em’ wanting more.” Unfortunately, many toasters do not understand this concept and equate a longer and more comprehensive toast with a “better” one. They do not seem to understand that they could be more entertaining and effective if they kept it short and sweet.
- How long should my toast be? – Every great toaster, entertainer and presenter knows when to stop. That is the big difference between the pro and the person who proposes one or two toasts in their lifetime. What do the pros do? Usually a pro will stop after a heartfelt point has been made, or after a big laugh. The best toasts are shorter, not longer, and are usually between 3 to 5 minutes. When in doubt, remember what Jimmy Durante used to say.
- There Is No Accounting for Taste – What may be pleasing or funny to one person may be offensive to another. It’s often better to err on the side of being conservative and understated with your words, than trying to come across as an edgy, hip comedian. Remember, many comedians have a team of writers who spend considerable time coming up with material. You are proposing a wedding toast, not doing stand up comedy. Guests may laugh at a few of the things you are saying, but what are they really laughing at? You? Or what you are saying? What worked to make the “Wedding Singer” movie successful and entertaining will likely be inappropriate at your wedding. Do you want to risk it?
- What shall I say? – In this Internet age you can find all sorts of witty things to say (note resources below). However, there is nothing better than a toaster speaking from the heart, using their own words, and sharing highlights of their relationship to the bride and groom. It is best to try to resist the temptation of doing what many toasters do, which is to elaborate on the “bad boy/girl” days gone by went you “hung out” together and did naughty things. After witnessing more weddings toasts than you might imagine I have found they often go over better when they focus on positive aspects of the bride and groom. It is best to avoid trying to get a laugh by resorting to “there is something that many of you don’t know about the bride/groom” approach. Why risk embarrassing the bride and groom? You might ask yourself how you would feel if your maid of honor or best man proposed an embarrassing type toast at your wedding?
- Save your best comments, (funny, happy, or poignant) until the end – Every great speaker knows the art of saving the show stopping comment until the end. It always leaves the most lasting memory on your audiences if you can save your strongest, funniest, greatest remarks until the last sentence or two. When everyone is laughing, or crying if poignant, then it’s time to end on that note. Resist the temptation of novice speakers to keep going when you have your audience in the palm of your hand. Remember, (again) as Jimmy Durante used to say “always keep ’em wanting more.”
- Save that long-winded and comprehensive version of the toast for the rehearsal dinner! – Short toasts are better that longer ones. Most people don’t realize this. Most couples don’t have the nerve to tell the maid or honor, best man, or their parents to be brief. After all, we’re at a wedding reception that is only 4 or 5 hours. Many Newlyweds unfortunately tolerate these sometimes extensive toasts out of sheer kindness. All of the great speakers and presenters know what most toasters don’t. That the best and most powerful toasts are concise and cohesive. Okay if you do have a person who must make a 7 minute toast, please strongly suggested that propose it at your rehearsal dinner. Wedding receptions travel at lightning speed and you certainly don’t want to have your toasters using up precious reception time listening to 20 minutes of speeches. Those are perfect for the night before, when you’re with immediate family and those close special friends, who really know you.
Cape Cod Wedding Toasts – Other Considerations about Longer Toasts
How is the chef doing? – Often the last thing on the mind of a person proposing a wedding toast is the preparation of the food they will eventually be eating. If a toast, or series of them, takes 20 minutes, chefs have told me that this can actually cause the food in some cases to be overcooked, or to at least delay the dinner service. A lot of care has gone into the meal choices and so it is important to make sure to stay within the time allotted for the toasts by the reception coordinator.
Longer Toasts Means Fewer Songs – You would think that common sense would prevail, but sometimes it does not. I will not say how much time the longest toast I have witnessed took. However, I will say that it was long enough to significantly reduce the number of songs I had time to play, which translated into less dancing.
Fear of Public Speaking
If I am afraid to get up at your wedding and propose a toast what shall I do? – Remember, even the best entertainers in the world have some fear before they perform. The difference between a pro and the novice is that the pro, learning through years of trial and error, has found ways to channel their fear to help them perform better! Here is one important exercise for those who struggle with fear of proposing a toast. Take a moment to collect your thoughts. Go off to a place where you can be alone if necessary. First, take several deep and full breaths. Breathe from your “belly.” if possible. That means breathing diaphragmatically. See if you gradually begin to *Breathe and Feel your Fear. Try to actually get more comfortable with that uncomfortable feeling in your stomach of those pre-toast jitters. Try to see fear as your friend, not your enemy. You can use it to your advantage. There are many more exercises available, but I have found working with breath to be one of the most powerful and effective tools available. Experiment with it and see what you think. It works!
Ask yourself what is at stake? What is the worst thing that can happen? – At the wedding reception, try to remember that you are in a room with many loving and caring people, so how bad can it be? Why would you be fearful in this situation? Because, it is a perfectly natural, human response to be nervous when speaking in public. Why? Simple. It is because we want it to go well. Remember, even if your toast does not go as well as you would like, it is extremely unlikely you would be booed. Usually wedding audiences are extremely empathetic, gracious and forgiving of toasts that are not perfect. Actually the toasters I have seen, who best connect with their audience, are those who are somewhat shy and vulnerable. This is because the audience can more easily relate to them than they can to the “egotistical” overconfident speaker. Remember, everyone who toasts is a little nervous, and that a little fear can work in your favor because it can inspire you to be better prepared.
Cape Cod Wedding Sample Toasts (Enjoy using these toasts examples as a guide. Use their them as inspiration and customize them to suit your situation. Note the brevity of these toasts ?