Is It Time for Toast Yet? When to Toast the Bride and Groom at a Wedding

The Wedding Guru Judy Lewis fields this week’s wedding questions. Today: When is the perfect time to toast the bridal couple? (Hint: Not during the vow exchange)

There’s nothing worse at a wedding than an awkwardly timed toast. (No, breaking up the father-daughter dance is never a good idea!) Thankfully, it’s pretty easy to figure out the best time to raise a glass. Read on…

A Valley bride asks: “When do you toast to the bride and groom? Is it before dinner, or afterward? Before the first dance? After the cake is cut? (Or before?) Does the deejay announce when these things take place? I’m having an outdoor wedding and the reception is a few feet away from where the guests sit for the ceremony.”

(See next page for answer)

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Dear Valley bride: Either the deejay or emcee are responsible for quieting guests and announcing the toasts. (If they’re not available, the best man or maid of honor can even coordinate it.)

At a buffet reception, it’ll be a little more difficult to find an appropriate time for the toasts, but usually it works best after most of the guests have made their first trip to the food tables. You can enlist your deejay or event coordinator to round up guests.

If you’re strictly following wedding etiquette and having a sit-down reception, then the toasts should take place after the meal. (That way, the greatest number of guests will be around — and a fed audience is always better than a hungry one.)

Since many couples don’t follow tradition to the letter, here are some other times for toasts during the reception: You can toast after cutting the wedding cake (but before dessert). This makes sense because most guests quiet down for the cake-cutting; plus, it’s always conveniently announced by the emcee (who’ll probably announce the toast). You can also try toasting right before the meal begins, because it’s easier to get everyone’s attention at that time — just keep the hungry-audience thing in mind. A bride I know who held her toast before dinner did it because the people offering the toasts were nervous, and she wanted them to be able to enjoy their meals!

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There isn’t really a wrong time for offering toasts, but you should try to choose a time when the guests are relatively quiet. That way, the toasts are heard and the people offering them won’t have to yell over the crowd!

» Marrying minors: Do you toast with alcohol?
» Hudson Valley Weddings 2011
» Submit a question to the Wedding Guru
» View our Wedding Guide

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