Traditionally, a toast was meant to introduce the two families to each other. Today the Toast Master, on behalf of the guests, offers the bridal couple words of advice and wishes them well. It is appropriate to have a member of the family, or a close mutual friend to toast to the couple. Even ladies or younger members of the family could raise the toast. The groom, escorts and other gentlemen in the crowd stand during the toast.
Reply to the Toast
A wedding reception is the one and only occasion in one’s life where you get an opportunity to speak and express your thoughts publicly in front of family and friends. Unless, of course, you win an Oscar or a Filmfare award.
Hence it is most important to grab this moment with both hands and make the most of it. The couple’s speech is very often misunderstood as the reply to the toast as it immediately follows the toast master. It is also a common misconception that only the groom gives a speech and the bride coyly says a "Thank You."
Today, both the bride and the groom use this opportunity to boldly speak to their family and friends. What better chance to tell your family and friends how much you care about them? Just remember that you will be speaking in front of people you love and they will be eager to hear what you want to say.
What Do You Say?
This is a glorious moment to acknowledge your near and dear ones. You can go through your personal photographs and recollect the occasions that have shaped your life.
You can start your speech by telling people how you feel about your big day and what it means to you. For the body of the speech, try using a story or an anecdote. May be how you met your fiancé (now your spouse) on your first date and how your love blossomed.
You could recollect the great times you had with your parents, brothers, sisters and cousins. If you feel you may have to fill in a few gaps, you can use some quotes about love or marriage.
The best way to end your speech is to raise a toast and thank the people who have helped convert your dream into a reality. It is respectful to mention the elderly members of your family: grandparents, grand aunts/ grand uncles and others. Their blessings will go a long way whilst you embark on this new journey.
Make sure you co-ordinate with your fiancé on the speech. This way you will avoid repeating his words. If you have a long list of people to thank then divide the names between the two of you.
The bride gives her speech after the groom. You could also alternate back and forth between the two of you. Being nervous is normal but don’t let your nerves get the best of you. Build up your confidence by reading the speech a few times. The most important factor is that you are heard. Your posture is also important. Stand up straight, make eye contact with the guests and speak close into the microphone. It is important that you smile. Use your notes when you feel the need. Emphasize on important words and pause, especially after a joke or an anecdote.
Be confident, relax and enjoy the moment. It’s your day!!!