Love them or loathe them, for many couples, guests and even wedding planners, the toasts are the most poignant part of the day. Giving the bride and groom’s nearest and dearest the chance to wish them well, and offering the couple themselves an opportunity to thank the guests and everyone who’s worked hard to make the day, toasts help to make a wedding truly personal.
But how much do you really know about this popular wedding tradition? And what do you need to know if you’ve been asked to make a toast at a wedding this summer?
Why is a toast called a toast?
Ever wondered why a toast is called a toast? Well, it all started way back in the 17th century when a piece of bread was added to each person’s drink to boost flavour. Proposing a ‘toast’ simply meant proposing a drink, however the name stuck and today we still refer to this time old tradition by its culinary name despite the tipples of today being infinitely more palatable.
There are lots of theories about why we clink glasses when making a toast. Some people think it’s to make sure no one’s drink has been poisoned while others believe its left over from old libation rituals. Either way, the clinking of the glasses is an established part of a wedding now and the tradition looks like it’s here to stay.
The difference between a toast and a speech
As wedding expert Sandy Malone says in the Huffington Post, “the best wedding toasts are always the ones kept brief and filled with pithy remarks or one short story”. Unlike a speech that can go on for ten, twenty or even thirty minutes, a toast should be a few short words followed by a call for all the guests to lift their glasses in honour of the happy couple.
Who gives a toast?
Though the exact line up will vary from wedding to wedding, in general it’s the groom, the best man and the father of the bride who make the toasts. It’s becoming more and more common for the bride and the maid of honour to make toasts and for grooms to have more than one best man. As it’s your wedding day, you’re free to have as many, or as few, toasts as you want. Just remember that your guests will be hungry after all that drinking so don’t make them wait around for too long.