Picture this: You’re a guest at a wedding and you’ve been asked weeks in advance to make a toast to the happy couple. The special day is underway: The vows have been said, the groom has kissed the bride, and it is time to put on your dancing shoes and head to the reception! But before the band queues up, there is toasting to be done and sparkling, celebratory cocktails to be sipped. If you’ve attended a wedding before, you’re probably familiar with this order of events leading up to the wedding speeches. But… did you know that there are some very important rules when it comes to wedding cheers and toasts? Well, today with the help of our friends over at IZZE, our very favorite brand of sparkling juice, we’re breaking down five important rules of wedding toast etiquette.
Thanks to the fresh, fruity flavors of IZZE sparkling juice, we made our very own celebratory cocktails to help this post come to life! Team LC dressed up in Paper Crown bridesmaids dresses for the day, sat around a beautiful table styled by our favorite prop stylist, Kate Martindale, and toasted to friendship and fun memories. The very best part, however, was that we each got to try some of IZZE’s sparkling juice flavors, including Sparkling Peach, Sparkling Apple, Sparkling Grapefruit, Sparkling Clementine, and Raspberry Mint (just to name a few). We each picked our favorite, mixed up a cocktail, and shared our two cents on what we’ve learned about wedding toast etiquette in our years as wedding guests. We thought we’d share with you some fun facts we learned, and we included some photos to inspire you, too.
So, keep reading to learn our five rules of wedding etiquette toasting and to find out what we put in our delicious IZZE sparkling juice cocktails!
1. Raise Your Glass.
If champagne glasses are on the table when you arrive at a wedding reception, you can expect there will be a round of toasts to kick off the reception. And even if you’re not drinking that night, it is proper wedding etiquette to raise your glass (even if just a sparkling juice mocktail) to the newlywed couple at the end of every toast. We recommend putting a delicious spin on the traditional wedding beverage by mixing up a simple yet refreshing cocktail using IZZE’s sparkling juice and your spirit of choice. This two-ingredient sip is easy to make and it’s ideal to drink at any event leading up to the wedding too—bridal showers, bachelorette parties, you name it! The only hard part is choosing a flavor… (Our favorites came down to the Sparkling Apple and Sparkling Peach).
2. Practice Makes Perfect.
As with any speech, the more you rehearse and prepare for your wedding toast, the more smoothly the moment will go. If you know you’ll be speaking at a friend or family member’s wedding, start planning out your speech weeks in advance. Write it down and practice it while you’re looking at yourself in the mirror to get any kinks out and get comfortable with the words you will say on the day-of. Also, don’t put pressure on yourself to have the perfect amount of humor or emotion in your speech. Sure, speeches with in-the-moment anecdotes will get great response from the crowd, but oftentimes those little one-liners are best delivered after they’ve been practiced dozens of times. If you feeling like you’re forcing funny moments in your speech, stop trying so hard and just write from the heart.
3. Short Is Sweet.
It’s always a good idea to cap your wedding toast at three minutes or less. Of course you will want to share your favorite memories and tell the happy couple how much you love them, but a speech that goes too long delays time spent sipping delicious cocktails and hitting the dance floor… Which is the best part of a wedding! It’s also OK to get a little choked up during your speech—weddings can bring out touching, emotional moments. Just try to maintain your composure, make it to the end, and keep it short and sweet.
4. Know the Traditional Toasting Order.
We’ll break it down for you: Traditionally, the best man gives the first toast, followed by the maid of honor. Then, usually the host of the event (usually the father or mother of the bride) will get up to toast. Then, a toast from the groom’s parents may follow. Of course, these traditions aren’t set in stone, and the fun thing about modern-day weddings is that brides and grooms are writing new rules! But, knowing this order can be a good guide if you’re trying to determine who will toast next. Also, if you are a guest who would like to get up and say something, it is best to let the couple know several weeks in advance so that they can work your toast into the order. It’s usually not a good idea to get up and say something at the wedding reception unannounced. However, if the reception is small and causal and you notice that other guests are getting up and making impromptu toasts, you will know if it feels appropriate for you to do the same. Overall, knowing when to speak matters way less than knowing what to say. So if you are going to speak, make it heartfelt.
5. It’s a Toast, Not a Roast.
While many guests attending a wedding probably have a boatload of funny and embarrassing stories in their memory archives, the wedding reception is not the time or place to overshare. Avoid talking about any past problems the couple has had or inappropriate memories that might embarrass the newlyweds in front of loved ones. Jokes and stories are great, and can make for a wonderful response from the crowd—but just know which ones to tell during the event, and which ones to tell during a smaller, less formal get-together.
And there you have it! Team LC pulled our knowledge from all of the weddings we’ve attended collectively and came up with these five rules while sipping those delicious IZZE cocktails. One of the best parts about our girls’ afternoon was seeing Kate Martindale’s ombre tablescape come to life (more on that in a later blog post!), and it was amazing how perfectly our IZZE drinks fit with the table’s color scheme. While we loved making our IZZE juices into cocktails, IZZE is just delicious on its own or as a mocktail. Plus, IZZE makes their sparkling juice with 70 percent fruit juice and they come in eight refreshing flavors. The options are truly endless!
What IZZE flavor will brighten up your next celebratory refreshment?
We hope you learned something new in this post, and be sure to share your wedding etiquette rules in the comments below—we’d love to read them. Another big thanks to our friends at IZZE and to Kate Martindale for making this post beautiful and delicious!
XO Team LC
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