Here’s some good advice from Troy Patterson in Slate (How to Give a Wedding Toast) for an event that people often don’t recognize as presentation– the wedding toast. Like every other kind of presentation, the wedding toast has a clear goal. The most important thing to remember about making a speech at a wedding is that the whole event revolves around the bride and it’s your job to make her happy. This is a case where you can almost think of yourself as having two audiences, the larger group of increasingly drunk partygoers and the one person in the crowd who really matters– the bride. Say something that pleases her and you’ve accomplished your goal.
Events like these go awry all the time because people don’t do them very often and they lose sight of what they really want to achieve. It’s so common that the inappropriate toast has become a staple in TV shows and movies. For a particularly awkward example, check out the dueling toasts at the engagement party in Bridesmaids.
Whatever you do, don’t try to steal the spotlight from the bride and turn your speech into an attempt to make yourself look clever, funny or special. Say something heartfelt and get off the stage.