A toast signifies honoring the celebrant or the host for a party. In weddings, the duty of proposing a toast normally falls to the best man’s hands. However, honoring the host is not strictly limited to the best man, any guest is allowed to propose a toast, as long as the intentions are good.
The history of toasting or honoring can be traced back to as early as the seventeenth century. Some folktale suggests that toasting was performed to allow drinks from each glass to spill over the other, thus eliminating the possibility of poisoning.
Toasts are traditionally made during celebrations such as wedding, New Year’s party, engagement announcements, welcoming a new baby, or even retirement parties.
Whether you are tasked to deliver a speech to offer a toast or you suddenly feel the urge to offer one, learn how to do it the right way.
For a planned toast, the anxiety is normal. It can be your first time to become a best man and you are a self-confessed shy person, so being prepared will help you get through the ordeal. Try not to consume too much alcohol prior to your speech as you might end up embarrassing yourself. Traditional weddings follow a certain order for the program. Ask the master of ceremony or the wedding coordinator to cue you beforehand, so you’d know when to start your speech.
Toasting is usually done either at the start of the celebration or towards the end of the party. At any rate, ensure that the attendees are not too busy to listen as you propose a toast.
Prepare a short speech before your toast. You can share anecdotes about the host, or even some secrets. Be careful though, as you should not say anything that could embarrass your host or any of the attendees. Keep your speech short, sincere and entertaining. This is also your chance to shower your host with compliments.
While some cultures consider it rude, it is still considered apt for you to carefully tap your wine glass to catch attention. If you have a microphone, then you can skip this part. In an informal set-up such as family dinners, you can tap your glass and show your intent to offer a toast.
You need to stand-up when offering a toast. This signifies your sincere gratitude and respect to your host. In weddings, it is expected for you to ask all the guests, except the host, to stand-up and raise your glasses. A toast performed in an informal setting does not require you to ask everyone to stand-up, but you, as the speaker must stand-up.
Say your short speech before you ask everyone to stand and join you with the toast. It is rude to ask everyone to stand just so they can listen to your long speech. The perfect time to ask everyone to stand is when you are about to say your final message. Deliver your heartfelt wishes as you ask everyone to join you in raising your wine glass. Raise your glass in the host’s direction and say, “cheers” before you drink from the glass. Sipping or consuming all the contents of your wine glass depends on you. Good luck!