How To Give a Wedding Toast

No need to mention coke-fueled orgies.

By Troy Patterson

Illustration by Robert Neubecker. Click image to expand.

How to deliver a decent wedding toast in five easy steps:

1. Whether you’re raising a glass at the rehearsal dinner or working the mic at the reception, bear in mind that the fundamental idea is to honor the bride.

The foundation of honoring the bride is in not actively dishonoring her. A common pitfall involves lolling in the manure-rich field where the groom sowed his wild oats. It is one thing to employ a subordinate clause alluding, gently and generally, to all that foolishness that his beloved took him away from. It is quite another to request that every female wedding guest who has a set of his house keys now return them and then to grin like a game-show host as, by pre-arrangement, 14 women rise from their seats, in their wrap dresses, jingling key rings. That is the true story of a tacky incident that plays out, in more subdued ways, every weekend in America. Under no circumstances should you declare that the groom is a Don Juan. If it’s that important an issue, then make yourself heard when the officiant says, "Or forever hold your peace."

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