How to Give a Heartfelt and Memorable Toast | Southern Bride
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Wedding toasts make your heart swell and a lump form in your throat. But how do you give a heartfelt and memorable toast?
A great toast has three elements: it honors and celebrates the person or couple, it helps the audience learn more about them, and shares stories the guests may not know. Southern Bride consulted Karen Eber, international consultant, author and a keynote speaker to narrow down the wedding toast plan.

Selecting A Story
Stories for wedding toasts can focus on either the individual or the couple. They include things like:
– What is your first memory of the couple?
– What was the behind-the-scenes story of their engagement most guests wouldn’t know?
– What is an adventure the couple shared?
– What hobbies or interests do the couple share?
–  What is an example of how the couple brings out the best in one another?

Preparing Your Story
Once you identify the story, you need to build the structure. Use the three steps below to avoid rambling. This makes it easier to navigate any emotions that may arise when giving the toast.
1. Set the context for the story by describing the setting and who is involved.
2. Describe the moment of conflict—what tension needs resolution in the story?
3. Share the result.
Consider any unexpected events and specific details you can include in the story. These moments in the story often result in laughter from the guests.

Giving the toast
Wedding toasts include three parts: your connection to the couple, what they mean to you, and a celebration and wish for the future. It often works best to open with the story as you establish your relationship with the couple. This draws the audience in, often gets immediate laughter, and lets you end on a sentimental or emotional note. It’s ok to use notes, but don’t read the toast. The audience doesn’t care if you stumble over some words. The group is already on your side, ready to laugh, cheer, and feel “all the feels.” Your goal is to connect the audience to the love and support felt in about three minutes. As you finish the story, share what the couple means to you. Ask everyone to raise their glass and join you in the toast as you offer a wish for the future. When the glasses clink, you’re done!


Karen Eber is the author of “The Perfect Story: How to Tell Stories that Inform, Influence, and Inspire,” to be published with HarperCollins in October 2023. She is an international consultant, keynote speaker, and TED speaker.
How to Give a Heartfelt and Memorable Toast karen eber

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