Rehearsal Dinner Toasts
Toasts can be made during dinner, preferably not after; otherwise the night can drag on. The host-often the groom’s father-should make the first toast, welcoming the guests and expressing his feelings about the forthcoming marriage. He is generally followed with a return toast by the bride’s father or stepfather and then with toasts from ushers, bridesmaids and anyone else who wishes to say something. After the host of the dinner has made the first toast, the floor is open and the groom can stand to make his toast if he wishes.
Wedding Reception Toasts
At the reception, the best man usually leads off toasting. It is perfectly fine for his to be the only one offered. Often, both fathers welcome toasts to each other’s families and guests or express their happiness at the children’s union. The maid or matron of honor and other members of the bridal party may propose a toast, and the groom may toast his new bride and new parents-in-law.
Everyone should rise for the toasts to the newlyweds except the bride and groom, who remain seated. If a toast is directed to the bride only, the groom rises; if it is directed to their parents, both the bride and groom rise. If there is no seating and everyone is standing, including the bride and groom, then the newlyweds simply smile as toasts are made. They do not drink a toast to themselves.
When toasted, the bride and groom do not stand. They smile appreciatively and when the toast is finished acknowledge it with a thank-you. Wedding toasts are best prepared ahead of time, as you may be more nervous or emotional than you might expect.