My daughter is getting married soon to a wonderful man. I want to make a memorable toast at the reception but don’t know where to start. Can you help?
– Tongue-Tied in Tennessee
Dear Tongue-Tied in Tennessee,
For wedding speeches, brevity and preparation are the keys to success. Think of the length as an Academy Award acceptance speech, and make sure you finish speaking before the music moves you off the stage. For content, have something written. Emotions run high at weddings, and that affects memory. It’s best to have the speech written down in a font large enough to read and placed inside a notebook or binder. You don’t want photographs of this moment to be you reading from a crumpled piece of paper or a phone.Do not mention old boyfriends, teenage exploits, or other embarrassing tidbits from childhood. Paint a picture of your daughter, from childhood to this moment. Let her know how she has filled your life with love and joy. Share a treasured childhood memory and tie that in with your hopes for her new life as a wife and partner. Tell your son-in-law your dreams for him as well, and thank family members for being there. Finish with a hope or prayer for the future, and raise a glass to her happiness.