Larry James' CelebrateIntimateWeddings BLOG

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Does the Father of the Groom Give a Speech at the Wedding?

Barry Watson, Guest Author

Your son’s about to get married to the love of his life. Most likely, you are overwhelmed with joy and pride right now. It’s exactly the sort of emotion you want to share with the audience at your son’s wedding.

Although there is no set rule for who must and must not give a speech at the wedding, having family and friends say a few words is always good fun. The father of the bride has a speech delivered at the engagement party, then the father of the groom takes over at the rehearsal dinner and the best man is supposed to give the first toast at the wedding reception. But that’s just the most common way of doing things and you can get creative if you like.

WED-FofGroomSpeechThere could be receptions where everyone says some words at least and I’ve been to weddings where no one besides the best man has a speech ready.

It all comes down to the audience, see what comes naturally and go with that.

Father-of-the-groom speeches are important. ~ In most cases, people in the audience want to hear what the father of the groom has to say about the event and the relationship his son and daughter-in-law share. The speech could be either funny or deeply emotional depending on the father, but you can bet the whole audience will be paying ample attention.

What if the father of the groom in unavailable? ~ There could be circumstances in which the father of the groom simply cannot come to the wedding or give a speech in front of a crowd. This is okay and someone else can deliver a heart-warming speech instead. The mother of the groom would be most welcome to come say a few words. Even the brother or uncle could do this. Basically, as long as it feels like a very close family member is sharing the family’s joy with all those who’ve gathered, it should be enough.

Should the father talk at the wedding reception? ~ Actually, why not? As we’ve seen before there is no rule to govern the perfect wedding. Families have to plan the day of the wedding according to what suits them best and if the father of the groom would rather talk at the wedding reception or if the bride’s father would rather say a few words at the engagement party, that’s okay.

Here are a few tips for the speech. ~ Generally it is always a good idea to have a few versions of the speech ready. Have different drafts made up before the big day and ask someone to help you edit them so that they appeal to everyone. A great speech takes practice. Also give compliments, thanks and blessings with the speech that always charms the crowd. Read more on

Finally, stick to the point and avoid letting your speech run too long. People have limited attention spans and they’ve come to the wedding to celebrate, so keep it all short and sweet.

BONUS Articles: Toasting Like a Pro!
Rambling Ron, Rita and the “Toasted” Toaster
Tips on Giving a Wedding Toast

Larry’s NOTE: A special “Thank you” to Susan Stripling Photography for the photo above.

BarryWatsonCopyright 2015 – Barry Watson. Barry is a happy father-of-two, a loving husband and an awful golfer. While preparing to give 2 wedding speeches at his son’s weddings, he learned a lot about how to create a great father of the groom speech, so he started a blog where he constantly shares the best tips he found in this topic. You can read more on MyFatheroftheGroomSpeech.com.

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Larry James is an award winning, non-denominational wedding officiant and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: Cell: 480-205-3694. Pre-maritial relationship coaching is available and not required. You will find more than 475 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

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NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Thursday, May 3, 2012

7 Things the Best Man Should Never Say in a Toast

Filed under: Best Man,Guest Authors,Toasts,Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 7:00 am
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Rob Lowry, Guest Author

The best man’s speech is usually the speech most talked about at a wedding. There are exceptions though, and one is when the Groom says something he should never say. I’m here to help you avoid these potential pitfalls which could spoil a great day.

BestManToast1. Insult Your Bride’s Parents – This mistake commonly occurs when then Groom enjoys a great relationship with his in-laws, and so feels they will ‘see the funny side.’ Its one thing to ‘see the funny side’ of a joke, but another thing altogether to be insulted in front of your friends and family by the very man who should respect you more than any, your new son-in-law.

2. Insult the Minister – I once attended a Wedding where the Groom told a joke that included the Vicar. The Minister in question, who was sat at the top table alongside the Wedding party, certainly did not look amused. Some people laughed, which only made it worse. The Minister, who was kind enough to marry you, should not find himself sitting in front of all your guests being laughed at as part of a cheap gag.

3. Mention the Ex – Under no circumstances, should you ever mention ex-partners! Whether her ex or your ex. Even if you are both comfortable with the subject, there is a time and place, and that is certainly NOT during your wedding speech! I know of one Wedding where one ‘ex’ joke made by the Groom during his speech left his bride crying in the toilets for most of the rest of the day. How would you feel if you caused this to happen?

4. Make Inappropriate Jokes – Believe it or not, it happens. Even If your wife and your families are comfortable with smutty jokes, you can be sure to make a lot of your guests uncomfortable with them. Humor should really be left to your best man. At most, use it sparingly and only if you are a naturally funny person. Overly using humor here is a bad move, as you should be sincere and genuine as much as you can.

5. Overly Praise the Bride – Obviously it is essential to praise your bride during your speech. However, overdoing this can have the opposite effect, seeming insincere. It can also come across as a bit soppy and cheesy, even embarrassing your bride, both families and your guests.

celebration toast with champagne6. Cause Offense to Any of Your Guests – If you had a guest in your home, you wouldn’t insult them would you? You would, if anything, go out of your way to make them feel comfortable. Treat your wedding guests similarly. Be sure not to say anything that will offend anyone. Avoid topics you feel may be offensive, and don’t mention any grievances you may have with anyone, whether they are attending the wedding or not.

7. Don’t Mention Deceased Family or Friends Unless You’ve Cleared it Beforehand – Mentioning deceased family and friends could upset people, making them emotional. This is not what you want to do, remember this is a happy occasion. Especially don’t mention the deceased if you yourself will get emotional and shed a tear mid speech! It may sound harsh and cold-hearted, but this could put a sad tone on what is the happiest day of your life.

A few other things you should do are avoid alcohol beforehand, be prepared, and smile! The last thing you want to do is get drunk before your Wedding speech. It will affect your delivery and you will be more likely to say things you shouldn’t. Be prepared, because if you aren’t you will look like you don’t care, and your wife and her family may not be too happy about this.

Finally, make sure you smile! I know for some of you this may seem like the most nerve-wracking thing you’ve ever had to do, but if you don’t at least smile, you will look like you never wanted to get married and are in fact having the worst day of your life! So with this, I wish you luck in writing your Wedding speech and a very happy Wedding Day!

Larry’s NOTE: First things first. When a toast is given TO the Bride and Groom they will be seen raising their glasses and drinking to themselves. Wrong!! Proper etiquette says that during a toast “to” the Bride and Groom, the couple should NEVER stand, raise their glasses, or drink to themselves. This is construed by etiquette mavens as patting yourself on the back. Instead, they should stand and respond with thanks or by offering another toast.

BONUS Articles: Rambling Ron, Rita and the “Toasted” Toaster
Toasting Like a Pro!

Copyright © 2012 – Rob Lowry. Rob Lowry’s speciality is weddings and party planning in the UK. He helps Bridezillas to overcome their most feared nightmares and also advises for creating wedding lists for themed and seasonal weddings. Visit Rob’s Website at: http://www.personalisedweddinggifts.co.uk/!

Larry James is a non-denominational minister and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. You will find more than 470 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Friday, March 16, 2012

Toasting Like a Pro!

Filed under: Toasts — Larry James @ 8:00 am

You were just told that you will be giving a toast at the wedding. OMG!! Many people that are given this opportunity panic at what they are going to say. You are most likely a close friend of the bride or groom, so you have history to rely on, so use it. Adding true anecdotes can be your best method of infusing the toast with humor. Talk to their friends for suggestions.

You may ask, “How do I stop my knees from shaking?” The answer is twofold: 1. Be very familiar with what you are going to say and, 2. Just before you begin, take several deep breaths – in through your nose and out through your mouth. Breathing this way has a calming effect.

yourweddingtoastRemember to hold the microphone close to your mouth. There is nothing more annoying to the guests than to not be able to hear you or to watch you motion with your hand that has the microphone in it – moving the mike to and fro away from your mouth. Always begin by introducing yourself. Tell the guests your name, and that you’ve been selected to be the maid of honor/best man, etc., and what a great honor it is.

Unless you are a natural born comedian, NEVER tell jokes (genuinely true and funny/humorous stories – yes) and never say things that might embarrass the bride and groom or anyone one else in the room. Many people think a standard joke is going to be the best route to humor in their wedding speech. WRONG! Humor is a good way to make the audience – and you – relax. No off-color stories. Keep it clean. A “PG” rating for a wedding toast is a good thing.

If you have been asked to give a little speech and you’re a little shaky about the subject now that the time draws near, know that it’s normal. I won’t tell you that you will not be nervous, because unless you speak regularly in front of people you probably will be. If your heart isn’t beating a little faster and there’s no adrenalin, it probably won’t be much of a speech. The important thing is to keep it in perspective.

Write down what you want to say. Use large index cards or sheets of paper, but write everything down. Don’t wing it. That seldom works. Search Google for some suggestions but always personalize it to the bride and groom. It’s not about you. It is all about the bride and groom.

Remember that you are talking to your friends. Your friends and family are the warmest audience you’ll ever have. They’ve come to your wedding, and they’re on your side. As best you can, relax and remember how comfortable you would be if you were sitting around just chatting with friends – then tell your story.

womantoasterPractice! Practice! Practice! Rehearse! Stand and deliver your toast in front of a mirror. Don’t memorize, but know your speech so well that you only have to look down at your paper every once in awhile. If there is anything that kills a mood fast, it’s when you appear to be unprepared.

It’s often the waiting to present the toast that is the hardest part. Waiting to go on will most likely make you nervous. Once you’re on your feet, and you’ve started talking, as long as you know what you’re going to say, it can be a lot more fun. Remind yourself of that as you’re sitting and waiting, and make it easier by repeating your first several lines to yourself. That way when you get to your feet, and the room goes silent, you won’t suddenly freeze. Instead, you’ll just say that line you’ve been repeating to yourself over and over. And with that out of the way, you’ll find the rest just follows.

Don’t say things like, “I’m not used to doing this, so bear with me,” or “I’m really nervous, etc.,” or ever apologize for anything – it only calls negative attention to what you are doing. It’s your self-consciousness that causes you to say dumb things like that. Everyone is listening but they don’t want to hear anything but what you have written in your notes. Just do your duty. You will get compliments whether you think you deserve them or not.

You may want to end with a romantic quote. Limit your toast to about two minutes. Ask everyone to lift their glasses and drink a toast to the bride and groom.

IMPORTANT: Before the reception, remind the bride and groom that proper etiquette says that during a toast “to” the Bride and Groom, the couple should NEVER stand, raise their glasses, or drink to themselves. The Bride and Groom should thank the toasters or at least smile and graciously nod. They are not obliged to propose a toast in return.

One last thing. Do NOT have a drink to calm your nerves. That seldom ever works either. Okay… maybe one, but be very careful not to over imbibe. That’s when your nerves will most likely get the best of you, you may stumble over your words, become a chatty Cathy or rambling Ron, and embarrassing yourself and the bride and groom.

BONUS Article: Rambling Ron, Rita and the “Toasted” Toaster
Tips for Writing Wedding Speeches

Copyright © 2012 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s “romantic” Wedding Website. Larry James is an award winning, non-denominational wedding officiant and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. Pre-maritial relationship coaching is available and not required. You will find more than 470 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Wedding Speech Tips – Ideas on Wedding Speeches

Filed under: Guest Authors,Toasts,Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 7:00 am
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Andy Royce, Guest Author

Wedding speeches have been around since we can all remember. Many have been very forgettable, but there have been many legendary speeches as well. If the thought of giving a wedding speech is casting a shadow over someone else’s shining moment, you are not alone.

bestmanSpeechMost people can’t create a successful speech for wedding from scratch without some help. All it takes is a little preparation and knowing a few tricks of the trade. Below are some tips to help you get through a wedding ceremony speech with no sweat, or very little. While many of these may sound cheesy and stupid, if you take them seriously they can really make wedding speeches go by easier than you’d think.

Wedding speeches are important at a wedding ceremony and are usually given at the reception. They usually serve not just as formalities within a ceremony, but to add insight to the bride and groom, and the union that has been established. Here is a closer look into the nitty-gritty of wedding speeches.

Wedding speeches are usually given by the father of the bride, the groom, the best man, and the maid/matron of honor. A wedding speech should be about both families and impersonal, although exceptions are given to the best man and maid/matron of honor, who can inject more personal comments in their speeches.

The bride’s father usually gives the first wedding speech. Traditionally, if there is no master of ceremonies or toastmaster, he is to be introduced by the best man. In his speech, the father of the bride welcomes the guests to the wedding and thanks them for their attendance in the marriage of his daughter to her new husband. He could proceed by taking about his daughter, her character, childhood, accomplishments and skills. He then talks about his new son in law. His little talk about his son in law should be more impersonal in approach, after which he proposes a toast to the bride and groom.

The groom, in response to his father in law’s speech will then deliver a speech.

After the groom’s speech and toast (which is usually directed to his new family), the maid/matron of honor will follow, who then proposes a toast for the bride, to be concluded with the best man’s wedding speech. The best man will be responsible as well for any messages from the uninvited, or those unable to attend, and finishes with a toast to the parents of the bride and groom.

When planning the wedding reception speech, don’t feel like you have to fully conform to tradition. Sure, the best man speech is usually the funny one, the Father of the Bride’s is normally the sincere one and the Groom’s speech is usually the short, forgettable one, but they needn’t be just that.

If you are the Groom and want to say something a little more memorable, or the Best Man who wants to make it more heartfelt, or the Father of the Bride who will cry if he keeps it all lovey-dovey then do what feels right and comfortable. Don’t lose sight of the speech’s tradition, but most importantly just be yourself.

First, before you ever begin your wedding speech, have a chat with close friends and relatives of the bride and groom beforehand and ask them to lead the applause and laughter where appropriate.

BestmanToastAlso, have a snack about quarter of an hour before your wedding speech. Professionals advise a banana but if you can’t get hold of one of them just make sure you down anything that will stop your tummy from rumbling yet won’t repeat on you!

When you think of the wedding speech, picture it with a smile on your face. It is always helpful to go into a speech with confidence. However, before you speak, forget completely about what lies ahead and remember to enjoy yourself, take everything in and focus only on the moment.

Another thing to picture is the very end of the speech. What happens at the end of outstanding wedding speeches or any of those humorous funny wedding speeches? Try picturing it with everyone applauding and imagine them laughing (at the appropriate bits) throughout. You would find some really humorous wedding speech jokes elsewhere in this site to help you on it. And if you want you could also browse the internet and search for free wedding speeches. Some of these resources have pretty good wedding speech content and you can use them in your speech with a little customization.

Before you stand up to deliver wedding speech, think of a something that makes you laugh or giggle, that way you’ll begin with a big smile like you imagined rather than a look of dread.

When you start, begin with a glance around the guests present in the marriage ceremony before you start to help you relax and give the audience an air of confidence. If you don’t drink don’t worry, you won’t be pressured into doing so at the end of your speech. Instead, make sure that the reception venue is aware of your requirements and just ask to have a non-alcoholic beverage in front of you.

There is hardly any doubt that a most of us have some kind of fear regarding public speaking. This is why giving a good wedding speech can be so difficult. Nonetheless, you can be assured that you will have a good wedding speech by getting sample wedding speeches off of the internet through templates.

Remember above all else that nobody wants you to fail. And you should now be confident enough of achieving a total control on all the wedding speeches that you have to give today, tomorrow and in the days to come.

BONUS Articles: Rambling Ron, Rita and the “Toasted” Toaster 😉
Wedding Toasts
Tips on Giving a Wedding Toast

Larry’s Note: Here is something fun to watch – maybe not the very BEST wedding speech – but funny!

Copyright © 2011 – Copyright © Wedding Speech Digest – Your Guide To Wedding Speeches. Reprinted with permission.

Larry James is a non-denominational minister and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. You will find more than 460 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com

Saturday, May 21, 2011

So. . . You’re the Best Man, Eh??

Filed under: Guest Authors,The Best Man,Toasts — Larry James @ 7:00 am
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Wendy Hartigan, Guest Author

Kye Harman is a very clever and amusing gentleman from the U.K. that has a blog called Simply The Bestman. He wanted to send me this article because he happened on my blog recently and thought I needed more for the men in the wedding. So, here are some tips on being the bestman. Enjoy the article and then take a look at Kye’s blog for more advice, etiquette and ideas. Thanks to Kye for this great piece!

So you have been asked to be best man, you have gone through the usual stages as it sinks in. First, your friend/brother/cousin has finally acknowledged you are indeed the “Best Man”, a fact you have believed all along, what’s more you’re finally going to get a free meal out of him.

Then the touching sentiment has dawned, that of all the people he knows he has chosen you to be by his side on the most important day of his life.

And finally you realise the massive task you now face, organising the stag do (can anyone actually co-ordinate his rabble of friends and family for a decent knees up?), taking care of the main man and seeing him through his big day and then there is the sphincter tightening realisation that you are going to have to write and deliver the killer Best Man’s speech.

But where do you begin? It is possibly one of the most daunting roles a man will face.

Most modern couples plan their weddings with near military precision (although this is mostly down to the sensible bride rather than the hapless groom) however you might be called upon to help out. Make sure you communicate regularly with the happy couple in the build up to their big day offering your services where required. They have picked you for this huge honour for a reason so make sure you help out wherever you can.

Communication is king. Stay in regular contact with the happy couple, find out what roles they would like you to fulfil on the day and how they would like your help during the planning. The groom will probably have a few ideas of his own when it comes to the stag do, make sure you respect his wishes at all times (well… most of them). A day crawling from one bar to another en route to a lapdancing club might be your idea of fun but is it his? And will this land him in any trouble with the soon to be Mrs?

Also you might find the groom is starting to break under the strain of having to choose the best one out of 200 dresses that all look the same to him and other assorted tasks he didn’t see coming. The beautiful girl he fell in love with has suddenly turned into Bridezilla, and at times it will feel to him that no matter what he says or does, any word of him will bring forth accusations of not caring or pulling his weight and a few lonely nights on the sofa. Offering to get him out on “wedding fact finding missions” to the local bar might be an invaluable help.

The greatest advice we can offer to any Best Man is to get organised early. When facing such a massive task many guys revert to type and work under the delusion that “if I just don’t worry about it it’ll sort itself out and it’ll all be ok in the end” or are filled with such dread of everything that faces them that they simply bury their head in the sand and keep putting everything off until “tomorrow.” Bad idea.

The more you put things off until the last minute the more of a panic you’ll find those last few weeks before the wedding. And come the big day the bride and groom will be panicking enough already without finding out that the man they thought they could rely upon above all others has spent the last few weeks trying to beat his highest score on “Call of Duty” rather than taking care of the tasks he had promised faithfully to accomplish.

Now it is fair to say that most women are far more organised than us guys. One thing that certainly sets us apart is the matter of writing lists. Most guys at some time or other have noted how the woman in their life has an inbuilt propensity for writing lists for pretty much everything that happens or needs to happen in her life. While we guys find this notion completely alien. Lists are for girls right? Or are they?

In fact men are actually the king of lists, it is indeed where we thrive. Not convinced? Name your top 5 films of all time? Greatest All Star NBA line up of all time? Top 10 albums of the 20th century? Lists are the corner stone of the most hotly debated guy talk in barss and offices the length and breadth of the country. So start with a list of tasks the future Mr and Mrs wedded bliss have asked you to take care of before the wedding. A list of the names and numbers/email address of the stag attendees, a list of everything you’ll need to attend to on the big day.

Its really not as scary as you think. Communicate. Get organised. Write those lists. Soon you’ll find you’re halfway there and that on the day you will indeed be the BEST MAN. As for that speech, well we’ve got a few tips for you there as well.

As for those lists… we thought we’d share of few of our own. Although obviously we don’t like to think of them as “lists”. These are just a sample of our “Top 10’s.” We don’t write lists. . . Lists are for girls! 😉

Top 10 Stag Do Daytime Activities

1. SKeet Shooting
2. Paintball
3. Go Karts
4. ATV Riding
5. Racing School
6. White Water Rafting
7. 4×4 Off Road Driving
8. Mud Buggies
9. Tank Driving
10. Infantry Experience

Top 6 Stag Do Anthems

1. White Wedding ~ Billy Idol
2. It’s Over ~ Roy Orbison
3. Love Is The End ~ Keane
4. See You On The Other Side ~ Ozzy Osbourne
5. Modern Love ~ David Bowie
6. It’s The End Of The World As We Know It ~ REM

Top 8 Bachelor Weekends

1. Golfing Weekend – For the competitive streak in you why not get a bit of Tiger Woods style action (minus the prostitutes, press exposure and loss of endorsements).

2. Road Trip – Hire some classic wheels or VW camper vans and take the groom on a road trip back down memory lane to all those happy places he’s never going to be allowed to see again.

3. Go Overboard ~ 3 men in a boat? Why not hire a cruiser and find every fine beach bar along the coast.
The world’s your lobster. See the big picture and go find yourselves a new playground to have fun in.

4. Overseas Trip ~ The world’s your lobster. See the big picture and go find yourselves a new playground to have fun in.

5. Go Native ~ Tents, tequila and tantrums. Can any bachelor party survive the riggers of a camping trip and live to tell the tale?

6. Activities Weekend ~ ATV riding, go cart racing, skeet shooting, kayaking. Why not visit one of many activities centres and do the whole lot?

7. Summer Camp ~ Remember getting packed off to summer camp when you were at school and hoping after the archery, rock climbing and white water rafting you can get drunk and talk one of the girls into letting you put your hand up her sweater? Well there are now many summer camps that cater for bachelor parties at weekends.

8. Kidnap ~ Try any of the above just don’t tell the groom. Simply tell him what to pack, turn up on the day and bundle him in the back of a waiting car. Be sure to make it authentic and hand the bride a ransom note telling her where to pick him up and what the price of his safe return will be.

BONUS Articles: Wedding Toasts
Rambling Ron, Rita and the “Toasted” Toaster
Tips on Giving a Wedding Toast

Copyright © 2011 – Wendy Hartigan. Reprinted with permission. Wendy is a Wedding Consultant and is the owner of Wendy’s Affairs of the Heart in Philadelphia. She offers a variety of consultation and planning packages to give you just the right amount of assistance to make your special day truly special and stress-free for you, your families, and your loved ones. Visit her Wedding Website and Blog.

Larry James is a non-denominational minister and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. You will find more than 460 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Rambling Ron, Rita and the “Toasted” Toaster

Filed under: Toasts,Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 6:00 am
Tags: , , , ,

There is no specific rule on how long you must speak while delivering a wedding toast, however, there should be.

WED-ToastedTosterWedding receptions are long enough without you giving a twenty-five minute speech on why the bride and groom make a great couple. Toasting at a wedding is both an honor and a responsibility. A toast is supposed to be a mini-speech and should have an opening, body and hasty conclusion. Remember, it’s a toast, not a roast. Be gentle.

While attending a reception at a recent wedding, after everyone was seated the father of the Bride was asked to give a toast. He went on and on and spoke for nearly fifteen minutes. The father of the Groom was next. His toast was about the same. Then the mother of the Groom took over with another 10 minutes. Next, the maid of honor, then the best man. To top it off a guy came forward with a ukulele and sang and played and hummed and played and sung some more for another 8 or 9 minutes.

The guests were getting restless. Many were disappearing to run the newly married’s bar tab up (some already finished their champagne) and others began talking among themselves totally ignoring what was going on behind the microphone. Yes, I know that was rude, and so was the lack of “toast coaching” and disregard for the feelings of the guests who were getting very hungry. A few of the guests were getting toasted on alcohol.

One guy at my table leaned over and whispered, “I’m thinking the food is getting cold!”

toastingKirsten Lasinski said, “Wedding receptions need to have a comfortable flow from one activity to the next. People want to keep things moving, and there may be more than one toast that needs to be made. Photographers, disc jockeys, and caterers are often paid on an hourly basis, so the bride and groom may have a vested interest in your ability to be brief. Besides, the shorter your toast, the easier it will be for you to remember.”

I would add that the shorter your toast, the more “you” will be remembered for it. After droning on for nearly an hour of toasts (I would call them ego boosters), the DJ finally began releasing tables for the buffet.

HOT TIP: Short and sweet is best! Let your toasters know ahead of time that there is a 2 minute time limit. Most guests will be very forgiving as long as your toast is heartfelt, decent, and relatively short. A TV commercial is only 30 seconds long. Only confident and competent speakers should go longer than two minutes. 1 to 2 minutes maximum is recommended. Smile, introduce yourself and your relationship to the bride and groom, toast quickly and sit down. In other words, Stand Up. Speak Up. Then, very quickly, Shut Up. Save the long, emotional toast for the rehearsal dinner.

Never drink before you toast. Your speech should be spoken, not slurred. When booze talks you are headed for disaster. Liquid courage is not the answer. Alcohol has ruined more wedding toasts than any other factor.

I was attending another reception where the best man was so obviously drunk that he could not read what he had written. The first clue was that he weaved his way to the podium, stumbled, and then proceeded to deliver an incoherent toast. He went on and on, laughing, swaying back and forth and halfway apologizing for not being able to read his toast. It was getting worse by the minute. He was focusing on how difficult marriage is and he made it look like the marriage was doomed to fail. Most of the guests were squirming uncomfortably in their seats. Some began to applaud to encourage him to take a seat. Nothing worked.

drunktoasterAfter about 5 or 6 minutes of watching and hearing him make a total fool of himself, l leaned over and said to the father of the bride who was sitting beside me, “This is embarrassing for the bride and groom. Why don’t you and I go up and escort him off the stage?” We did with very little protest from the best man. We took him outside to get some air – the guests applauded – and when what he had done finally hit him, be began to cry and wanted to go back inside and apologize to everyone. Not a chance!

HOT TIP: Schedule the toasting early so there isn’t enough time for anyone to get truly intoxicated. You should instruct your emcee (typically the DJ or band leader) that soon as they hear any crude remarks, sex talk or drunken rhetoric, that should be a signal to interrupt the speaker or cut the microphone entirely, depending on the extremity of the comment and introduce someone else or get the music going.

If you have a relative or close friend who is not as excited about the two of you being together, don’t ask him or her to give a toast at the reception. If they ask to give one anyway, graciously decline.

Have the DJ make an announcement that requests and gets the guests’ attention before the first toast begins. Instruct the toaster that they shouldn’t begin talking until the crowd has simmered down.

If you’re the toaster, remember to speak loudly and clearly, even if you’re nervous. And for goodness sake hold the microphone at least several inches in front of your mouth not at your waist.

For the string of toasts at the reception dinner, either appoint an emcee or have your DJ provide banter and ensure that no one goes on forever. Make sure he knows that it’s okay to shut someone down – politely, of course – if someone decides to make it a 15 minute speech. It might also be nice to have him announce a 2 minute time limit for each toast.

HOT TIP: Here is one rule to be sure you know. After the toast, the bride and groom, should “never” take a drink to toast themselves. This is construed by etiquette mavens as patting yourself on the back. Instead, they should stand and respond with thanks or by offering another toast.

Read, “Tips on Giving a Wedding Toast.”

NOTE: By the way, the names in the title of this article have been changed to protect the guilty! 😉

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Copyright © 2010 – Larry James. This information is adapted from Larry’s Wedding Website and Wedding Blog. Larry James is an award winning, non-denominational wedding officiant and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: Cell: 480-205-3694. Pre-maritial relationship coaching is available and not required. You will find more than 475 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

the-archives2Click for Archives! ~ commentSubscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Saturday, September 5, 2009

Tips on Giving a Wedding Toast

Filed under: Toasts,Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 11:30 am
Tags: , , ,

Giving a wedding toast is a special moment during the rehearsal dinner or wedding reception. Here are a few tips on toasting etiquette.

First things first. When a toast is given to the Bride and Groom they will be seen raising their glasses and drinking to themselves.

WeddingToasts2Wrong!!

Proper etiquette says that during a toast “to” the Bride and Groom, the couple should NEVER stand, raise their glasses, or drink to themselves.

They should thank the toasters or at least smile and graciously nod. They are not obliged to propose a toast in return.

Toasts can be offered with a sip of champagne, wine, a mixed drink or non-alcoholic punch, but never with tea, coffee or water. Don’t leave your non-drinkers high and dry. Read Wedding Tip #13 and Wedding Tip #45 for more non-alcoholic suggestions.

Whatever the beverage chosen, it should be served to the Bride first, then the Groom, then the maid of honor, then parents and lastly the best man.

Sober “toasters” make better toasts! At a wedding several years ago the best man was asked to give a toast but he was so drunk that he couldn’t read what he had written and went on and on. People were clapping to try to get him to be seated but he was oblivious. The father of the bride and I had to physically remove him from the stage and took him outside the reception area. It was not a pretty memory for the bride and groom.

An essential ingredient of any wedding, toasts have several functions. They give some of the principals at the wedding an opportunity to put their feelings into words and to express the collective feelings of everyone there. The toasts are also the first chance to introduce another essential ingredient: humor. And, most importantly, the speeches are a signal for the wedding to progress from the formal to the informal.

Traditionally, the first toast is given by the Best Man. It’s proper for him to thank the parents of the Bride and the parents of the Groom. He should also thank the Groom for choosing him as the Best Man.

A toast should be brief (two to no more than 5 minutes). Never read a lengthy quote or poem, or recount a long-winded story about you and the groom as young chaps. Get a laugh, get sentimental, be gracious, thank some people, but keep it very short and sit down. Speak slowly and loudly enough for all guests to hear. If given a microphone, hold it close to your mouth.

Never do a toast impromptu. Think about it. Preparation is essential. Jot down a few notes and remember you can’t get it wrong, because no one knows what you are going to say. Write your toast and rehearse it. Practice giving the toast several times in front of a mirror. Reciting your toast over and over will help calm your nerves and get you comfortable with the words you’ve chosen.

Don’t ramble on and on and on. If you’re nervous, that’s normal. Please don’t go on and on about how nervous you are, it only calls more attention to what you don’t want! You may feel the need to have a drink or two before your toast to relax you, but don’t let it backfire by consuming too much alcohol before your toast. You may not leave the impression you had hoped for! Because you may be nervous and to avoid a colossal faux pas, like calling the Bride one of the grooms old girlfriends names, it may be wise to write down her name.

Make sure your toast sounds like you. It’s okay to have some fun with the toast, but remember that you should generally wind it up in a sincere manner. The most beautiful sentiment you can express is to discuss what change you’ve seen in the couple since they met. Use your good judgment about which topics “not” to joke about. Joking about college escapades or a former girlfriend just isn’t funny in front of Grandma and Grandpa. Never tell jokes.

glassesWhen you think about adding humor, remember that everyone has a different idea about what is funny and what isn’t. If YOU are not known for your humor… a toast is not the time to start. Keep in mind that you are speaking to a wide demographic and some people will take what you say very seriously. Never share any embarrassing stories. If only a handful of people will understand an inside story, skip it.

Wedding expert, Sharon Naylor, author of the book, Your Special Wedding Toast, says to start by remembering the four basic components of a good toast. It should be:

1. Sentimental
2. Humorous
3. Engaging
4. Brief

Never be afraid to go with your feelings. If you get choked up when you are speaking, don’t worry about it; it’s a real moment. Never apologize for it.

Make sure everyone has their glasses filled, then make a few tink-tink-tinks against a water glass to get everyone’s attention. Raise your glass with your right hand. Be sure that the glass is held straight from the shoulder (that’s traditional).

Speak toward the guests, not to the people being toasted. Turn toward the bride and groom only when you deliver the final line of your toast. Your toast should end with wording which makes it clear to the guests that the end has come. It’s easy to do this with a bit of flair, just bring your voice up a notch in volume, and say, for example, “It is with great pleasure that I say congratulations to (Bride) and (Groom). . . may you share many warm days and many warm nights . . . “everybody raise your glass . . . here’s to (Bride) and (Groom) . . .”

IMPORTANT: (This bears repeating) Proper etiquette says that during a toast “to” the Bride and Groom, the couple should NEVER stand, raise their glasses, or drink to themselves

They should thank the toasters or at least smile and graciously nod. They are not obliged to propose a toast in return.

Here are a few examples you make like to use:

toasts
It is written: When children find true love, parents find true joy. Here’s to your joy and ours, from this day forward.

toasts
May your hands be forever clasped in friendship and your hearts joined forever in love.

toasts
May you be poor in misfortune, rich in blessings, slow to make enemies, and quick to make friends.

toasts
May the love you express to each other today, always be the first thoughts during any trying times in the future.

toasts
Here’s to love, laughter and happily ever after. As (Groom) and (Bride) start their new life, let’s toast the new wife and husband!

toasts
To the two secrets to a long-lasting happy marriage: Here’s to good sense of humor and a short memory!

toasts
Never above you. Never below you. Always beside you.

toasts
Happy, healthy marriages begin when we marry the one we love, and they blossom when we love the one we married.

toasts
(A classic toast given by the 19 year old daughter of the bride at one of my weddings. She wrapped things up by ending with this). And may all your ups and downs be between the sheets! 😉

Copyright © 2009 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s Wedding Website. Larry James is a non-denominational minister and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. You will find more than 445 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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