Wedding toast order
may vary

At your reception, the wedding toast order depends on you and whether you want to be traditional or have a toasting free-for-all. There are advantages to both approaches.

Your schedule of toasting depends upon your personal preference, the size of your reception and how much freedom you want to give guests to make special remarks.

The best man will probably serve as master of ceremonies. 

When toasting may start

The wedding toast order may be affected by when you want to set aside time for toasting. As you are planning the reception, there are several opportunities to set aside time to offer toasts. those can vary depending upon the size of the reception and the activities.

  • During cocktails
  • Before dinner for traditional toasting (see below)
  • Before the cake-cutting (especially if the reception does not include a meal)
  • During dinner some time after the main course has been served
  • As dessert is being served.

The wedding toast order starts with the father of the bride

Traditionally the father of the bride is the first one to speak at a reception. His role at that point is to welcome the guests and thank them for sharing in the special family event. He may then turn the program over to the best man to serve as the master of ceremonies.

At that point, the toasting can proceed in a variety of ways.

Traditional order of toasts (before dinner):

  • Father of the bride – welcomes guests and toasts the bride.
  • Groom – offers a toast to the bride
  • Best man – offers a toast to the couple. (Then the best man may call upon the minister to offer a blessing if that is intended, and invite everyone to enjoy dinner.)

Other options for toasting
If you want to have many other toasters or need to include some people who may not be part of the official party, you may vary the order. Here is one suggestion:

  • The father of the bride toasts his daughter
  • The father of the groom toasts his son
  • The best man toasts the groom.
  • The maid (or matron) of honor toasts the bride.
  • The bride toasts the groom
  • The groom toasts the bride
  • Other people then join in.

Open toasting or not?

The decision is really yours. There is a risk with all that toasting -- someone in an alcohol-induced celebratory mood may say something inappropriate. However you may want to give certain friends or relatives the opportunity to say something. (If that’s the case, let them know ahead of time.)

Keep in mind, too, how long you want the toasting to last. While the tradition of toasting should be fun and entertaining, you do not want it to be long and drawn out.

It may be better to encourage some of your family and friends to express their sentiments at the rehearsal dinner when the crowd is more intimate.

Check with toasters to avoid duplication

The best man or some other person should touch base with those who are toasting just to make sure that the toasts are not repetitious. That will avoid the risk that the great family story is told several times. Also, checking with toasters will give you the chance to reassure those nervous about toasting so that they will feel more confident.

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