There are many different traditions that are used from wedding to wedding, and some of the most common of these are wedding toasts. During this popular tradition that is usually held during the wedding reception, a person in attendance of the wedding, usually the best man or the maid of honor will give a speech in honor of the newly married couple. After the speech, all in attendance will raise a glass and drink to the newlyweds.
It is difficult to pinpoint exactly where in history that the origins of wedding toasts are. Some accounts attribute their history to the ancient Greek culture, where during the wedding ceremony the host would be the first to drink wine from a common pitcher in order to assure the guests that it was not poisoned. In another supposed and conflicting origin of wedding toasts, the host was the last to drink from a cup of wine that was passed around with an actual piece of toast, and the host would eat the toast in honor of the guests. Regardless of their origin, wedding toasts are now used at most wedding receptions and, for the most part, follow some basic guidelines in how they are executed, even though there are still many variations.
In most wedding toasts, there are three different speeches that are made during the reception. These speeches can be made by practically anyone in attendance, depending on the wishes of the bride and the groom. The first toast is usually done by the father of the bride, who is introduced by the reception’s emcee. After this and every toast, it is customary for the groom to respond, although this is often skipped.
The two of the more popular wedding toasts are done by the best man and the maid of honor. These are usually done immediately after dinner, the first of which is executed by the best man. The tone of the best man’s wedding toast is usually thought to be humorous, but it can hold a wide range of emotions and most often ends on a serious note with sentiments about the newlyweds. The same goes for the maid of honor’s toast that usually, but not necessarily, follows the best man’s speech. As mentioned previously, the broad range of different types of weddings and the preferences of the newlyweds largely dictate who gives the wedding toasts, if anyone, and what the content of the speeches include. In some weddings, the wedding toasts can even be conducted by the newlyweds themselves.