THE Wedding CHAMPAGNE TOAST
What wine should you have for your wedding champagne toast?
You might be right to say champagne, but why not keep it local, so in that case, it’s called a sparkling wine. Unless, of course, you live in the Champagne region of France.
Wedding Champagne Toasts can work with Sparkling Wine Too
What wine should you buy for your wedding champagne toast? It is traditionally a champagne that everyone turns to for serving and drinking to the wedding toast.
Sparkling wines are an equivalent choice. Old World wines were categorized by the regions they were grown in. As people started to immigrate, they brought vines of their local wines with them. Some of them worked out, and some of them did not grow well in their new soil. The ones that took to the land were grown with their original name and not by the region they were grown in.
Here in Texas we have the High Plains region where the McPherson Vineyard has been producing Texas wines since the mid 1970s. They produce a Sparkling Chenin Blanc that may be just the right bubbly for your wedding “champagne” toasts.
Texas Wine Trails Maps
How Much Champagne Will You Need for Your Wedding Toast?
If your reception is 3 hours long, a good starting point would be to get about 24 bottles of wine, or 2 cases.
Each bottle of sparkling wine or champagne will provide about 8 glasses to toast, so for 100 guests you should purchase 13 bottles of sparkling wine for toasts only.
It’s Tradition To Toast The New Couple
The traditional order of the toasts goes something like this:
the champagne toast
- The best man toasts the bride.
- The maid/matron of honor toasts the groom.
- The wedding host/financier (traditionally the father of the bride) toasts the couple.
- Other parental figures of the couple toast the couple.
If you’re looking for inspiration to write a toast for your loved one, pull out a memory that you can share to charm and honor the newlyweds and keep it simple and flattering. This is their special day.
The Toast Should Spotlight the Couple
Keep the focus on the tostee and prepare and practice before the big event. (Don’t use a script!) Here is a short one I heard once at a wedding I attended.
May your love be modern enough to survive the times, but old-fashioned enough to last for ever.
Consider the toast part of your gift to them, and a little spotlight for yourself if you pull this off. Grandma and Aunt Cindy will sit up straight and lean in to listen.
Once you put down the microphone or after the clinking of the glasses you will gain your 15 minutes of fame status and everyone will want to talk to you.
They may even buy you a drink and the bar tender will throw in an extra cherry or a double .
All those you touched in your toast will gush and cry and thank you for making them look so good. If you want more than a classic one liner read on.
The Hook, Just like a Good Story
Focus on your intro where you will gain the attention of your audience, the hook. So think of your first line of your speech like the headline of an article that pulls you in to read more. More about how you’re connected to the toastee, this is a good place for a joke, then finish with a story or 2 or 3 and finish with the clink.
The Toast (the clink)
At the clink be sure to thank the hosts, offer well wishes or congratulations and bring the audience to join you in making those wishes with you.
Best Available Champagne
For some of the best champagne’s or sparkling wines you can buy online read this article from Business Insider.
For better or worse, your wedding toast will be remembered
And from Brides magazine, here is a template to use for your speech.
Wedding Toast Template
In the words of, Colin, our speech-writing expert, “The goal is never one perfect sentence or paragraph, it’s always a whole that becomes greater than the sum of its parts.” Here are some of the key features a toast should include.
- Identify yourself. Chances are, there are a few people in attendance that have no idea who you are. Take a second to briefly introduce yourself and explain your relationship to the couple.
- Congratulate the newlyweds. This is the whole reason why you’re here, so don’t let the seemingly obvious slip your mind. Make sure to applaud the union of the couple and provide a few words and well-wishes for their future.
- End with a toast. Wrap things up with your closing remarks and ask everyone to join you in toasting the newlyweds. “If you want to get a little fancy, find a way to incorporate an echo of your thesis statement within the toast portion (without it getting too wordy),” suggests Colin. “You’ll look brilliant, but all you did was throw out a callback for the audience to latch onto.”
Wedding Toast Tips
Once you’ve found your personal rhythm, follow some of these tips to ensure you nail the delivery of your wedding toast.
- Speak to both halves of the couple. Even if you know one much better than the other, it’s important to remember that you are celebrating their relationship together, not your relationship with one of them. If you only talk about one entity, you’ll be alienating at least half of the guests in attendance who may only know their counterpart.
- Keep personal stories in good taste. Keep in mind who your audience is. It is usually comprised of multiple generations of family, friends, and work colleagues. Don’t tell any stories that may come across as inappropriate or mention exes. Your friend’s boss really doesn’t need to know details about how the bachelor party went down or how bad a previous flame was. Keep your tone light and positive, always bringing it back to the newlyweds and the present moment.
- Be mindful of inside jokes. “There’s nothing wrong with an inside joke, but only if you make sure the audience finds themselves on the inside through your telling of it,” explains Colin. “Otherwise, inside jokes for the sake of inside jokes tell an audience it’s okay to tune out because you aren’t talking to them. Once you go down that road it’s tough to get their attention back.” He adds that if you’re going to be using humor in the toast, be sure to balance it with emotional undercurrents to provide depth.
- Be yourself. “A fancy, polished, well-rehearsed version of yourself,” adds Colin. “If you’re not a comedian, don’t be a comedian. But know that a light touch of humor will go a long way because it’s unexpected, and that can be a lot of fun.” The same goes for sentimentality; it’s all about striking the right harmony. And remember, your friends know who you are, and they’ll definitely be able to tell if you’re just putting on a show for the crowd. Stay true to yourself and be genuine.
- Time it. Toasts are usually around five minutes long—enough time to share a few sweet memories or sentiments, but not so long that guests lose interest.
- Deliver. A great speech isn’t just a witty compilation of words; it’s also about delivery. Make sure you’re standing tall—never, ever remain seated—and exuding confidence, in a location where everyone can see you (otherwise they will tune you out). “It’s perfectly appropriate to use flashcards or even read from a piece of paper if you’re nervous,” notes Colin. “Just not a phone, and my god, not an iPad. A glowing face is bad for photos, and what happens if the power drains? Or you get a call?”
Print notes on folded card stock (it’s thick and won’t shake if you get nervous), and make sure any page-breaks land where you would naturally take a break.
- Embrace the jitters. Nerves are not the enemy. They’re an energizing jolt of energy that you can harness. “Jack wasn’t nimble or quick because of the candlestick; it was because of the fire,” says Colin. “Being on your toes is a totally legal performance enhancer. Try to embrace the idea that the butterflies in your stomach might just use their wings to help you fly over the flame before you.”
- Don’t forget to smile! Make sure your face reflects the love in your heart with a great, big grin. “Smiling triggers a release of feel-good neurotransmitters that help temper any excess nervousness you might be feeling—even when the smile is fake,” says Colin. If you feel your nerves getting the better of you, look at the subject of your toast (aka the newlyweds) while you recite your speech and forget about the crowd.
- Keep drinks to a minimum. A glass of bubbly before giving a toast can do wonders to loosen you up a bit. But try to stick to one glass, and remember this throughout the day (hello, pre-ceremony shots and getting-ready drinks). Too much alcohol can turn your carefully crafted sentiments into a big, slurred mess.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself to start brainstorming ideas for your speech.
- Who is speaking immediately before or after you, and how will this affect the content of your speech? (Perhaps you would want to include a reference to their toast.)
- What is the general tone you want your words to reflect? Joyful? Funny? Sentimental?
- What’s a memory of the newlyweds that instantly comes to mind and always makes you smile?
- When you picture the couple’s life together in a few years (or from this moment forward), what do you see?
- Do you have any advice for the couple?
Best of luck and happy writing!