We love wedding toasts! For one thing, hearing how other folks love the bride and groom makes us—and everybody at a wedding, I think—adore the bride and groom even more. And the photographs of the bride and groom and the guests reacting to toasts can be so fun (though, in fact, that could go either way if the toasts are deadly-long or if there are too many of them, come to think of it).
Somehow, toasts are more-often-than-not overlooked in the orchestration and choreography of the wedding day—but they’re important because the toasts themselves can be very meaningful and the photos do actually sometimes make it into the finished wedding album. So, naturally, you want the toasting photos to be their best selves. (And don’t think that this magically won’t happen to you on your wedding day … )
Here are a few easy tips for setting yourself up to have picture perfect toasts:
- Have the speaker stand somewhere with a nice background and nice light, even if that spot is right at his or her dinner table. Ample ambient light is the best kind.
- Please don’t put your toaster in front of an EXIT sign. (This is just an expansion of point #1, I suppose).
- Make sure your photographer is present. If you have a planner, he or she can help with this. If you are diy-planning, you’ll need to keep an eye on this yourself. Although your photographer may stick close by your side the entire rest of the day, during dinner time, she could be off taking photographs in another part of the event, or trying to take a quick dinner break. If unscheduled or unannounced toasts happen, she can miss them.
- Toasts REALLY TRULY need to be short and sweet. Haute wedding planner, Yifat Oren, notes,”it’s a toast, not a roast. Toasts should be short and sweet and moving and anecdotal. The longest amount of time for any one toast should be seven minutes, but preferably no longer than five. You can say a lot in seven minutes.” And, “if you’re planning to have 35 minutes of toasts, don’t do it all at once.” It’s hard for the guests to sit through a bunch of long toasts (read: boring) and can bring the whole party to a halt. If someone really wants to give a long toast or say something much more expansive to or about you and your beloved, the rehearsal dinner might afford a better and more intimate opportunity for that kind of thing.
Check back tomorrow for an interview with Yifat, full of tips from celebrity weddings that are applicable to weddings on any budget.
photographs: Gia Canali