Wedding Toasts – Ideas for Improvement
Nearly every wedding I DJ has a portion of the evening dedicated to toasting the newlyweds. Needless to say, I’ve seen some incredible and downright horrific toasts over the years and felt it was time to share some stories and ideas to help improve your wedding’s toasting experience.
Toast #1 – Crickets: I assume we’ve all experienced the awkward dead space brought about during wedding toast transitions. “Is there anyone else who would like to make a toast (silence), anyone (more silence), anyone else (even more silence), ok well I guess it’s time for cake." Surely wedding toasts should be conducted in a more polished manner but how can you avoid the cricket scenario?
Suggestion: Ask your DJ to fill the dead space with background music. This simple tactic does wonders to break up any awkward silence while waiting for the next toast to occur. Also, make sure your DJ gives a pre toast 5 min heads up announcement as the champagne is being poured. If done correctly, this gives your guests a moment to come up with a fun story to share (assuming you’re having an open mic toast).
Toast #2 – The toast that never ends: This scenario can be tough to fix as not everyone understands the concept of short and sweet. Although guest’s toasting intentions are usually good, the never ending toast is common. Make no mistake, there’s nothing wrong with a 3 min toast but 10+ minutes can be quite painful so how do you get Uncle Blab to stop his toasting gab?
Suggestion: Communicate with your DJ prior to the toasts that you want to be able to give the “time’s up” look without making a scene. Ask your MC/DJ to glance at you every 30-45 seconds. If you feel the toast is taking too long give your DJ a slight nod. As a DJ, sometimes it’s difficult to recognize if newlyweds like what a guest is saying or not because they’re trying to be polite and continually smile and obviously your DJ wouldn’t want to cut someone off if the newlyweds were really enjoying the toast. This way when your DJ sees “the nod” they can simply walk over and stand right next to the person toasting (has to be done in a friendly manner). Usually this helps the person giving the toast to realize it’s time to move on. Magically many times they’ll conclude and hand the DJ their mic. If not, you could always try a silent taser.
Toast #3 – The long line: In this scenario you’ve decided to allow an open mic toast only to find people keep raising their hands or coming up and forming a line. After the 7th toast the majority of your guests are ready for desert and dancing but how can your DJ tell the people in line the toasting is concluding without offending those who possibly had something very heartfelt to share?
Suggestion: You’ll want to decide on a “final” cue with your DJ to accomplish the following tip. For example, a slight rising of your hand (not fully extended as you’ll appear you’re back in the 4th grade) can be enough for the DJ to walk over and stand beside whoever’s toasting. As I mentioned in the toast #2 suggestion this will help whoever’s toasting to realize it’s time to wrap things up. Then the DJ can make the announcement the newlyweds have something to share and hand them the microphone. If any people are left in line they usually don’t feel offended that the newlyweds want to speak as the day is all about them anyhow. Then if you and your spouse stand up and briefly tell everyone how much you love them and thank them for attending everyone will cheer and feel the toasts have been concluded.
Final toasting thoughts: Deciding on assigned toasts vs. an open mic is purely a matter of preference. Both options contain pros and cons. Allowing an open mic is nice as there’s really only two times in your life when people stand up and say nice things about you in front of your friends and family. One is at your funeral and the other is during your wedding. Not allowing people an opportunity to toast you might cause you to miss out on something you’d never get another chance to hear in your lifetime. On the flipside, you run the risk or crickets, awkward stories, or just down right inappropriate language (don’t even get me started on the time I witnessed the father of the bride reference sperm throughout the majority of his 10+ min toast or the time an ex-boyfriend decided to toast the bride which made her cry (and they invited him because?). Whatever you decide is fine. Hopefully some of these suggestions can be of assistance.
For questions or comments please feel free to contact me at DJBrockWeddings@gmail.com or 1-800-876-5953. Although I primarily serve the Lake Tahoe area, I enjoy traveling all over to DJ weddings. www.DJBrockWeddings.com