Wedding Etiquette: Turning Down Wedding Toasts?
Q: My fiance and I have asked two close friends to give wedding toasts at our wedding reception -- and now two more people have asked us whether they can give wedding toasts as well. I'm basically okay with it, but will it be two toasts too many? I feel bad turning them away, but at the same time, I don't want to have to drop either of the friends we originally asked.
A: The traditional toasting lineup is already pretty big, but there are a couple of ways you can go about breaking things up to keep it from seeming like an endurance event for your guests. The best man is usually toastmaster, though the maid of honor can also take charge. The groom then responds, as does the bride, then the parents, followed by anyone else who is planned to take the mic. Phew! Keep your toasts from turning into a marathon by using some of them as a way to cover a break between the events. For example, if you are having a seated, multicourse dinner, you might have a few of the speakers welcome and toast before any food is served, and then cue others to speak between courses. Alternatively, you can make sure everyone is heard and appreciated by having your honor attendants and families toast you at the actual reception, and then ask your friends to save theirs for the rehearsal dinner or the postwedding brunch. If you're trying to place limits, don't forget that there are no "required" toasts -- if any of the usual suspects are feeling nervous about public speaking, there's no need to push them into it.