The bride and groom are center stage on the big day. But there is also a time for the maid or matron of honor and best man to be center stage – it’s called the toast. Giving a toast is an honor that should be taken seriously. The newlyweds have chosen you to speak about them on their big day.

That’s why it’s important to write the toast a few weeks in advance. Keep it simple and brief, speaking slowly and loudly enough for everyone to hear. A wedding is a classy affair, so keep your speech that way: Avoid bringing up exes, bumps in the couple’s relationship, “raunchy” jokes or anything else that could bring them embarrassment.

Not sure where to begin? Your speech can include:

• How you know the bride or groom

• Why the couple is a special part of your life

• How the bride and groom met

• A few anecdotes about your life with the bride or groom, such as travel experiences or “escapades”

• A famous quote to start or end the speech that means something to you or the couple

• Advice on the duo’s future

• Some words wishing the two well and expressing how you think they’re perfect together

• How you are looking forward to a friendship with both of them

Once you’ve written the toast, read it aloud to yourself and others to hear how it will sound. Try to memorize as much of your speech as possible, but bring a copy with you, just in case nerves get the better of your memory. Finally, preserve a copy of what you’ve written out for the bride and groom. Someday, they might want to relive your words about their union or share them with their family.

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