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Wedding Toast Woes

ask jen by Rachel | posted on November 30, 2012 at 1:56pm

Dear Jen,

I’m concerned the best man is going to give an inappropriate wedding toast. What should I do?

- Rachel, Buffalo

TAGGED: ask jen, toast, wedding reception, wedding toast

Jen's Reply

Dear Rachel,

You are (by far) not the first or last bride to have this fear. And in my experience, it’s well founded – there are easily more inappropriate, insulting or embarrassing toasts that have become local lore than good ones.

But let’s begin here: do you worry the best man’s speech may be lackluster – or truly inappropriate?

If it’s the former, there is really nothing you can – or should – do. Public speaking is not generally on the top of most people’s lists of favorite things, and the fact that the best man is willing to get up and offer a short toast is really all you can expect.

If it’s the latter, on the other hand, attempt some damage control. Before the big day, your fiancé should sit down and ask the best man what he plans to say. If the best man wants it to be a surprise, have a groomsman or even better, the groom’s father, do some reconnaissance for you (a little authority never hurts).

Things the best man should never discuss: prior dalliances of the groom or bride; incidents that would embarrass you or the groom; or anything that might be offensive to a mixed group of guests, like political or religious views or personal beliefs that may be controversial. Toasts should be tasteful, thoughtful, positive, and brief.

That said, if you or the groom is really worried, why is this guy best man, anyway? That may be the bigger question…

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