The Best Man's Toast
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Making the Best Man's Toasts

Whether you make a long speech laced with amusing anecdotes, or simply propose a toast, the decision is yours to make. If you choose the latter course, here are a few sample ideas to get you started. Just remember, the toast should always end with a short and simple cry that all the guests can repeat, such as: `The bride and groom!'

A toast is a mini speech, and therefore it has the usual three parts: a beginning, a middle and an end. I've provided three typical examples for each of the three sections. All you have to do is mix and match, changing the details to suit the occasion.

Step 1: Pick a beginning

A. I would now like to propose a toast to the happy couple. They seem more in love with each passing day, as suited as two halves of a fresh avocado pear, and as well matched as a pair of bookends.

B. Let me start by thanking Mr and Mrs...(bride's parents) for allowing us all to share in this very important occasion in their lives, the marriage of their lovely daughter, (name). Let me also thank (the groom) for his generosity of spirit in finally acknowledging that I am the best man.

C. It is my privilege and pleasure to respond on behalf of the maid of honour/bridesmaids. As this is a rare opportunity to speak while the lovely lady/ladies sit(s) silently, I shall try to do justice to the occasion and to her/them.

Step 2: Pick a middle

A. Look back in time. Look back to the idyllic days of your youth (if you can remember that far back!) and as you do, you will recall the highlights that brought you happiness. The day you passed your driving test ... the first time you rode a bicycle without falling off... that first kiss when you thought your heart would burst out of your chest ... your favourite puppy... the day you won the egg and spoon race at school. And think about the landmark events that marked your adult life, shaping you and making you the person you are today. One day, (groom and bride) will look back on their lives, and I hope that this day will stand out like a beacon, signalling the start of a richly rewarding life together.

B. I was talking to (the groom) this morning, as we were waiting for (the bride) to arrive for the wedding ceremony, and I asked him if he was nervous. `No, no!' he said, `I'm quite relaxed.'

'Then how come,' I said, `how come I found these in the toilet?' (Produce two bricks from a props box.)

Of course he was nervous. Even I am nervous. He told me that if I did a good job today he would recommend me to both his friends. So let me tell you a bit about him and how we came to be friends.

C. This is one of those three hankie occasions when we celebrate the commitment of two people to each other in the presence of those who care most about them. It is one time when it is not only acceptable but even expected that we - and especially I - should be sentimental about them. We live in temporary times. Everything is temporary. Consumer durables are no longer durable. Companies that once were household names disappear overnight. Relationships come and go, and commitment is as rare as an ice cream in the Sahara . Even marriage is no longer a prerequisite for starting a family. So let us celebrate the decision of (groom and bride) to commit to each other in the traditional way through marriage.

Step 3: Pick an ending

A. So let us congratulate Brian and Jane for taking this significant step, and let us wish them all happiness from this day forward. Ladies and gentlemen, please rise and join me in drinking a toast to the bride and groom. The toast is: The bride and groom.

B. I was dry when I stood to make this speech, and my throat is even drier now. It seems to be urging me to have a drink, and the best excuse for that is to drink a toast to the bride and groom. Ladies and gentlemen, will you stand and join me? The toast is: The bride and groom.

C. Let me tell you, Brian, you are a very lucky fellow. You, Jane, are beautiful, gracious and kind to undeserving males. But I wish you both well, and may all your troubles be little ones. So I raise my glass to honour you with a smile in my heart, and I ask you all, ladies and gentlemen, to do likewise. Please rise and drink a toast to the lovely bride and her lucky groom. The toast is: The bride and groom!

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