Ask Colin: Planning


Do you have any tips for making a good toast?

Simplicity and sincerity are the only things you need to make a good toast! Perhaps select a meaningful quote to begin or end your toast, but most importantly, know what point you plan to make. I always prepare what I want to say ahead of time and often like to share a brief, meaningful story about the individual or couple to whom I am toasting. 

If you’re not a natural writer or speaker, there are a number of books and websites that can offer a great starting point. It’s important to remember you don’t need to thank 7th grade soccer coach or make it overly funny if you’re not the humorous type. Ultimately, you want the speech to be short - 3 to 5 minutes will do – and from the heart. 

When giving the actual speech, have note cards for reference if you’re nervous you’ll forget your words, take a deep breath before you begin, keep good posture, and take time to speak clearly as you look around the room from table to table, guest to guest.

For some inspiration, here are a few excerpts of toasts I have made: 

“My darling Michelle – I am honored to count you as my friend. The world is a better place because of you. Congratulations on your retirement and thank you for your many years of hard work.” 

“Lisa and Rob – congratulations on your marriage! May your lives together be filled with all you could ever need or desire. I wish you many years filled with love, laughter, and joy and hope you will look back on today as the beginning of your beautiful story together.”

“Congratulations! May the universe bless you abundantly with happiness, peace, serenity, adventure and most importantly, good health. To Emily!”