Every wedding and video shoot has its own unique challenges and forces us to learn and re-adapt. Today’s post and lesson is, GIVE GOOD TOASTS!
Toasts are a super important and very memorable part of any wedding celebration. A lot of times it's one of the main reasons the couple wants a videographer, (again as related to my earlier posts, if you're going to spend the time and effort coordinating and having people take the time to give toasts, you might as well get somebody to record it so you can watch it again after the fact).
Toasts can be bad however, just ask the bride of a wedding I attended a few years ago. I wasn't doing wedding videography at the time and just came as a guest. It was super awkward as the gentleman who was doing the toast was completely out of line and basically turned it into a roast of the bride, directing negative attention at her, embarrassing both of them in the process.
Toasts can also be boring too. Most of the time people have just finished eating and are ready for cake or dancing. If the person giving the toast includes too much insider information or jokes that don't resonate with most of the other guests, they can lose the crowd in the process, causing everybody to sit there checking their cell phones.
I always think the best toasts, no matter what the focus, should always come back to the bride. Sure you can talk about the groom and what a weirdo he was in High School, but make sure you conclude the speech with "but then she came into your life and man you are a way better person because of it." Nobody wants to sit and listen to frat stories for 30 minutes, nobody.
The best speeches I recorded recently have usually come from the best man, in most cases either a younger or older brother of the groom. These gentleman have had the courage to speak openly and honestly about the relationship between the two men. Maybe the brother resented the groom growing up, but now views their relationship in an entirely different way, or maybe like last night the younger brother has looked up to his brother his entire life and is honored to cheers him on his wedding day. Being vulnerable and honest will resonate with anybody in the audience, ensuring that everyone in invested and attentive to the toast being given.
It's ok to do a couple of jokes, but remember to speak from the heart and ultimately keep in mind that this is not YOUR day, it is the couple's day, and no matter what you say or do you shouldn't take any of the attention off of them. I've seen plenty of people try to take the spotlight and it is never fun or flattering. Talk about the bride, your love of the groom, and you should be ok!