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September 18, 2012

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Wedding Toasts

Wedding Toasts

The wedding toast has evolved from a simple “to your health and happiness” to a personalized, fine tuned presentation, and often using props for visual aids.  Statistics show that, next to dying, public speaking is some Americans’ greatest fear.

Who toasts, what order, and how many?  There is a simple equation to make this be a memorable event at your wedding rather than a disaster and embarrassment.  AVOID an “open microphone” at your wedding for anyone to say a toast.  If you are interested in having an “open microphone,” it is best to offer this option for your closest family and friends at the rehearsal dinner.

One key thing to remember, the bride and/or groom have entrusted YOU to be in the position with the microphone to say something remarkable about them, and their relationship.  Treat others the way you would like to be treated, and your toast will be a raving success!

The bride and groom should have a list of who will be toasting, and in which order, which they have given to their bandleader and/or DJ for introductions.  If they have not, make sure you discuss this with them so you know their preference.

Tips for Preparing Your Toast.

  • Stand when offering a toast.
  • Speak from your heart, and research to find out clever and interesting facts about the bride and groom which would be interesting and clever to share about their relationship in a positive light.
  • Be upbeat when offering toasts.
  • If someone has died in the family recently, this is not the time or place to offer your sympathy.
  • If you do include humor, do it tastefully, and end on a serious note.
  • Quotes from readings and poetry may enrich your toast, as well as letting the bride and groom know you cared enough to give it some thought ahead of time.
  • The best man usually offers the first toast, followed by the maid/matron of honor.
  • Wedding toasts are traditionally made to the bride and groom individually, and then to the couple.
  • A wedding toast should be trimmed down to 3 minutes maximum.  You WILL lose your audience’s interest if it is longer.  Edit your word choice, the more impact is from the least amount of words.
  • If this is the second marriage for the couple, NEVER mention this during the toast.
  • Avoid clichés, jokes, or “humor” which may have ethnic or religious implications.
  • Steer clear of profanity or offensive language.
  • Practice your toast in front of a family member, or in front of a close personal friend.

Delivering Your Toast.

  • Speak into the microphone, and arrive early for a sound check to feel comfortable in the room so you know how close to hold the microphone to your mouth.  You don’t want feedback screeching in the room, and you don’t want the level of the volume of the microphone so low no one can hear what you say.
  • Avoid saying “um”, “you know,” “I mean,” and other phrases which mean you are not well prepared.
  • Keep the tone of your voice interesting, not monotone, not too high pitch, and don’t speak to fast, or too slow.
  • Make eye contact with the bride and groom, and everyone in the room.  Do not have your back to anyone.
  • Do not chew gum.
  • Make sure everyone has something to drink as their toast.
  • Remember to bring your glass with you when you offer your toast.
  • If they haven’t already spoken to you, make sure you speak to the wedding planner, head captain, photographer, videographer, DJ, and band know where your toast is in the timeline for the day.
  • Wish them well.  A toast to the bride and groom should end with hopefull wishes for a happy future.
  • Offer personal advice, or pull inspiration from historical quotes, readyings, literature, or even song lyrics.
  • The final gesture is to raise a glass and take a sip.

Copyright 2012, Kim Horn, MBC™

To hire Kim as your wedding planner, call 480.921.7891 or text your name, wedding date, and wedding planner request to 602.418.9089.

Kim M. Horn, MBC™

Master Bridal Consultant | 1 of 61 in the World

Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Chandler, Phoenix and Destination Weddings

Publisher | Pres. | ArizonaBridalSource.com

AZ State Coordinator | Assoc. of Bridal Consultants May 2003 – May 2012

ABC 2010 Conference Chair worked with David Tutera

O 480.921.7891

M 602.418.9089

F 480.829.6292

E info@ArizonaBridalSource.com

ArizonaBridalSource.com

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May 12, 2012

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First Dance at Your Wedding

A DJ or band will set the tempo and mood of your wedding.  Music is one of the first impressions your guests experience when they arrive.  It pays to do your homework when hiring a DJ and band.  You do get what you pay for, if it appears to be too good, it probably is.  The personality, knowledge, and expertise of your DJ and band will make your event.  A professional DJ and band will be able give you guidelines on the flow of your wedding, and to assist you as you select your “must play” songs and your “must NOT play” songs.

Select Music for a Diverse Group of family and friends.  As a bride and groom, you have your favorite songs, yet your parents and grandparents may have an entirely different song list.  Review your guest list to see what type of music will work best, and ask your DJ and band for recommendations.  As you review your guest list, it normally narrows down to a diverse group of family and friends, which translates to a diverse group of music selections.   You may want live music for a portion, and a DJ for another portion. Music played during dinner will be an entirely different selection compared to the last hour for dance music.

Load In and Set Up.  Your DJ and band need to be scheduled to have enough time to load in, set up, have a sound check, trouble shoot, change clothes, and be ready for the arrival of your guests.   The last thing you want is your DJ or band loading in as your guests arrive.  If you have a band, they will have multiple breaks.  Make sure you have someone play music during breaks.

Are you a musiczilla?  As a wedding planner, always have lots of stories!  One bride had a song list of what she wanted played to the minute for her entire three hour wedding reception.  This is not recommended!  As her wedding planner, let her know it was not recommended, yet the DJ would follow her plan “her way”, yet she needed to understand if it wasn’t working we needed a Plan B.  Plan B was the most of the same songs, yet played in an order and timing the DJ felt worked best for the flow.  After 10 minutes of no one dancing, I approached the bride, and she agreed to go to Plan B.  Please remember you hire a professional for a reason, and each song may be three to four minutes long.  If you have a MUST PLAY list of 150 songs, you may have 600 minutes of music, translating to 10 hours of music.  Allow your DJ or band leader to guide you in selections which will get your guests up on the dance floor.  If there are songs which you do NOT want played, even if requested by a guest, make sure they honor your requests first.

Team and Timeline.  As your wedding planner, one crucial item requested of you is to be respectful to your vendors and give them a realistic timeframe to do what they feel they need to do it in.  You will need a timeline from your photographer to know how much time they need to photograph you, your wedding party, your family, and  your room before guests enter.  Depending on your menu selection and service style, you may want to position songs like the Father/Daughter dance after the servers have cleared tables, while everyone is waiting for your next course to be served.  You want your vendors to be able to do their personal best in a realistic timeframe.

Cake Cutting vs. Cake Service.  One of the key issues when timing your dinner is when to cut the cake.  Many feel when you cut the cake, your guests leave.  There is a “gap” in time from when you physically “cut the cake”, to when the cake is “served” to your guests.  Most people eat dessert and have coffee after their entrée (they don’t wait an hour or two for dessert).  Would recommend the bride and groom to cut their cake when most of the guests are finished eating their entrée.  Once the cake is cut, then have the DJ and band open the dance floor for dancing (approximately 20 – 30 minutes) while the catering staff disassembles, cuts, and prepares the cake to be served to the guests.  After 20 – 30 minutes of dancing, your guests are normally ready to take a break, and return to their table to eat their cake.

Check references, and meet with the DJ and band directly.   The DJ and band leader should give you recommendations or a guideline to help you with song selections for your:

  • Grand Entrance
  • Dinner Music
  • First Dance
  • Father/Daughter Dance
  • Mother/Son Dance
  • Cake Cutting Song
  • Dance Music (slow and fast selections)
  • Last Dance

Read and understand your agreement before signing it.

What time will they start and end?

What is included in their fee?

What is an additional fee?

Who is your DJ?

Who is your emcee?

Who are your band members and what instrumentation or vocals will they include?

What are overtime charges?

What will they wear?

If it is a band, how many breaks do they have and for how long?

What and who will be play on band breaks (or do they have a DJ to handle this)?

If it is a band, are they willing to learn the music of your First Dance, and other special requested dances?

Do they have a wireless microphone for announcements?

Do they include lighting, or is it extra?

Two recommended DJ companies:

http://www.CitronSound.com (ask for Jon)

http://www.RayTheDJ.com (ask for Ray)

Copyright 2012, Kim Horn, MBC™

To hire Kim as your wedding planner, call 480.921.7891 or text your name, wedding date, and wedding planner request to 602.418.9089.

Kim M. Horn, MBC™

Master Bridal Consultant | 1 of 61 in the World

Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Chandler, Phoenix and Destination Weddings

Publisher | Pres. | ArizonaBridalSource.com

AZ State Coordinator | Assoc. of Bridal Consultants May 2003 – April 2012

ABC 2010 Conference Chair worked with David Tutera

O 480.921.7891

C 602.418.9089

F 480.829.6292

E info@ArizonaBridalSource.com

ArizonaBridalSource.com

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