Keep it simple. It’s best to just be yourself and talk as you would any other time. For a wedding an easy way to start off is by thanking the bride and groom for allowing everyone to be a part of their special day. A simple closing would be something like: to the bride and groom (raises glass) may they always be as happy as they are today.
Speak to “everyone” and not just a small group of people. Try to look at the entrire group of people.
Speak loud enough so everyone can hear you.
If you are nervous about giving a toast, practicing your toast over and over will give you more confidence. If it helps, try practicing in front of a friend or a mirror.
Jokes can be great as long as they are not inside jokes. Don’t tell jokes that only a few people will understand.
Talk about something appropriate. Talking about how you have lost your girl chasing buddy isn’t funny – especially to family members. Remember, this is not about you, it’s about the bride and groom. Your toast could be on video for many many years.
Use proper toasting etiquette. Sip instead of guzzling. If your toasting glasses are expensive crystal, clink gently.
Try to stay sober. It can get a little difficult if you are tipsy not to mention that you may be an embarrasment.
When you are finished, let everyone know that you are. Raise your glass and close your toast with something like, join me in congratulating the bride and groom, etc., or you can end it with the meaning of the word “to toast” in their heritage. For example, if it is a German wedding, you would say “Prost” as you raise your glass.
In the end, if you know you just won’t feel comfortable giving a toast, then don’t be afraid to decline. Let the bride and groom know ahead of time so they won’t be expecting you to do something you are not ready to do.