Proper Toasting Etiquette
Parties and Events
Here are a few pointers on the correct way to toast:
- The host of the party or event should always be the first one to start the toast. This person should also be the one to make sure that everyone’s glass is full before the toast is performed. For a wedding toast, it is still very traditional for the best man to perform the toast. Many people tend to think that the disc jockey or band is responsible for the toast, but this has never been true.
- When you give a toast, you should be standing. Make short, simple and sincere comments.
- If there is a large group of people, it is not mandatory to clink your glasses when the toast is made. Instead, just raise your glass and take a sip. If it is a small group of people, you should always look the person in the eyes when you clink their glass. As you clink your glasses you can say something like “Cheers, Prost (German), Skoal”, or whatever your nationality is.
- After the toast, the recipient, if there is one, SHOULD NOT DRINK (this would be like patting yourself on your own back if you do). Instead, he or she should stand and respond with thanks or by offering another toast. During the toast, if the recipient is already sitting, there is no need to stand unless the recipient would like to return the toast.
- Although traditional, alcohol is not necessary to perform the toast. Sparkling fruit juice, punch or even pop may be used. It is your choice.
- It is not considered customary to applaud toasts.
Who Performs the Toast?
The host of the party or event should always be the first to offer a toast. At weddings, the best man should initiate the first toast.
Traditional Toasting Order for Weddings
- The best man traditionally should perform the first toast.
- Next, the maid of honor toasts the groom.
- The father of the bride toasts the wedding couple.
After these initial toasts, the groom’s parents can also toast the wedding couple and the bride and groom may toast their parents and the guests.
Although this is still considered the proper order of wedding toasts, it is not necessarily always followed this way today. You wouldn’t want your best man making a toast if it is going to make him so nervous that he cannot even speak or decides to get drunk first in order to take the edge off!
Formal Business Toasting Etiquette
When performing a toast for a special business occasion, the toast should be separated into the following order:
- Stand and start with referring to what the occasion or celebration is for.
- Acknowledge and briefly summarize the accomplishments of the recipient.
- Express goodwill for the entire group.
When closing , hold up your glass and ask that the entire group stands to drink with you a toast to the recipient.