So 9 years ago when my first-born daughter became engaged, my signifcant other/spousal equivalent said, “you’ll have to give a toast at the reception, practice it now, just speak from your heart”. I panicked, I pictured myself in front of everyone at the reception and couldn’t come up with anything. Public speaking is listed as one of the top things people fear. I’ve done a lot of public presentations but I’ve prepared for them, scripted them, practiced them. So when put on the spot, I froze.
So I had several months to prepare and wrote a toast and re-wrote and re-wrote it with a focus on not too long, focused, concise and from the heart. In the years since then when friends, strangers and new acquaintances tell me their daughter is getting married, I remind them they’ll have to give a toast. I tell them I have one which I can share with them as a template they can adjust. It will at least get them started. The below has been shared with almost 10 people. What prompted me to write this blog is I found an email I sent to a man I met in an airport bar and he said his daughter was getting married. The man’s future son-in-law was a graduate of Texas A&M. The template is below:
First, we’ll have a quick toast and then I have a few things to say. Everyone please raise your glasses: To (state your daughter’s name) and Person (your daughter’s fiancee’s name), on behalf of everyone here, may you have a lifetime of happiness. Cheers.
And now I’d like to say a few things: Parents and brothers and sisters of person marrying my sweet precious angel, we’re glad to add you to our extended family and look forward to getting to know you better in the years ahead. Person, without a doubt you are my favorite in-law, (say this if he/she is your only child-in-law: pause for laughter), you’re also my first sin-law and I couldn’t be happier, you’re an Aggie engineer, who could ask for anything more. (Maybe drop in an Aggie joke here: http://planetaggie.www.50megs.com/images/jokeimg.html) I do like the fact that you’re (choose one or more than one: a college graduate, have a job, have wealthy parents). _______ (Daughter’s name or nickname), you are a beautiful bride, I remember when I first saw you __ years ago, it was a feeling of instant and complete adoration and love. Oh and maybe a little fear that I might be buying you a car at age 16 and that maybe I’d spend money to send you on a European vacation every year you were in college and that somehow we’d end up with any pets that you “bought”. I was certain that I’d be paying for a wedding someday. I’ve been so proud of you every step of your life.
To you both, I have a few words of advice:
Don’t keep score
Don’t expect marriage to be 50:50 every day, because there will be days when one of you can only give 25% to the relationship, that’s when the other has to give 75%.
Use your words
If you don’t tell each other how you feel and what you’re thinking, they will not know.
Lastly “a little teasing goes a long way” – be sensitive to each other’s feelings when joking around because – “a little teasing goes a long way”.
Please join me in one more toast: To Precious and her Person – here’s to the beginning of the happiest days of your lives together. Cheers!
Yikes, as I finish this I realize I have to do another toast to do – in August my last-born daughter is getting married and I have less than 3 months to come up with a completely new toast!