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Chapter 22. Entertaining Speeches > Going to the Chapel: Speaking at Weddings - Pg. 188

Entertaining Speeches 188 How to Make Sure That Rice Is the Only Thing That Gets Thrown Now you know the form--but what about the context? Exactly what should you say when you make a toast at a wedding? Weigh the nature of the nuptials and your own reputation when deciding to make your speech serious or humorous. The most successful speeches usually combine both elements, but this de- pends on your comfort zone. One clever speaker toasted a slice of bread and placed it in his inside coat pocket. When it was time for the toast, he said, "I have a toast for the new husband and wife...." Then he reached into his pocket, pulled out the toast, and handed it to them. After the laughter, he gave a heartfelt, serious toast. In any event, always keep it short, simple, and, of course, sweet. If your temperament and the tone of the wedding are serious, look to serious material. Consider this quote from Shakespeare: "Look down, you gods, and on this couple drop a blessed crown." Here are some other serious lines you may wish to weave into your wedding toast or speech: · · · · · · · · · The love you give is the love you keep. Let's drink to love, / Which is nothing / Unless it's divided by two. Love doesn't make the world go 'round. It's what makes the ride worthwhile. A toast to love and laughter and happily ever after. Here's to the Bride and Groom! / May you have a happy honeymoon, / May you lead a happy life, / May you have a bunch of money soon, / And live without all strife. May their joys be as deep as the ocean / And their misfortunes as light as the foam. Marriage--the high sea for which no compass has yet been invented. Marriages may be made in heaven, but most of the details are worked out on earth. To keep the fire burning brightly, there's one easy rule: Keep the two logs together, near enough to keep each other warm and far enough apart--about a finger's breadth--for breathing room. Good fire, good marriage, same rule. Again, use only material that you can deliver comfortably. If you're at ease with comic material, you might want to offer an admonition from such respected experts on marriage as Zsa Zsa Gabor: "A man in love is incomplete until he is married. Then he is finished." Phyllis Diller has some equally trenchant advice for newlyweds: "Never go to bed mad. Stay up and fight." Here are a few more lines to get you started: Class Act Make sure that all glasses are filled before you propose a toast. Raise your glass with your right hand. In addition, be sure to hold the glass straight from your shoulder. · Before marriage, a man will lie awake all night thinking about something you said; after marriage, he'll fall asleep before you finish saying it. · Here's to our wives and lovers. May they never meet. · I told my wife that a husband is like a fine wine--he gets better with age. The next day she locked me in the cellar. · My wife and I have a perfect understanding. I don't try to run her life, and I don't try to run mine.