dad giving toast at a wedding reception at Hotel Monaco

How Long Should a Wedding Toast Be?

How long should a wedding toast be? I get this question with every couple. There is a very easy answer to how long a wedding toast should be:

500 words.

Advice complete. Post over.

dad giving toast at a wedding reception at Hotel Monaco - advice post on how long a wedding toast should be
Kurstin Roe Photography

Okay, okay, I’ll elaborate, since every single couple asks me how long a wedding toast should be. The average person speaks about 150 words per minute. Most people are not professional speakers and should probably speak for no more than 5 minutes. 500 words are about 3.5 speaking minutes. I give people the advice to keep the wedding toast to 500 words so that if they go over a little bit, they will still be under 5 minutes.

bride and groom cheers after a toast at District Winery  - advice post on how long a wedding toast should be
Eli Turner Studios

More Wedding Toast Advice

Prepare. Don’t wing it. And practice reading it out loud before the wedding day. Be ready to hold that mic right up to your lips.

Don’t say “for those who don’t know me.” Just introduce yourself, if you think it’s necessary, and move on.

Congratulate the newlyweds, thank the parents/hosts, and tell the women how beautiful they all look.

Skip embarrassing stories and inside jokes – especially if they only involved half of the couple. Stick to endearing but flattering anecdotes. Wrap the funny with emotions.

Have a solid closing line. Borrow from noted writers and poets if needed.

Wedding Toast Template:

  1. Greeting and self-introduction
  2. Thank the hosts for a wonderful celebration
  3. Funny, attention-grabbing but sincere and clean opening line
  4. Great anecdote about the bride/groom (related to #3)
  5. Reason why the bride/groom is awesome (related to #4)
  6. Reason why the bride/groom’s partner is awesome, and why they’re a great pair
  7. Great anecdote about them as a couple (related to #6)
  8. Congratulations to the couple with a beautiful quotation, and/or well wishes
  9. Toast to the newlywed couple’s future

Looking for more wedding-related advice? I have tons on this blog: tips on hotel room blocks, what should my wedding insurance policy cover, how many wedding guests fit at a table, and how to write your wedding ceremony from scratch.