You’re the maid of honor in your BFF’s wedding, and you’re planning to toast the brideon her big day. Que the sweaty palms and panic, right?
Speaking on the newlyweds’ behalf can certainly be nerve-wracking, After all, what you say and how you say it can make or break a wedding toast—and this is one speech that’s probably going to live forever, thanks to iPhones and YouTube. (No pressure, right?)
To the rescue: The Colbert Report‘s Meredith Scardino, who breaks down the do’s and don’ts of giving the best wedding toast to your bestie and her beau.
1. Do it alone. You don’t need backup. You’re a grown-up and the crowd is on your side.
2. Keep it short. A toast shouldn’t last longer than it takes to make actual toast. For the maid of honor, bruschetta.
3. Be specific. Don’t say “These two are perfect for each other.” Back it up: “They’re perfect because they spent their first date exploding Mentos and Diet Cokes on the sidewalk.”
4. It’s OK to get emotional. But if you find yourself slobbering on the mic, rein it in.
5. When in doubt, follow this formula: Introduce yourself + funny story about your friend and why you love her + why the spouse is such a great match + larger sentimental thought + “Cheers!” + a hug for the couple = a truly killer wedding toast. Then sit down and make fun of other speeches.
Lastly, an important note to the bride: Don’t ask someone who’s terrified of public speaking. If you must, give her the guidelines above!