Cheers Like A Thousand Times
Let's talk about em!
Toasts are one of those things in the planning process that often get pushed off to the last minute but I am here to tell ya if you spend a little time organizing them, you won't be sorry. Here are some ideas on how to keep this portion of the evening fun and entertaining while still giving people a chance to share their love for you.
Talk to your partner first. Are you toast people? This is a real thing. We have had weddings where there have been 8 toasts and the couple was super aware that that was way more than most people do and they didn't care! It was important to them and so it's what we did. It was totally awesome! So talk about it. If you have a ton of people who you would like to speak, awesome, let's work it into your timeline.
Most folks opt for 4 ish in total including their own thank you at the end. Typically each person getting married chooses one person, then someone from each immediate family, and lastly the couple thanks everyone to button everything up. There are lots of things that can change this for you though. Say more than one family member wants to speak, or you have lots of siblings and they all want to be involved, it can get complicated quick.
Easiest thing to do is look at your people and think of who might want to speak and just ask them! If you are asking a bunch of people make sure you ask them if they would like to say something at EITHER the wedding or rehearsal dinner. That way if all 12 people say yes you have the flexibility to move a few folks to the night before. The rehearsal dinner is a great spot to still honor folks but keep things quick and easy on the wedding day and some folks may even feel more comfortable speaking in a less formal way!
To open the mic or not to open the mic. The choice is of course yours to open it up for anyone to speak if they feel so inclined on the wedding day but I have a few warnings for you. This can go one of two ways, either a ton of people who you were not expecting to speak, will and it gets super long. OR people will feel uncomfortable and when there is a little bit of silence, people will jump up to say anything at all just to fill that space. This often results is some unprepared toasts from folks who aren't necessarily your besties and can def not give you the atmosphere of love you were going for. We are all for people humble bragging about you and sharing the best stories in front of your guests on the big day, but a designated list and order is the best way to approach it in my opinion.
So get to chatting and cheersing and clanking your glasses!