Giving a Wedding Toast

I understand that being required to give a toast is part of your duty as in your role as a Best Man, Maid/Matron of Honor. I want to reassure you that even though it took me 4 months to prepare these remarks – it will take you just a few minutes to work through them!

I have had the great privilege of emceeing large events, speaking to large crowds and officiating some spectacular ceremonies.

This is what I know about weddings: a) The processional feels like it takes 2 hours. b) The ceremony feels like it lasted two minutes. c) I’m so glad that I am sitting at the VIP table and get to eat right after the head table!

As the best man, person, or women, this IS an honor for you, and you will shoulder some responsibility-which we will explore.

At the end of the day, you were chosen because you are who you are, you do what you do, and you have helped your friend(s) to get to where they are in life. So… BE YOURSELF!

Bullet points: Here’s a list of important items to include:

· Introduce yourself.

· Thank the groom for choosing you as best man and being a good friend.

· Insert amusing story about the groom or bride (nothing that would get either in trouble or make grandma blush!) Be nice!

· What impact the bride has had on the groom.

· A final toast to the couple wishing them… (your words here)

IMPORTANT: Keep it simple, keep it short.

The very first thing you want to do is introduce yourself. Second, touch lightly on the relationship you have with the groom.

Share a story or memory about how the they were before meeting each other, and how they are now. The meaning and beauty of their relationship.

Stay clear of ex’s, big life mistakes, or sensitive issues. Be nice. Remember, weddings are rated “PG”.

Your toast should be your words… what do you want to wish, hope, or pray for them in the future… Your total relationship will be demonstrated in these words you use to share with and for them…

Some things to remember…

1. Prepare. Don’t walk into the wedding reception thinking you’ll know exactly what to say when you get there. If you have a few months before the wedding, start mulling over some ideas for the speech. Begin brainstorming and jotting down thoughts, stories, jokes, and quotes you might want to use. If you don’t know a lot about how your buddy and his wife met, ask. Think of stories from you and your buddy’s past that show what a great guy he is. The goal of the speech is to celebrate the couple and make them look good.

2. Stay sober. Sure, you want to enjoy yourself, and yes, alcohol may help take the edge off giving a speech in front of hundreds of strangers; they don’t call alcohol liquid confidence for nothing. But make sure you’re not sloppy drunk when you give your speech. You don’t want to be completely uninhibited or you might say something you’ll regret later. Besides, a real man doesn’t need a crutch to help him tackle a challenge. Be man enough to postpone your own gratification until after the speech is completed.

3. Open by expressing gratitude. Thank all the people who made the day possible: wedding party, and the parents.

4. Tell a story-make a connection. The ideal way to structure your words is to find a connection between a story about your friend and your support for the couple. Or tell a story about the moment when you were hanging out with the couple and you realized your friend had found his match. Another good angle is to talk about the way that they balance one another. Relate a funny (not embarrassing, see below) anecdote in which one of your friend’s personality traits tripped them up in some way. For example, the story could be about how your friend is very shy and how this shyness caused some humorous event to occur. You then talk about how bubbly and outgoing the other is, and how they therefore balance each other and make a perfect team.

5. Avoid controversial topics. Keep your speech on topics that aren’t controversial, offensive, or embarrassing. You would think this is common sense, but people somehow forget this when they’re standing with a microphone in their hand in front of a crowd of people.

What gets people in trouble is attempting to be funny by sharing some embarrassing story or cracking some lame joke about a ball and chain. It usually comes out horribly and no one laughs.

It’s okay to share a humorous anecdote, but not one that gets laughs at the expense of your friend and his new wife and embarrasses them and their guests. Don’t talk about past relationships, don’t tell people what you really thought of your friend’s ex, don’t slam the food, don’t make comments about “looking forward to the honeymoon” while winking at the bride- basically, just use some tact and common sense.

6. Avoid inside jokes. It’s not fun when only a few people get it, it leaves others feeling cheated and not included. If you want to keep people’s attention, save the inside jokes for when it’s just you and your friend.

7. Keep it short. Shoot for no more than five minutes.

8. Think about ending with a quote. An easy way to end is by using a quote that wraps the speech up nicely. “Marriage is not about finding a person you can live with, it’s about finding the person you can’t live without.” After that you can simply say, “My friend has found that person.” The End.

 

Ways To Get Stunning Wedding Photos Affordably

Putting together a perfect wedding can be very challenging with so many things to take care off. Photography is among the things you really ignore if you want to go back to your big day and relive the moments again long after it is over. Whereas it is very possible for anyone to take photos even using phones, professional photography may be what you want for your big day to get the very best shots.

Paying a professional wedding photographer is beneficial, but it also means more of your budget for the wedding. It helps to have a reasonable budget for the wedding with reasonable amounts allocated to all areas. Professional photographers can be expensive, but this doesn’t mean that you cannot enjoy their expertise without denting your wedding budget. There are various approaches you can use to ensure you get the kind of professionalism you want with the photos without paying too much for them.

Look for a photographer within your budget – Professional photographers have a presence online and you can find them on their websites or on social media platforms. Find some of the most reputable and then check out their charges so you can choose one who falls within your budget. Starting off with a photographer within your budget means you will still be comfortable even when negotiations for discounts fail.

Position the wedding on off-peak – Saturdays seem to be the most preferred days for weddings and the photography rates on these busy days can be quite high and the same is the case with summer weddings. You can break the norm and have the wedding scheduled on less busy days and seasons, so you can find affordable photographers looking to fill their time with some profits.

Hire the photographer for a short period of time – Having a professional wedding photographer snap away throughout the day can be expensive. Instead of having them stay all day long, how about having them take the most important photos of the day and allowing your groomsmen and bridesmaids take the rest? It is also a good idea to have the professional handle your photo session only and have someone else in the family or in your circle of friends take the rest of the photos.

Consider digital photos – One of the benefits of hiring a professional photographer is that you can have them take, print and album the photos on your behalf. Whereas this is good, you can cut costs by having your photographer take the photos and hand them over in digital form so you can do the printing yourself and album them like you wish. It is cheaper and the digital format also makes it possible for you to share the photos with friends and family digitally so they can also so their own printing thus cutting costs for you.

Consider hiring a newbie – Experience may matter, but newbie photographers can do excellent work as well. Since they are new and trying to make a name for themselves, they tend to offer photography services at very attractive rates and they can prove helpful when working on a tight wedding budget.

 

Simple Things You Should Do To Get Fabulous Wedding Photos

Wedding days are some of the happiest for any couple and the precious moments are captured in photos. Your wedding photos are really important because they are what will take you back to the most important day of your life. It is therefore understandable that everyone wants to have the most fabulous wedding photos possible.

Considering that the camera will remain in your direction most part of the day, you want to look your best because there is never telling when the wedding photographer will snap away besides the photo session after the wedding. Luckily, it is not as hard to look amazing in your wedding photos. Simple things can make a huge difference in the outcome of the photos and they should be what you aim for throughout the day.

1. Be yourself and relax. The last thing you want to do on your wedding day it try to be someone you are not or try to copy someone you look up to. Be your best self and remember it is your day. Learn to relax and to go with the flow of the day and you will find the confidence oozing in your photos at the end of the day.

2. Laugh and be happy. Looking dull and gloomy on your big day is a no-no. Laughter is flattering and happiness is beauty so let it show. Let the excitement of the day show on your face and do not tire from looking happy.

3. Think of the moment and forget the camera. Wedding days are all about intimacy, emotion and excitement. Concentrate on the feelings of the moment and forget that the camera is on you. When you do this, you will manage to look warm and into the moment, hence your photos will definitely be stunning.

4. Keep the makeup simple but elegant. It is your day and looking your best is what you want, but it does not in any way mean going overboard with the makeup. Strive to keep your look including the eyelashes normal but classic. You can get a professional makeup artist to give you the perfect wedding look without being overly dramatic. You really do not want to end up looking strange and unnatural on your big day and have that captured permanently on photos and videos.

5. Keep essentials handy. You may need to have a hairspray and toothbrush handy to keep naughty hairs in check. White chalk can also be very helpful in hiding stains on white wedding gowns. It can also be an excellent idea to have oil dabbing strips handy and hankies to keep sweaty looking photos off your wedding album especially in summer.

6. Strike good poses. When the camera is on you especially during the photo session, mind your poses. You can raise chin and drop shoulders to elongate the neck, keep shoulder to the camera to look thinner and place hand on hip to make it look more toned. It also helps not to look down to avoid a double chin look.

 

How the Bride and Groom Can Choose Their Wedding Shoes

Wedding day is an unforgettable moment for the bride as well as groom. They do plenty of work on their outfits and accessories in order to look best in their wedding video. Wedding shoes are also one of the most important accessories that you should not overlook. You must wear designer wedding shoes to show your great taste. It will also enhance your personality.

Tips for choosing bride wedding shoes:-

1. Comfort level:-

It is the first thing that you should consider while buying wedding shoes. You must feel comfortable when you wear shoes so that you can walk down the aisle in an elegant way without having any foot pain. You should select those shoes which are specifically designed for wedding purpose and have additional padding.

2. Wedding venue:-

The wedding venue also matters the most in purchasing the shoes for your big day. If your wedding venue is a grassy lawn then you should wear wedges instead of stilettos. You should avoid wearing heels when there is a possibility of rain as mud will ruin it. You can wear a pair of flats or functional boots in such situations. If you are having an indoor wedding then you can buy stunning heels for your wedding function.

3. Match your dress:-

You should make sure that the shoes must match your wedding dress. You can also compare texture and colors of shoes with your wedding dress by matching a fabric swatch of the material used in your outfit with the shoes. If there is a little bit difference then you can buy those shoes. You must observe the height of the heel for shoes and purchase it according to the length of your dress.

Tips for selecting groom shoes:-

1. Colour:-

The men should match the color of shoes with their pants to be worn during wedding. You can also select that pair of shoes having darker color in comparison to the color of pants. You can also match shoe color with your belt. The brown shoes look great with darker earth tones such as tan, green and beige etc. You can wear black shoes with grey, black or navy pants. The burgundy shoes are best suited to blue, lighter brown, grey and khaki etc. The tan shoes are suitable for white, beige, blue or lighter earth tones.

2. Break them in:-

You should not wear your shoes first time on the wedding day. Wearing shoes before some weeks will be a great idea to ensure that it is not slippery and you can carry it with great ease. You can also walk stairs up and down or pace few steps back and forth to make sure that you are feeling comfortable while wearing it. The shoe must be well-fitted from toe to the heel. You can also consider those wedding shoes which have low heels so that it can relieve the pressure while standing as well. If you are planning to dance at your wedding then you must avoid shoe having hard plastic sole as it can be slipped on the dance floor.

 

Tamil Weddings And Their Distinct Style

The wedding venue adorned in the hues of red and gold reflects the simplicity of Tamil culture; however, the people of Tamil Nadu are really lavish when it comes to following the traditions with utmost precision. A typical Tamil wedding is a beautiful amalgamation of various rituals and the ceremony lasts for 6-7 days. The Tamil marriages are not as extravagant as the north Indian marriages, but the authentic rituals that the Tamilians still follow with precision make them one of a kind. Given below is a brief of the small rituals that take place in a modern day Tamil wedding and their significance:

Panda Kaal Muhurtham

The ceremonies begin with Panda Kaal Muhurutham, a ritual that takes place before the marriage. In this ritual, the families of the bride and the groom worship god for the uninterrupted, peaceful, and joyful wedding.

Sumangali Prarthanai – A Puja For The Married Women

Sumanglis are the females that are blessed with a harmonious married life. In Sumangli Prarthana, around 3, 5, 7 or 9 Sumangli women are called. The ladies are treated with the authentic south Indian food and bride-to-be seeks their blessings to have a successful married life ahead.

Pallikai Thellichal

In Pallikai Thellichal, 9 types of grains along with curd are mixed and the mixture is kept in the earthen pots. The pots are then immersed in the water to feed the fishes. The ritual is considered auspicious for the beginning of the couple’s new life.

Naandi Shrardham

In Nandi Shardam, 10 Brahmins are called and they are feasted with fruits, coconut, flowers, sweets, paan-supari, etc. After the feast, the Brahmins are requested to give blessings to the couple.

Nichayathartham

Nichayathartham is another name for engagement in Tamil. In Nichayathartham, the couple gets formally engaged and the further preparations for the wedding rituals begin.

Lagna Pathirikai

Lagna Pathirikai translates to wedding invitation in Tamil. After the engagement, the wedding date is decided and wedding invitations are sent to the guests.

Mangala Snaanam (purifying bath)

Mangala Snanam is the purification bath that bride and groom take before they proceed further with the wedding rituals. Before Mangala Snanam, Haldi, Kumkum, and oil are applied on the skin of Bride and the Groom.

Kashi Yatra

One of the interesting ceremonies that take place in Tamil Weddings is Kashi Yatra. In the Kashi Yatra ritual, the groom acts as if he’s leaving the ceremonies. The father of the bride then requests the groom to stop and asks him to marry his daughter.

Pada Puja

In Pada Puja, the mother of the bride washes the groom’s feet with water. The paste of Kumkum and Chandan is first applied on the feet of the groom and then the mother of the bride washes his feet with water. After this, the bride is called to the Mandap.

Maalai Maatral

During Maalai Matral, the bride and the groom exchange garlands. The garlands are exchanged thrice to mark the beginning of the holy unison of the couple.

Kanyadaanam

Kanyadanam is usually referred as ‘Kanyadan’ in the north. During Kanyadan, the father hands over his daughter to the Groom. The groom promises the Father of the bride that he will take care of her for the rest of his life.

Muhurtham and Saptapadi

After Kanyadanam, the ceremony of Muhurtham takes place in which the groom fills Kumkum in the hair partition of the bride and ties Thaali around her neck.