Top 10 Wedding Toasts

Being tasked with a wedding toast can present a big challenge. You want to honor the recipient and charm the audience—and absolutely sound good doing it. If public speaking isn't your forte, you'll need some inspiration among your preparation. You've come to the right place. Take some words from famous writers and traditional proverbs about love, and you won't have to be tongue-tied when it's your turn to give a toast, whether you're the groom, the bride, or the parents of the happy couple. 

01
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From the Bride to the Groom

Close up of couple toasting champagne glasses
Caiaimage/Chris Ryan/ OJO+/ Getty Images

For my toast to my new husband, can there be any more love-filled words than those from Elizabeth Barrett to her love Robert Browning, such as these, from the start of "Sonnet 43":

"How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

I love thee to the depth and breadth and height

My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight

For the ends of being and ideal grace."

 

02
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From the Bride to the Groom

In the immortal words of Beatrice to Benedick in Shakespeare's comedy "Much Ado About Nothing," I must confess that "I love you with so much of my heart that none is left to protest."

03
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From the Bride to the Groom

From the start of "The Good-Morrow," by John Donne, let me say to you, "I wonder, by my troth, what thou and I/Did, till we loved?" 

04
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From the Groom to the Bride

On this day, I would like to offer a toast to my bride, and to do so I will take some words from Lord Byron's renowned poem, "She Walks in Beauty Like the Night."

"She walks in beauty, like the night 

Of cloudless climes and starry skies; 

And all that’s best of dark and bright 

Meet in her aspect and her eyes; 

Thus mellowed to that tender light 

Which heaven to gaudy day denies." 

 

05
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From the Groom to the Bride

To call on the words of Shakespeare, from "Sonnet 18," let me address my new bride thusly:

"Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?

Thou art more lovely and more temperate."

 

06
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From the Groom to the Bride

Let me quote these lines from "Sonnet 17" by Pablo Neruda: 

"I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way"

07
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From the Parents to the Couple

Let us take our toast to the happy couple from a traditional Irish blessing:

"May the road rise to meet you,

May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm on your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,

May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

"May God be with you and bless you,
May you see your children's children.
May you be poor misfortune,
Rich in blessings,
May you know nothing but happiness

From this day forward.

"May the road rise to meet you
May the wind always be at your back,
May the warm rays of sun fall upon your home,
And may the hand of a friend always be near."

08
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From the Parents to the Couple

Even the parents of the groom can call on lines from Shakespeare, such as these from "Sonnet 116":

"Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken."

09
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From the Parents to the Couple

Let us toast the happy couple with a Liberian proverb, "Let your love be like the misty rain, coming softly but flooding the river."

10
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From the Parents to the Couple

A Chinese proverb is a truth to toast the happy couple with tonight, "No road is long with good company."

11
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Quote on Love

Remember what Sophocles said, "One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: That word is love."

12
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Love Proverb

Let us all recall the Greek proverb, “The heart that loves is always young.”