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Bottoms Up

Bottoms Up

If you have read my prior posts about toasting at weddings, you know that I am a big believer in shorter-is-better.

So when I received an email from a father-of-the-bride recently, I tried to gently explain that a 10-minute toast is too long:

From the dad:  Since I did not script a speech, I cannot confirm an exact number of minutes.  I expect that my remarks will be more than 5 minutes and less than 10 minutes.

And my response:

It is often difficult to discern a tone in an email, so please know that I write this with care and don’t mean to overstep.  And I would be happy to talk to you by phone to further clarify what I am going to say.
We (TFI, caterer) have all worked on this timeline, and, as of now, we have “budgeted” a total of five minutes for the motzi plus the toast/welcome by Parents of the Bride.  While a few minutes one way or another is surely not a big deal, I would ask you to please keep your remarks on the shorter rather than longer side  .  If you find that you do want to speak for a full ten minutes, then please let me know.  The kitchen will be operating on the timeline we have worked out, and five or ten extra minutes can, indeed, change the temperature and/or readiness of some food.  I would definitely want to alert the kitchen ahead of time so the servers aren’t standing holding full trays while waiting for you to finish.
I am NOT trying to tell you what to do!  I just want to make sure that you can speak as you wish and that the food can also be presented in the way that you wish!
This family also added another toast (5 minutes) by a sibling, and thus we have about 10-15 minutes of toasting that we hadn’t counted on.  And which will cut into the time for dancing.
So here is a truth that I have gleaned from some 14 years as a wedding planner:  Guests are happy to hear a short toast.  They stop paying attention quickly, and it becomes uncomfortable.  They want to eat, drink, and party.  You want your guests to have a great time, so please, please keep the toasts short! (And do NOT call them speeches!!)
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