• Weddings & Receptions

    Guide to Finding Your Perfect Wedding Cake Topper

    Acrylic Gold Glitter Wedding Cake Topper

    It’s finally here – that time in the wedding planning process when you decide on your wedding cake topper. 

    Do wedding cakes need a topper?
    How tall should a wedding cake topper be?
    What do wedding cake toppers cost?

    Short answer, It depends…

    Just how do you decide on your perfect wedding cake topper when there are a ba-zillion wedding cake toppers to look through on Pinterest, dozens of ETSY wedding cake topper shops to ‘favorite’, and too many other wedding decisions competing for your attention.  And you can’t leave this decision to the last minute. Your wedding cake baker most definitely needs to know so she/he can make sure your cake can support your cake topper.  

    So what do you do?  

    Wedding Cake Topper Types: Traditional vs Modern vs Hobbyist

    What fits you as a couple? You could be a traditional couple who loves to play golf (hobby) or a modern couple that loves vintage materials  (traditional) or a mountain climbing couple that loves urban design (modern). It’s all in how you mix the match or match the mix. We are all a little bit of all three. Which one works for you? After that we’ll browse materials, colors and price ranges.

    Traditional Cake Toppers

    Traditional wedding cake toppers usually involve hand-painted porcelain – posed, dressed up and perfect for highly decorated white wedding cakes. These often are or can become family heirlooms and reused from one generation to the next. For same sex couples this may be an impossible find because it’s hard to find figurines that work without going whimsical, stereotypic, or cliche.

    Slightly less traditional, yet classic, are figurine pets and children to add to the top of the cake or on the tiers. Porcelain figurines also come in a variety of custom hair colors, skin colors, attire, and poses. If you see mostly toppers that are white and blond, don’t get discouraged. When you don’t see yourself represented – ASK – or let the owner know you are taking your business elsewhere. It’s a great opportunity to push and ask for more inclusivity and cultural diversity in the wedding industry.

    Photo: The Knot Shop
    Your Perfect Wedding Cake Topper is A Sweet Embrace Bride Embracing Groom Couple Figurine
    Photo: The Knot Shop

    Modern Cake Toppers

    Acrylic or wood Laser-cut words and phrases are cake toppers that can be used to display a quote, your names, or just your initials. These toppers take an updated approach to a traditional décor piece. There are some beautiful choices out there with acrylic colors in solids, glitter or with metallic finishes. There’s the option of stained wood cut calligraphy which adds an elegant and whimsical feel to any cake design. These are a great way to personalize your wedding day.

    Laser cut toppers are easily customizable to commemorate your special day with names, initials, or the date of your wedding.  Wood toppers and acrylic blocks can be heavy and require advance planning with the baker.  Acrylic cake toppers are often thin (1/4”), somewhat fragile, and will include cake stakes to hold them up.  Stakes can be designed to break off easily so that you can store or display your topper after.  

    A little less modern in the traditional sense – see what I did there – are Silhouette Cake Toppers. They are the ‘vintage’ modern and can be whimsical by adding silhouettes of balloons, words, pets or special items that relate to the two of you. Silhouette Cake Toppers are usually acrylic, but can also be found in wood.

    Wire Wedding Cake Toppers are also popular, particularly for brides and grooms wanting a casual, modern vibe.  These are not ‘hangers on’ from days-gone-by. These are modern toppers with-a-twist to spell out a variety of different words, monograms or just spell out your name(s) in a fun twisted script.  If you are having a dessert table full of trendy Bundt Cakes, a few of these trendy toppers certainly are a nice finishing touch your guests will notice

    A Perfect Wedding Cake Topper in copper wire bent to say Finally
    Finally Wire Cake Topper | ETSY – LeRusticChic

    Hobbyist Cake Toppers

    If you have a passion, or love doing a particular thing together, you can show that off on your cake top. There are custom and ready made topper designs for golfers, motorcyclists, dog lovers, beach lovers, and everyone in between! The more meaningful and personalized to your relationship, the better. Hobbyist cake toppers come in a variety of materials – porcelain, wood, acrylic and plastic.

    Creative Wedding Cake Toppers and Unique Cake Topper Ideas

    Having a Beach wedding? A pair of Adirondack chairs embraces that sun-kissed vibe and romance.  A woodland wedding? How about some antlers laser cut out of wood. A garden wedding? What about a topiary initial cake topper.  Maybe it’s just simply the BEST DAY EVER! in a custom acrylic color or a beautiful laser cut wreath cake topper for a rustic wedding.  If you have a particular theme, there is a cake topper for it.

    Same Sex Cake Toppers

    When Derek and I were looking for a wedding cake topper we did not have as many choices when it comes to materials and expression. Same sex wedding cake toppers can be as simple as an acrylic Mr. & Mr. to a Bride and Bride Same Sex Wedding Cake Topper Set in Hand Painted Porcelain. Custom acrylic cake toppers with names and dates because they are easy to customize and also in a variety of colors, materials and designs.

    Mr & Mr Wedding Cake Topper in silhouette for a same sex couple
    Photo: Taylor Street Favors – Mr & Mr Silhouette Cake Topper
    Mrs & Mrs Wedding Cake Topper in silhouette for a same sex couple
    Photo: Taylor Street Favors – Personalized Mrs & Mrs Silhouette Cake Topper

    Themed Cake Toppers

    Cake toppers can also come in a wide range of themes. Disney, Game of Thrones, Vampires, Star Wars, Sports, Harry Potter, super heros, and on and on. Themed weddings with a wedding cake topper to match will take your event from cool to AMAZING. It’s your wedding – go for it. 

    Funny Cake Toppers

    Who doesn’t love a good laugh. Fun and funny cake toppers can range from Batman Legos, funny figurine wedding cake toppers, cake toppers that look like you with bobble heads, and some over-the-top expressive cake toppers.

    Lego Wedding Cake Topper
    Lego Minifigure Garden Wedding Cake Topper | ETSY – BareSockCrafts

    Floral Cake Toppers

    Boho Weddings are famous for amazing floral wedding cake toppers. Dahlias, Tropical leaves, Roses, Eucalyptus, Paper Flowers, Grapevine are all great features on your cake and make a beautiful ode to nature.  Check with your baker about whether your live toppers are edible, or ask for sugar versions instead.

    Materials and Size

    Wire, stone, acrylic, porcelain, wood, plastic, flowers, and paper are all available materials. It comes down to personal preference, keepsake value, cost and vision. I actually think this is the least difficult part of the decision. Once you have your look and feel of your wedding down you’ll know what material would fit best.

    Size is largely determined by the size of the cake.  If your cake is tiered, it is the top tier size you will want to consider. Most stand alone cake toppers are about 6 inches tall. The more custom your wedding cake topper, the more control you will have over the size, but know that a topper can easily look top heavy.  Weight also becomes an issue as size increases.  Get your cake baker or wedding planner involved to help you with your decision.  

    And you don’t need a cake topper for your wedding cake. Some cake designs are best left alone. 

    Wedding Cake Topper Pricing

    Wedding cake topper pricing varies widely.  Ready made cake toppers are generally less expensive than custom designs, but still will vary based on materials and personalization.  You’ll have to decide what makes sense to you on cost. At Taylor Street we have wedding cake toppers that start at under $30 and have custom wedding cake toppers that could cost you upwards of $100. We try to offer a variety of prices and materials. 

    Getting married is an incredibly magical and sometimes stressful experience. Wedding cakes are deeply rooted in tradition. Deciding on your cake topper is a little wedding decision with a surprising amount of pressure behind it. Whether you prefer a traditional, modern topper or something with a lot of glitter and flair, we’re sure that Derek and I can help you find that perfect fit here on Taylor Street

    Contact us if you need some help finding what you need. We can check our resources to see what is possible. 

  • Real Weddings

    Jackie & Mireya’s Wedding in Paso Robles

    Jackie & Mireya were married on November 17th, 2018 at Allegretto Vineyard Resort in Paso Robles. The event was filled with gold, deep reds, and creams with a few skulls placed around the venue. A simple, but elegant November wedding. Photographed by Nadine Cheetah of Cheetah Photography.

    Jackie & Mireya | Cheetah Photography

    Jackie & Mireya | Cheetah Photography

    Jackie & Mireya | Cheetah Photography

    Jackie & Mireya | Cheetah Photography

    Jackie & Mireya | Cheetah Photography

    Jackie & Mireya | Cheetah Photography

    Jackie & Mireya | Cheetah Photography

    Jackie & Mireya | Cheetah Photography

    Jackie & Mireya | Cheetah Photography

    Jackie & Mireya | Cheetah Photography

    Jackie & Mireya | Cheetah Photography

    Jackie & Mireya | Cheetah Photography

    Jackie & Mireya | Cheetah Photography

    Jackie & Mireya | Cheetah Photography

    Jackie & Mireya | Cheetah Photography

    Jackie & Mireya | Cheetah Photography

    Jackie & Mireya | Cheetah Photography

    Jackie & Mireya | Cheetah Photography

    When did you know you were meant to be together? I knew before we were anything serious that she was the one. My soul genuinely felt calm and at peace anytime I was around her.

    Who Proposed To Whom? Mireya proposed to me. We had kind of tossed the idea back and forth for a while and almost eloped to Vegas (where else?!) the day she proposed.

    How / Where Did You Get Engaged? It was spur of the moment.We were enjoying a cup of coffee at our favorite local bakery, talking about being married and just decided to go for it! We went and picked out a ring together. When her daughter got out of school that day we had a picnic in a cemetery. It sounds creepy, but the cemetery had always been a special place to us. However, about a year before we were engaged my mom had passed from breast cancer. Visiting the cemetery had allowed me to feel close to her. Mireya dropped on one knee while we were there. It was as if my mom was also able to share that moment with me.

    What was your Wedding Date? November 17th, 2018

    Venue? Allegretto Vineyard Resort in Paso Robles

    Did you have a Coordinator / Planner? Not really. My friend was our day-of coordinator.

    Did you have a Theme / Color Scheme in mind or did you wing it? I wouldn’t call it a theme. We had skulls around our venue and our colors were gold, deep reds, and creams. It was very simple, but elegant.

    Catering? The Vineyard did the catering and cake and was phenomenal! One less thing to worry about! We did the tastings in their restaurant and that’s what won us over on the venue. We planned our wedding from out of town so it was really convenient.

    Photographer? Nadine of Cheetah and Cheetah. Brian and Nadine were a sweet and groovy couple to work with.

    Dj? Dj Cheetah

    What was your song? Our First dance was Bad Habits by Maxwell

    Florist? Bloom N’ Grow Florist

    Hair/Makeup? Jacob Hernandez did our hair and FacebyFabe – Fabian Alexander did our make-up

    Any advice for couples planning weddings today? Find a quiet moment to have with your spouse right after the ceremony and before the party starts. That special moment, the “why” you decided to spend your life together, is what you will remember after the tequila and champagne hit!

    What was your favorite part of your wedding day? Our quiet moments with just the photograph before the party got started. I look back on those pictures and remember exactly how happy I was to have my forever.

    Anything Else You’d Like To Share? Enjoy the party and don’t sweat the small stuff!

  • Gratitude for Beginners

    Go the extra mile. It’s never crowded

    Featured image: Clark Tibbs | Unsplash


    Going the extra mile & the awesome power of making a difference.

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    Thomas AE | Unsplash

    Wedding season is in full swing.  Feels like a good time to pause and take a breath.

    This is a shout out to our fellow wedding pro’s everywhere and to the brides & grooms who have hired you as their wedding planner, their DJ, their videographer, venue, caterer, wedding cake baker, stylist, florist, and yes — their favors & gifts provider too!

    Wedding Professionals – It is difficult to consistently perform at 100%+!  We worked hard to win the business in the first place, and maybe we overpromised a wee-bit, and minimized the challenges of delivering the vision the wedding couple described in such vivid detail.  Well, now its time to make good on that commitment.  And we can do it – in fact, we must — our about-to-be-married couple is counting on us to go the extra mile.  What we do matters, and we know that little things make a big difference.

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    Photo by John-Mark Smith on Unsplash

     

    Brides & Grooms – Your wedding professional is undoubtedly good at what he or she does.  The reviews you read validate it, their prior work demonstrates it, and you wouldn’t have decided on her or him if your gut didn’t tell you that too.  They are pushing themselves to make your event – extraordinary.  And while you are paying for their expertise, we all know that putting in the blood, sweat & tears necessary is tough. Simple gestures of thanks can make an incredible difference.  Go the extra mile and let your wedding professionals know how much you appreciate having them on your team – today!

     

    David and I make exceptional customer service one of  Taylor Street Favors’ cornerstones.  It is one of the ways we go the extra mile.  David and I believe strongly in making every customer feel equally important and appreciated, something we did not experience as a same sex couple planning our wedding. Unfortunately, almost everyone will tell you that providing great customer service is a core part of their business. It can be difficult for customers to separate fact from fiction, especially when comparing similar products or services.

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    Photo by John-Mark Smith on Unsplash

    Here are three tell tale signs of excellent customer service – delivered by passionate wedding professionals who know how to “go the extra mile”…

    1. They respond to inquiries as quickly as possible;
    2. They listen, they don’t “pitch”, and they remember what you, the customer has told them;
    3. They fix mistakes – before they happen if possible.  [David and I always proof our customer’s personalization information,  routinely correcting errors and eliminating the expense & frustration of having a non-returnable custom gift or favor produced and delivered].  

    Let’s all keep going the extra mile.  It might not be lonely, but it certainly will not be crowded.    

  • Real Weddings

    Raunn & Tim

    April 22nd, 2017

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    Raunn & Tim | Fitz Carlile Studio

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    Who proposed to whom? Tim proposed to me

    How / where did you get engaged? In our old apartment on Highland Avenue, in Bernal Heights, shortly after he walked in the door from one of those hellishly long work trips to/from South Africa

    Wedding date? April 22nd, 2017

    Venue? Tim’s best friend’s home in Sonoma

    Coordinator? Tim did much of the planning with a big assist from friends Paul & Jerry, who also hosted our family/rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding

    Catering? Eli Grace Catering

    Cake by? Moustache Baked Goods, and aside from it not being a bundt cake, they really delivered on our whacky chocolate bourbon bacon cake with chocolate-bacon buttercreme frosting.

  • Real Weddings

    Santa Margarita Ranch Wedding: Alexis & Lisa

    Alexis and Lisa were married on February 20, 2016 at Santa Margarita Ranch in Santa Margarita, California. Photographed by Nadine Cheetah of Cheetah Photography.

     

    Who proposed to whom? I, Alexis, proposed to Lisa.

    How did you get engaged? I had a hotel room, lined the entrance with candles and in the room had 25 balloons with reasons why I love her attached to the bottom of each one. The ring was in a big gift box and when she opened it I took it and proposed.

    Wedding date? February 20, 2016

    Venue? Santa Margarita Ranch

    Coordinator? We coordinated and planned our wedding.

    Catering? Dickies BBQ

    Cake? Sea breeze cupcakes

    Photographer? Nadine Cheetah of Cheetah Photography

    DJ? DJ Brian Cheetah – DJ Cheetah

    Florist? Bought and put together our own flowers and centerpieces.

    Hair/Makeup? Hair and make up was done by Lisa’s sister Amy Friesen and our friend Ruby Rodriguez.

    This was a totally DIY wedding. We loved planning, building, and decorating everything. We would do it all over again if we could! – Alexis

  • Gifts

    If It’s Good Enough For Mildred

     

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    Source:  Live 5 News| live5news.com | Harve Jacobs, Reporter

    This is not another wedding planning checklist or must-have color palette recommendation.  I am not going to try to subconsciously guilt or shame you into some expensive wedding favor or table top decision.  Nope.  Just hoping to put a smile on your face in case you missed this, and spend a minute or two connecting the dots between Mildred, Taylor Street and me.

    Mildred Bowers likes beer.  A lot.  To celebrate her 103rd birthday coming August 31, NBC interviewed her about her daily pint.  When it’s 4PM in South Carolina where you live, raise your glass to Millie, who drinks a pint at the same time every day.

    So what’s the connection to Taylor Street — David’s and my journey into the wedding industry — and Mildred?  

    First the obvious product tie-in.  We sell a whole bunch of beer and barware items.  Personalized, theme-y, formal or country-chic, we have a stein, growler, flight, flask or glass for you to buy and drink with her in style.  

    The second reason has nothing to do with our products or Mildred’s beer habit.  It’s about our message.  When asked if everyone should adopt her daily beer ritual, she said,

    “Yes, if they like it.  Look, there are people who don’t like
    coffee and people who don’t like tea, but I want everyone
    to drink what they like”.

    She is reminding us that it is not “the thing” but the enjoyment “the thing” creates that is important.  We all do not need the same things to experience the same joy.

    The pressure to embrace, to strive — and ultimately — to spend is apparent in much of the wedding industry today.  Even counter-culture bridal and “real wedding” sites often nurture a sense of needing to one-up their most recent couple’s performance piece or chase the hottest new trend.

    I believe Mildred would encourage us all to stress less and enjoy our weddings, our family and our friends more.  

    Taylor Street is about encouraging you to celebrate as you are.  Our perspective is definitely more Sheryl Crow — “It’s not having what you want, it’s wanting what you’ve got.”  

    Sure, we like pretty stuff, cool stuff, well made stuff too.  We just want to offer it in a way that doesn’t make you feel inadequate about your {you can fill in the blank here – budget, sexual orientation, wedding theme, party favor, etc}.

    Let’s have some fun!  To Mildred!

  • Real Weddings

    Joshua Tree Wedding: Jeremy & John

    Jeremy Constantine Lucido + John Constantine Lucido were married on May 2nd, 2015 at Sacred Sands in Joshua Tree, California.

    First Dance.

    Who proposed to whom? I proposed to John.

    How did you get engaged? After 9 months of falling in love, new experiences, meeting friends and family, and planning the names of our future children, I asked John to marry me. I took John to Joshua Tree, CA to “take photos” for my magazine. After the photo shoot, I handed John my camera to take a look at the photos and as John scrolled through, he found a photo with the question and ring:

    “John, Will you marry me?” -Jeremy

    John said yes.

    Wedding date? May 2nd, 2015

    Venue?Sacred Sands

    Catering?Soho Taco

    Cake?Bring Me Sugar

    Grooms Suits?Topshop

    Grooms Shoes? – Stacy Adams

    Boutonnieres?EUCCA Floral Studio

    Photography? – Gabe Ayala

    Stationary?John Constantine Design

    Succulents?Haus of Cactus

  • Weddings & Receptions

    “Touch Me” it Said

    gifyyy
    gifyyy machine ready for action


    I have just received my impersonal-yet-irritating “happy one-month anniversary” reminder email from WeddingWire, requesting feedback on everything wedding.  And though I am not acting on their request, it did serve as a reminder that our thank-you notes are still not done. It also got me thinking about what stands out — after 30 days — as the best “unscripted moments” from our wedding day.

    The GIF Photo Booth is a HUGE one – first on the list of happy surprises.  BTW – we get nothing from gifyyy.com for sharing any of this — nada.

    When our photographer, Jeff Newsom, offered to set up his new GIF machine at our reception, we said yes not knowing anything about it. It sounded like it might be fun.  We already had decided not to have a photo booth, an idea that did not excite us and an expense we could do without.  The gifyyy, however, sounded like a fresh, social media-ready upgrade of the photo booth idea.  Why not.

    It was a hit, with kids and adults alike.  Not only are the images hilarious, people had fun just watching other people interact with the device, take their GIF and then play it back.  Think of it as an ice-breaker exercise you don’t have to organize or push people to do.

     

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    Good stuff to know:  Gifyyy’s website provides a good overview, though it is more oriented to wedding professionals who might buy the equipment rather than end users, but you’ll get the idea.

    Five points worth emphasizing:

    1.  The equipment takes up very little space – it really is just that tripod. The design is attractive & neutral enough for any setting, and the circle of lights on the perimeter naturally encourages guests to come check it out.  The iPad screen invites you in with a “Touch Me”.  Once touched, there is a slight delay and then 1-2 seconds later the GIF is created and immediately displayed.  Key in a phone number and the GIF is sent.  Ready for the next GIF, just like that.

    2.   What it does require is plenty of space in front of it so that small and large groups can create their gif, and so that others can watch.  How much space?  We had a 10’ semi-circle available in front and that worked well.

    3.  No need for a backdrop or props.  Guess you could, but you don’t need to.  Put the faux mustaches away.

    4.  It does require a wifi or cell connection.  If your reception location has poor signal strength, you’ll need to figure out an alternative, because a big part of the fun is being able to share your gif on social media – immediate gratification.

    5.  It is battery powered and self contained — no wires or cables to trip over or cover up.

    And best of all, when your party is over you have a collection of all the GIF’s created for you to keep.

    We haven’t decided what we’ll do with all of ours, but we are thinking that when our one-year anniversary arrives – we might just be sending out “anniversary reminders” of our own!

  • Weddings & Receptions

    Wedding Planning Tips

    Three Wedding Planning Lessons from the Other Side of I Do


    We did it.  After lots of searching, appointments, joint decision making, and check writing, we are most certainly, legally, undeniably married.  What did we learn?

    1. Hiring a wedding planner really is worth the cost – really.

    I am a recovering control freak and proud spendthrift [sounds much better than ‘cheap’], and thought we could do without a planner.  As the date approached I began to feel overwhelmed, so with about 90 days to go we found someone who would actively manage the last few week’s “crunch” time, especially the few days leading up to our wedding and the clean-up after.  Her suggestions with our timeline were invaluable, she managed the wedding & reception set-ups perfectly, and having her there as the go-to person for the other professionals was, I am sure, more helpful than we know.  It was not cheap, but worth it.

    What we learned:  Having the first dance early in the evening, our planner’s suggestion, was a nice change-up and got the evening off to a great start.  Thank you Jazmyn Strickland at Love Always Weddings!

    Our Do-over: Hire a planner from the start (it doesn’t cost much more than bringing someone in toward the end) and off-load more responsibilities, like managing contracts & deadlines, progress payments to vendors, running a list of “to-do’s”, and keeping the two of us on a schedule.

    2.  Don’t leave as much time as the experts tell you for guests to RSVP

    I did what we all do when faced with an unfamiliar topic – I googled it.  My question about lead time for mailing invitations and the RSVP generated an overwhelming number of responses.  Most read something like the advice from from the Knot, “make your RSVP deadline 2-3 weeks before your wedding date”.

    What we learned Do NOT follow this advice.

    Why send out invitations 90 days or more in advance — as is often recommended — and then give people two months or more before responding?  For us, anxiety set in and we sent follow-up emails to our non-responders about one month before our date.  Almost all of the replies at that point were “no”.

    Most people know if they are going to attend your wedding from the moment they get the invite. More time to decide does not generate more “yes” responses, just more creative “no’s”. Might a shortened RSVP deadline mean a couple more last minute cancellations?  Maybe, but those are beyond your control regardless.

    Our experience — despite sending save-the-date announcements 6 months in advance, invites 90 days in advance, and allowing people to RSVP up to 2 1/2 weeks before our wedding, we still had a table’s worth of guests cancel during the last week.  Shit happens.

    Our Do-over:  Still send save-the-dates at least 6 months out and invites no more than 90 days out, but give people only a short window to RSVP.  Then, if you have that “B-list”, you can actually use it.

    3.  Spend your time (and money) finding your photographer

    Then spend the extra money to have an engagement session even though you really don’t want to (and as a groom, I can’t emphasize enough how much I really didn’t want to).  Why?  The time you spend with your photographer during the engagement session is invaluable in building a relationship that will make your wedding photography more fun, natural and successful.  We knew we found our photographer from the first meeting (and he did not disappoint!).  Despite that immediate connection we felt, we were much less comfortable during our engagement session than during the wedding and its seemed to us that he felt that way too.

    We had a blast with our photographer at our wedding, loved our engagement photos and can not wait for our wedding day shots.

    What we learned:  There are many wedding photographers, but there will be one that will BOTH meet your requirements AND feel right to both of you. Spend the time to find that one. We are so glad to have found Jeff.   Thank you Jeff Newsom.

    Our Do-over:  None.


    We are proud of what we accomplished and are really happy with the day.  We made our wedding our own – a goal we share with many couples.  It takes time and energy.   We hope our experience helps you manage your time so you have the energy for creating your wedding day…and some extra left for the dance floor.


  • Weddings & Receptions

    A Toast To Wedding Toast Anxiety

    hand mike

    ‘Why everyone hates wedding toasts”, “A tradition we can do without”, “Wedding Toast Survival Tips” — titles from my recent google search on wedding toasts.

    Yes, people do not like public speaking in general.  It is difficult to risk putting ourselves “out there” for others to see.  Many of us are shy and experience stage fright, particularly if a microphone is handed to us. And like you, I’ve read the posts indicating that toasts are not just difficult for the “toaster”, but for vendors too, who struggle to manage the event and keep within a particular time frame.

    Boo hoo.

    To be sure, there is no shortage of anxiety and nervousness at a wedding.  It is tempting to eliminate this tradition that, it may seem, has outlived it’s usefulness and has few supporters.  Don’t.

    Being asked to provide a toast is an honor.  It is a recognition of a shared bond.  Toasting is a connection to an earlier time.  By accepting, you are acknowledging and supporting the new couple. It may feel somewhat burdensome to be asked, but it truly is not intended as such — and it doesn’t mean you need to contort yourself into a pretzel of originality and praise worthy prose.

    Wedding Toast Anxiety Reducing Strategies:

    1. Keep your remarks “in your wheelhouse”.  If poetry is your thing, create a poem.  If you are most comfortable keeping your comments lighthearted, do it.
    2. Keep it short.  Hopefully you were provided guidance, but if not — ask for it.  A couple minutes can feel like an eternity if you are not comfortable.  You are not the evening’s entertainment.
    3. Write it down and rehearse. Memorization is not required or expected.  If a note card helps, use it — though reading a paragraph word-for-word is not engaging.

    A note to you “toasters”… any anxiety you may be feeling will likely be a fraction of the nerves being felt by the couple.  Why not expand your supportive role and check-in with the bride or groom and see how they and their anxieties are doing.  In addition to just being a good listener, you might have an opportunity to suggest some “day-of” stress reducers.

    Two Easy To Implement Wedding “Day-of” Stress Reducers:

    1. Couple agrees on a “safe word” or a gesture that, when spoken/motioned by either, means he or she is in immediate need of a break from whatever or whomever – right now, no questions asked.  You then excuse the both of you for a minute.
    2. Advise the planner, the officiant, the DJ – of potential anxiety inducing moments for the couple and let these professionals do their job — looking out for the couple and making sure they are prepared should there be a moment of stage fright.

    A toast is an ancient tradition – a way of symbolizing camaraderie by raising a glass together to celebrate.  Your toast is an opportunity to connect an important part of a bride or groom’s past with their future by sharing a bit of yourself and your shared history with the couple’s friends and family.  If your remarks are sincere and you speak in a way that is authentically you, you will have succeeded.  For inspiration, watch this video of a heartfelt toast from a dad to his son and son-in-law .

    Cheers.