The Ultimate Guide to Giving a Toast at Your Bro’s Wedding

Now, it’s frustratingly tragic, but your dumb little buddy didn’t have the awareness to leave you out of his current spree of bad decisions. It’s like a freeway pileup that just keeps getting worse. First, he decided to get married to that toothy bitch with no chin. Second, he allowed her to pick a wedding venue that’s not a riverboat casino, replica medieval mead hall, or minor-league hockey game. Third, and unforgivably, he’s conceded on having an open bar at the reception because that wouldn’t leave them enough money for the centerpieces that selfish strumpet wanted. And, to put the popped cherry on top of this shit sundae, he’s insisted that you give a toast at the wedding.

Speeches have never been your Will Forte. The last time you gave a speech it was in second grade. It was during Show and Tell and you made it through all of forty seconds of your presentation on your pog collection before throwing up a bright pink concoction that informed your classmates you had only consumed un-chewed fruit snacks, Capri Sun, and bits of crayon over the last twenty-four hours. But don’t you worry your pretty little head now; follow these tips and we can assure you the only barfing you’ll be doing during your toast will be out of sloppy drunkenness and not fear.

Stay on Topic: This is not your soapbox to rant from. Not one person at this event, or any event, gives a doody about what you think about Israel, national debt, or Trayvon Martin. This day is about the newlyweds first, then relatives embarrassing themselves on the dance floor, and finally drunk, lonely bridesmaids trying to pave their way to the alter through putting a new spin on the concept of “Head Table.” Even if your tirade isn’t political, you need to realize this really isn’t the juncture to air out grudges or bring up the fact that the bride’s stepmom “totally grabbed that limo driver’s junk on the way over from the church.”

Know Your Audience: With the exception of yourself and a few other chucklehead friends that were invited, most people in attendance aren’t privy to bride and groom’s younger years when he had a reputation for abusing Vicodin and her poop deck had a reputation for trapping more semen than the USS Arizona. The truth usually isn’t adorable. Likely in lieu of a “meet-cute” story, the bride and groom have something like an encounter at Planned Parenthood where they decided to ditch the respective people they each came in with and go get a drink. It’s just best to avoid inside jokes, any disgusting stories that highlight former and current flaws and compulsions, or any anecdotes that make incessant use of the term “knuckle-deep.”

Practice Drunk and Keep it Short: It’s a celebration, and unless it’s a Muslim wedding or everyone is a recovering alcoholic, you’re going to be hitting the sauce. Practice your toast with a few drinks in you; think of it like running practice at game speed. You’ll have an entire church service and cocktail hour to aggressively drink through, so any preparation you did sober is going to be completely useless.

Lastly, keep it short; no one is really paying attention. This is like a kids’ choir concert or PTA discussion on bullying: yes, people have to pseudo listen, but really they’re just waiting for it to be over so they can move on with their lives.

Justin Gawel is an adult baby from Michigan. Look for more of his writing, his archive, and his updates at or follow him @justingawel on Twitter.