Category Posts

The Magic Wedding Toast Formula

Wedding Toast Mastery
15 tips from a Wedding DJ that will make your speech rock!

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Raise your hand if you’ve found yourself  interested, intrigued, and/or excited to listen to a wedding speech (ok, we've got some hands...not everyone...but a lot).

Keep your hands up if, by the end of the speech...a speech you were once interested, intrigued, and/or excited felt a little cheated  (all of the hands...a few guy in the back is weeping uncontrollably...but it's confirmed that every one of you reading this currently have at least 1 if not both hands stretched up in the air).

Listen, speaking in front of a large group of people is really tough. Few can just “wing it,” and most times even those who have prepped for months crash and burn.  (I know from experience.  I tried winging it at my brother's wedding, and I failed miserably)

Below are 15 tips for all toast and speech givers…parents, best mans, maid of honors, brides/grooms, ushers, drunk ex-girlfriends who just by sheer coincidence happened to be “in the area” and decided to stop by and share some thoughts…that will make your toasts be memorable, heartwarming, and engaging.


Pre Wedding Preperation

So there’s only going to be like 150 or more people watching you. And you're only toasting two of the closest people that you have in your life. And it’s only like the most important day of their lives.  So yeah…wing it. WORST IDEA EVER! You gotta prep!!

• 1. Brainstorm: Sit down with a pen and a piece of paper and write down ideas, stories, main points, jokes, and any other main points that you want to share.

• 2. Outline: You got to create a good flow here people. This will help you stay on point and not get into long tangents about wild animals, religious beliefs, or that one time when you and the groom got wasted in college. Like any good story or movie there needs to be a beginning, middle and end.  E-mail me at and I will forward you a wedding toast outline that rocks.

• 3. Practice: Now that you have your ideas down in an organized manner, get on your feet and practice. Yes, literally stand up and say it outloud. Over, and over, and over. When you’re driving to work, shut off the radio and practice. Over and over and over.  When you're in the shower...practice (rinse and repeat!) Over and over and over. This may be the single most important piece to it all. Get the speech in your bones. This way, when the mic breaks out, or the baby cries, or the emotions run high, you can easily get back on track and not be thrown for a loop.

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You’ve prepped, you’ve practiced, the night is here, and now you are ready to deliver. Follow these steps to and you’ll  knock it out of the park!

• 4. Attention: Ask for this. Sounds like a no brainer, but you wouldn’t believe how many people start their toast and few people, if any, are listening.  Sometimes I have to shush the crowd, and that's always awkward.

5. Be Confident: Stand up tall, smile, and act as if you’ve done this 1,000 times (even if you feel like you’re about to pee your pants).

• 6. Volume: Obviously you’re not looking to blow people’s ears out, but you’re not in a library either. Put the mic up to your mouth and talk a bit louder then you would in a normal conversation. You can even ask “can you guys hear me?”

• 7. Speed: When we’re nervous, we tend to rush. People can’t understand what they can’t hear. This isn’t an auction. Slow down. Take some breaths and enjoy the moment.

• 8. Eye Contact: This might be the scariest part of it all. If looking at people in the eyes seems freakier then a Justin Beiber song, then look at the tops of their heads. Also, look around to different sections of the room as well. This helps people stay engaged.

• 9. Notecards: Totally, 100%, acceptable. Mandatory? No, but for some they will be an essential safety net. The key is to make sure that you don’t bury your face in them, and never look up. This goes back to eye contact, and practice. If you’re going to have them, the fewer words on each of them the better. Look at your outline (see above) and jot down just a few words that will jog your memory if you get lost. Also, if you know that you are going to use them the night of, use them in your preparation. Practice how you play.

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Things to Avoid

• 10. Inside Jokes: “Hey man…you’re a great guy, but all I got to say is….pop tarts.” WTF? This may be my single biggest pet peeve, and it’s insulting to people’s time when you waste it by talking in code. If you’re going to go into that space, please have the courtesy to let everyone else in on the joke.

• 11. Being Wasted: I’m not a fun hater, but we all know what can happen when the drunk guy picks up a microphone. If you’re a fan of alcoholoic libations,(including but not limited to:  Old Milwaukee, Shiltz, Blatz, Hamms, or any amazing beer that my Grandma Cutie-Pie had fully stocked in her basement)  and you know you’re going to be speaking later…pace yourself. You don’t want to be remembered as the guy who swore, rambled on for an hour, or got into a fight with his/her partner as you aired out on old grudge on the mic in front of everyone.

• 12. Offending the Young, the Old, and Anyone In-Between: This isn’t a roast…it’s a toast. If anything in your speech borders on “edgy” ask yourself this question “would I be comfortable saying this in front of my grandma?” If the answer is “no,” figure out a different way of saying it.

• 13. Self-Deprication: It’s easy to make fun of yourself, and when done sporatically it can even be endearing. However, if your entire speech refers back to how bad you are at speaking in front of crowds or how lame that last joke was, it becomes awkward and uncomfortable.


In General

• 14. Speak from the Heart: If I were to boil it down to one thing, (besides practice…have I gotten that across yet?) it would be to speak to the bride and groom as if no one else were in the room. If you can have the mentality of “this might be one of the last times I see you, and before you go, I just need you to know how much you mean to me,” you will be golden. Your words will be authentic, heartfelt, touching, and most importantly add value to overall experience of everyone in the room.

• 15. Brevity is the Soul of Wit: In this case size does matter, and believe it or not, short is better then long.  Many times you are 1 of several people that are going to be talking, and although I’m not telling you to speed through it, don’t be that guy/gal who talks, and talks, and talks, and talks…. General rule of thumb is 2-4 minutes. If you’re a super engaging speaker, you might extend that to 5, but if you were, you probably wouldn’t be needing to read this post.



These are just my thoughts!  Anyone with experience on the subject is more then welcome to fill in the missing pieces.   I think the bottom line is put yourself in the shoes of someone listening.  As you practice (yes...practice!!!) ask yourself "if I was hearing this, would I raise my glass out of triumph or rather raise it because I'm happy that it's over?"   Good luck, and please let us know how it goes!

Peace, Joe

4 Tips to be a Wedding Reception Rockstar!

True or False?

The perfect wedding guest is the one that buys the bride and groom
the most expensive item on their registry...?


100% False!

Falser then a baseball record set
by Barry Bonds

If you are looking to be the Perfect Wedding Guest, then you must
do the following…




Disclaimer...It's not about YOU!

Before we get into the tips to be the Perfect Wedding Guest, please remember who the night is truly about.  The bride and groom.   Not only are they paying for your dinner,  your entertainment, and in many cases. your alcohol, but they are also celebrating their lifelong commitment.   That's no ordinary feat..and therefore it shouldn't be just an ordinary night.

A great way for you to honor their commitment, and quite honestly, to say “thank you” is by doing your part to help create an unforgettable evening.  This may push you in areas in which you were not ready to be pushed, but you will be better for it, and more importantly, their night will be better because of you!


Tip #1:  Dance Like Everyone's Watching

“I’m a horrible dancer....”

“I’ll be out there in a little bit..."

“No thanks, dancing’s not my thing...”


Listen you don’t need to have Beyonce skillz in order to make your dance floor presence known at a wedding.  In fact, sometimes the worst dancers are the ones having the most fun.

Do you have to be out there  for every song?  Of course not, but push yourself a little.  Dancing is infectious.  Once other guests see you out there, they are much more likely to get out their themselves.   Soon after that, ties are wrapped around foreheads, and grandma’s doing the worm.  All because you took a risk, pushed yourself a little, and stopped caring what people thought for a night.

Hint:   Rock Out with your…Air Instrument Out
Air instruments (doesn’t just have to be guitar) are a stellar choice for most songs.
I.E. There's a mad saxophone solo in  "Edge of Glory", by Lady Gaga

Tip #2. "Hi, My Name is..."

I know introducing yourself and talking to people you don't know may not be for everyone.  Even an extrovert like myself might get sweaty arm pits from talking to a random stranger.  And besides, why should you invest into a conversation with someone that you will most likely never see again?   Here’s why…

  • If you are close to the couple, there’s actually a decent chance that you will see that random stranger again. So if nothing else, do your future self a favor and get to know the people now.  Believe me it will be more awkward when you're standing by yourself at the b-day party for the couple’s 1-year old in the short future.
  • Remember, the night is about…the couple.  These people are obviously somewhat important to them, so it would be cool if you made the effort to make them important to you.

Hint:  Buy a drink

Easiest way to get a conversation going is to buy someone a beer/glass of wine/soda/ etc….  And do it early on into the night.  A $4 investment during social hour will pay great dividends later when you run into that person during the Cha Cha Slide.



Tip #3.  Hold your Liquor

Don’t be that guy (or gal)….

Remember the bride and groom want to remember
the love in the room...not you trying to make love to the bridesmaid.

Don’t be remembered as the creeper! Enough said.

Hint: Have a buddy

Have a “buddy” and make a deal with them that they can cut you off at anytime in the night, and vice versa.  Just make sure your “buddy” doesn’t have a history of being that guy (or gal) themselves. 


Tip #4.  Party till Six in the Mornin'!

There are so many excuses to leave early, all of which are valid in some way, shape, or form.  But what if everyone did that?  The party would be over before it could even get started.  Because the day is such a blur, the bride and groom will not remember everything, but I promise you, they’ll remember the people who stuck it out to the end and watched them dance their final song.

Hint:  Train your brain

If you tell yourself that will be there until the bitter end, then you’ll make it to the bitter end.  However, if you make it a game time decision, your brain will find numerous ways to convince you to go.  Make it official in your head and you will be one of the few remaining at the end of it all.


You are Now Equipped to be a Wedding Reception ROCKSTAR!

We could go on and on and on.  Point being, this is an epic night for 2 people that are most likely pretty close in your life.  The choices you make, whether it be to dance, talk to people you don’t know very well, or stay till the very end,  will have a direct impact on the overall feel of the night!  You have to ask yourself, what are the bride and groom going to remember more?  The pizza cutter you bought from their registry, or the fact that you rocked it at their wedding?

You know the answer to that.

What say you?  Please share your thoughts/insights/advice on this topic as well.   Looking forward to hearing them!