It’s been said that “Death is easy, but Comedy is hard.”
And it is TOUGH to be funny. But at the end of the day, a lot of us are looking to laugh while we’re sitting in the audience at a wedding, listening to friends, family and loved ones toast to the married couple.
Since you’re still reading, it sounds like you can relate.
And since you don’t want to contribute to a long line of unfunny, boring, droning, and sometimes even cringe-worthy wedding speeches, let’s see if we can help you out. So, follow me from “why” we want to be hilarious during our toasts to “how.”
Humor, like a gazelle to a lion, is a moving target. If I mixed up my predator/prey relationships in the African safari, and lions don’t actually hunt gazelles, whatever. Don’t @ me.
Anyhow, here are three resources that will make it easier to be funny. You can call these quick tips, hot keys, tools for your toolbox, “3 things you won’t believe,” “forget what you know about being funny,” or any other gimmick you’ve ever heard of.
These are everywhere and can actually work well in your toast. The trick is to avoid overdoing it. I heard a toast last summer from a best man who’s opening lines were “This wedding has been beautiful, and that cake has me in tiers.” Not everyone got the joke, and I’ll admit it took me a few seconds (the cake had 3 tiers/levels. Get it? Tears vs. tiers), but the delayed reaction of laughter in the room made it even funnier. He also paused after delivering the line to let our brains make the connection. Here are a few easy searches to find more of this:
- Google “laffy taffy jokes”
- Google “one-liner jokes”
- Google “wedding jokes”
This sounds too simple to be true, but you may just thank me later.
WEDDING WORKOUTS – If you’ve been asked to deliver a toast at a wedding, it’s inevitable that you have put yourself through a mental workout, trying to remember the funniest or most interesting parts of your relationship with the bride and/or groom. All I’m doing here is providing a few “workouts” that you perhaps haven’t yet tried:
- Misdirection– If you want people to laugh, one way to do this is to go “left” with a story when everyone thinks you’re going “right.” For example, if you tell a story about a smart, successful, strong, charismatic brother that everyone thinks is describing the groom, end the story with, “of course, I am describing myself, but [name of groom] is pretty great too.” Another way is to say “most, I mean least” very casually in your toast. For example, you might say, “This reception came out perfectly. My sister is the most, I mean least organized person I know, so it really is a miracle.” These are tongue-in-cheek things you can say as long as you do it with a smile and in an endearing way.
- #1 In Each Category– A popular workout recommended by WT101 is to write down a few categories that apply to your relationship with this person, and then identify the #1 best answer from your memory in each. Categories may include inside jokes, quotes from your favorite movies, arguments/fights you’ve had, late nights you’ve had together, vacations you’ve taken together, strange hobbies, funny things this person has ever said to you, reasons why the person he/she is marrying is the right fit for him/her, and more.
- Opposites Attract – Based on your knowledge of the couple, how are they different? And are any of those differences worth sharing to the crowd at their wedding? For example, one of my favorite maid of honor toasts shared that the bride’s favorite food is French fries, but the groom is allergic to potatoes. What are the differences you can utilize to illustrate a funny point, and eventually help you come back to the fact that the couple is perfect for each other?
WHAT MAKES YOUR SIDES HURT?
What have you found to be funny in other wedding toasts you’ve seen? While you may not want to copy these verbatim, use them for inspiration. If you take 5 minutes or less to reminisce about 3 memorable lines/stories from weddings you’ve been to, I’ll bet a fiddle of gold against your soul that you’ll have a something funny to build on. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Father of the groom at the rehearsal dinner remarked that when his son called him to share that he had a girlfriend, he said, “Dad, I’ve met a girl, and she’s a real peach!” That innocent and old-fashioned description cracked me up.
- Brother of the groom explained that when they were in high school, “My brother dressed very nice and preppy, while I tried my best to look like the rapper Eminem.”
- The comment above about the French fries and potato allergy is just one of a number of “opposites attract” moments in her toast.
- Friend of the groom played nicely off the groom’s job by saying, “We’ve lived in different states for a few years now, and while I appreciate you continuing to send me mail consistently, for the last time I’m NOT interested in a Capital One No-Hassle credit card.”
The good news is that if you use the resources above, it will make it a little easier to be funny in your toast.
The GREAT news is that you can purchase a fully-built template for The Hilarious Toast on this website. The framework is all there for you, with direction on which reference or story to add and when to drop them on the crowd.
The EVEN BETTERNEWSis that it’s only $4.99!
Small price to pay for big laughs, if you ask me.