I have seen a trend lately where toasts are given during the meal service. While it seems like a time saver and the most sensible, it really isn’t. The best times to do toasts are just before dinner, or right after. Here are a few tips to make that happen:

1.) RESPECT: When someone gives a speech, the floor is theirs. Giving respect means the complete undivided attention from all angles of the reception. This would include the guests, staff, and the vendors.

2.) INTERRUPTIONS: Noise. During dinner service, there are staff members pouring drinks, picking up plates, putting down plates, walking around and drawing attention away from the toast. Also, if the staff is active at this time, it can also limit or interrupt what the photographer & videographers are capturing (line-of-site).

3.) COLD FOOD: I see this one time and time again. When food is served, people should eat. What happens when a person begins a toast? Most people stop eating out of respect and embarrassment (of being the only one eating). I’ve seen hundreds of dollars worth of filet mignon go cold for this reason.

4.) FLOW: Having the toasts before dinner or after dinner can help with the flow a little easier. Interruptions during meal service can affect the chef, vendors, and the bride & groom’s wedding itinerary.

5.) VENDOR BREAKS: Dinner can sometimes be the only time vendors can take a break and have their meal service, especially photographers & videographers (who have been with the bride & groom all day). With toasts during the meal, most likely vendors will go hungry as they will have to capture moments during this time.

6.) NERVOUS TOASTERS: If you have issues with people having stage fright, have the toast before the meal (so they don’t lose their meal afterward). It allows them an earlier opportunity to get through it quickly so they can relax through dinner.

7.) KEEP THEM TOGETHER: If you’re planning on having many of your toasts throughout the meal, remember that people will be interrupted many times as well. Also, the staff may have to keep re-pouring the champagne if the toasts are spread out. This could mean more glasses to re-pour ($$$$). Also, the wedding planner and DJ will have to keep pulling people back to their tables between each toast. During meal service, people tend to use the restrooms, visit the bar, have a smoke outside, and visit other tables. Keep your toasts back to back if possible.

HELPFUL TIP: If you have more than 3 or 4 people giving a toast, consider doing some of them at the rehearsal dinner. This will cut down time at the wedding and give the first round of important toasters the spotlight a little more (At the wedding: Best Man, Maid /Matron Of Honor, Fathers. At the Rehearsal: Close friends, co-workers, schoolmates, etc..)

I hope these tips are helpful for you and don’t forget to check out my Facebook page for the latest updates! www.facebook.com/dreamdaydjs.