If you’ve ever attended a wedding reception, you have probably participated in a champagne toast to the bride and groom. The history of the champagne toast dates back centuries and potentially as far back as the sixth century. In Greece, people would offer the gift of a toast of wine as a prayer to the gods as a request for good health. Over time, the custom of the toast gained additional influence in England and has since become part of tradition.
Now, brides and grooms have incorporated the champagne toast as part of their wedding reception festivities. And in some cases, champagne has been incorporated into the wedding ceremony itself. “A new trend is to have a table set up, and as guests past the table on the way to their seat for the ceremony, they take a champagne flute with them. Guests can sip their champagne during the ceremony, and then a toast is made after the completion of vows,” said Jordan Feist, director of bar operations for A’BriTin Catering & Hospitality. “We’ve seen this at more and more ceremonies recently.”
Tips for creating a great champagne toast
Though many couples stress over the type of champagne to serve for their toast, the actual champagne served is really not that important. The goal, Feist says, is to ensure that everyone has a drink in their hand so that they can participate in the celebratory notion that is the toast.
However, when champagne is used for the toast, it is recommended that real champagne flutes are used instead of plastic cups. “Stick with the real deal. The plastic cups can take away that touch of elegance and steal from that important moment. Plus, any reputable catering company or bartending service will be able to offer real champagne glasses for use and rental during the event.”
When determining how to approach the champagne toast, there are two primary options.
- Tray service – This is faster than table service but creates an opportunity for more things to go wrong. With this service, the bartending staff will bring champagne to everyone at their tables. The challenge, however, is in ensuring that everyone has a glass of champagne in front of them by the time the best man and father-of-the-bride speeches are completed. If people are up and moving around, or if you do not have a seated event, this can make it more challenging to get that champagne flute in front of the guests.
- Table service – This service takes a bit longer to execute than tray service, but makes the tables look great when each place setting has a shining flute of champagne sitting in front of it. With this service, the goal is to make sure that everyone has a glass in front of them at exactly the right time.
Feist shared that with today’s modern approach to weddings, many couples are opting for alternatives to champagne. “We are seeing many couples substitute the champagne toast with something more meaningful. In some cases, this might mean a family favorite cocktail, a traditional shot, or a preferred drink such as a craft beer, or a hard seltzer.” This said, if champagne is the selection, be sure that non-alcoholic options are available for those who are underage or that may prefer to stay away from alcohol on your big day.
Tips for the big speech
Any great champagne toast generally comes at the end of an important speech at the rehearsal dinner, wedding ceremony, or wedding reception. And, those who are asked to give a speech often stress about how to create the perfect delivery and one that will not bore the guests. After all, the speech is often the last activity that needs to take place before guests can enjoy their meal.
Consider these nine key tips:
- Ensure the champagne is poured before the speech begins
- Keep the speech from getting too lengthy – no need to let the food get cold or the bubbly to go flat
- If you are delivering the speech, take the time to write it and practice it ahead of time
- Prepare a cue card or series of cue cards to help you stay on track during your speech
- If you are the first to deliver a speech, be sure to introduce yourself and share your relationship with the happy couple – don’t assume that all guests will naturally know this
- Take deep breaths during the delivery of the speech – though it is important that the speech doesn’t go on forever, there is no need to rush and no need to risk a fainting spell because you didn’t take in enough oxygen
- Incorporate some fun anecdotes and stories into your speech, but remember context – though there is a time and place for roasting, remember that today is likely the most important day of the bride and groom’s life – don’t create any humiliating or uncomfortable moments
- Don’t get too serious – be sure to incorporate humor as this will help keep your guests engaged
- Use visual aids and props where appropriate and especially if it will help get some laughs out of the guests
Don’t hesitate to seek advice from your caterer about how to create a great champagne toast. Your caterer has likely heard and participated in more champagne toasts than you ever will and have some experiences that they can share to help you create a speech and toast to remember.
A’BriTin Catering & Hospitality will help you create a memorable and delightful champagne toast
A’BriTin Catering & Hospitality is the premiere catering provider for Minnesota businesses and residents looking to celebrate their most important occasions. Our mission is to listen to our clients and treat them like family to provide a meaningful, trusting, and lasting relationship. We have the right brand for any catering need and bring experience in all types and sizes of events. Whether it be buffet style, a formal sit-down dinner, or a series of stimulating and tantalizing food stations, you and the guests at your special event will be amazed by the core values, colorful food arrangement and display, and professionalism of A’BriTin Catering & Hospitality from beginning to end. Our ultimate goal is to complement your big day with a meal service and champagne toast that will be remembered for a lifetime.
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