Here’s to… the etiquette of toasts

raising-a-toast Special occasions like weddings, birthdays, graduations etc call for celebration. They also necessitate special attention for the guest of honor – the birthday boy or girl, the couple, the young graduate and so on. Giving them gifts is one way to show your appreciation and wishes.

However, nothing compares to the genuineness and affection of heartfelt words. Toasts are a part of most formal and even some informal occasions. A good toast will make someone’s day but a rude and insensitive one will ruin the day for the subject of the celebration.

Understand the significance

If you are asked to give a toast, know and appreciate the meaning of the custom. You are supposed to say something for the guest of honor. You don’t have to give a speech about world issues or display your verbal skills.

Express your admiration for the person. You can include personal anecdotes but don’t get carried away. Stick to stories that can be told in public and don’t portray the subject of the toast in a bad light.

Host with the toast

Custom dictates that the first toast should be offered by the host. He or she should stand while giving the toast and ensure that everyone’s glass is full. It’s not mandatory to have alcohol: juice is also acceptable.

Once the toast is made, the guests should raise their glass and sip the drink. Clinking of glasses is possible in a small gathering. The subject of the toast should not sip but thank the person who gave the toast. He or she can also stand and offer another toast in return.

The toast

Practice giving the toast in advance. If it is a spur-of-the-moment request, keep the toast short and sincere. Don’t try too hard to impress everyone. The toast is not about you, it’s about the guest of honor so focus on them.

A merry occasion can be made merrier with the merriment of toast giving and receiving!