So I was actually kind of excited to put some of my own advice to work as wrote my toast for my sister's wedding. One thing I stress to my students is (regardless if you are writing for yourself or someone else) know your speaker's strengths and weaknesses and write for them.
Working to my advantage: I'm fairly comfortable talking in front of people, I'm freakin' hilarious, and as Sarah's sister, I know my topic (the couple) pretty darn well. The main weakness I had to contend with (and luckily I was acutely aware of it) was getting through the toast without crying.
I decided to manage my own expectations. I wasn't going to get through it without any crying, but hopefully I could manage a few ladylike sniffles and not a big snotty ugly cry. Big pat on the back to me, I did it! I can't say the same for the rest of the room, because I totally rocked that speech and had everyone crying along with me.
Here it is. Get a tissue.
According to the Knot.com I’m supposed to introduce myself because you all may not know me and then express how honored I am to be here. But I think you all know I’m Bonnie, Sarah’s older sister, and with a gathering so intimate and so remote, I know we all feel very honored to be a part of this special day. It is certainly a long time in the making.
When I first met Josh, he and Sarah were just teenagers. And I openly admit I was not so sure about this scruffy teenage boy with jewelry in his face hanging around my little sister. I told Sarah, the only reason she was getting away with this was because I had long since desensitized mom and dad to scruffy teenagers with facial jewelry. You’re both still welcome for that by the way.
Now, I am happy to say Josh has grown on me considerably. He’s changed a lot since I met him years ago, and one thing that has become increasingly evident over the years is how much he loves my sister. As far as I’m concerned that is the most important thing we have in common.
And now Sarah and I have one more thing in common too. With an 11 year age difference it can seem like you don’t have much in common when you’re young. But as we’ve both grown up it’s exciting to see our lives grow more and more parallel. And if I’m overwhelmed with joy for you today it’s because I know how happy marrying your best friend will make you both. And I am so happy this is a new thing we have in common.
To your happily ever after. Cheers.