Traditionally the bride’s parents paid for the wedding ceremony and the groom’s parents hosted the rehearsal dinner. If that’s how your son’s wedding is arranged, you may find yourself needing to open the dinner with a toast. While it may make you nervous, remember that we often don’t hear lots about the groom at the wedding. So, it’s a great gift for you to talk about this wonderful man who is your son. So, what to say that’s enough and not too much? There are a lot of suggestions here, but you want to keep your toast fairly short: the wait staff is waiting to serve and people are hungry. This is often the meal that will start people getting acclimated to the right time zone for the wedding.
Welcome everyone to the meal and the start of this great celebration.
- Your family may not have gathered for a while, so it’s nice to be together again.
- Offer a particular welcome to the bride’s family and look forward to getting to know one another better through the years.
- Welcome all the family friends on both sides who have traveled to witness this wonderful occasion.
- And then say hello to all the friends of the bride and groom who have gathered to celebrate their friends.
Say how happy you are that your son has chosen to marry such a wonderful woman.
- Talk a little bit about the wonderful qualities you’ve noticed in your son’s fiancée.
- Tell them that you’re looking forward to her becoming a member of your family.
Tell them how wonderful your son is and how proud you and his mother are of your son.
- It’s OK to talk just one of your children, because this event is just about him.
- It’s a wonderful time to tell your son that you’re proud to be his parents.
Say how much you’re looking forward to the entire weekend, their happy marriage and the shared years ahead of you. Hoist your glass, and sit down and enjoy the dinner and your friends, both old and new.
Note: if you and your son’s mother are divorced, it’s still really important to acknowledge that the two of you brought this wonderful man into the world. There’s nothing odder than parents pretending that they have no past together despite fabulous children. At some point the two of you loved one another enough to create this great son. Your ex was there when this child was brought into the world. You can afford to be generous and you might even allow the wedding to move you into a place of greater peace with one another. After all, there may be grandchildren ahead; no one wants to miss birthdays because you can’t figure out how to talk to one another. You don’t lose anything, ever by being generous. Your new spouses need to figure this out too, because they benefit from peace as well. And it will make all your children sigh with relief as you acknowledge the reality of the family they grew up in.