Category Archives: Wedding Toast Tips

Summer is Here! | Financially Surviving Wedding Season as a Guest

By | Charlie Blog, Financial Tips for Wedding Planning, Money Saving Tips for Wedding Guests, Wedding Guest Tips, Wedding Guests, Wedding Planner, Wedding Toast Tips | No Comments

From Dee:  Financial foundations are so important, for both wedding-related business owners and engaged couples counting every penny as they build their budget.  But, what about wedding guests?  Having been one myself, it adds up!  Our friends at Charlie have some excellent tips for wedding guests struggling to get by this summer without breaking the bank.  And, be sure to check out their website for timely, easy-to-follow financial advice.  Enjoy!

According to the New York Times, the average wedding guest spends nearly $900 to partake in the festivities. That price tag can make your wallet want to say, “I don’t!” — especially if your wedding season dance card is full.

But don’t worry. Charlie knows a bunch of money-saving hacks so you can catch the bouquet without breaking the bank!

Set a Budget and Prioritize

Take a peek at your finances and determine exactly how much you can spend on the occasion without wreaking havoc on your budget. Once you have a figure in mind, it’s time to create a spending plan.

You can stay near the venue in style, rival the bride for beauty, or be the best gift giver ever — but you may not be able to afford to do it all. If that’s the case, you’ll need to make some trade-offs to stay within your set limits. For example, if you want to give a lavish gift, that could mean forgoing the expensive salon visit the morning of the ceremony.

Tip: Charlie can help you plan ahead by starting a new savings goal called “wedding.”

Photo by Brady Puryear

Pool Resources

Try going in on wedding attendance expenses with family and friends. You can split the cost of lodging, transportation, and even the gift. That way, everyone saves some cash and can still fully take part in the experience.

Beautify Yourself (or Find a Deal)

If you’ve got the skills, skip the pricey salon and do your own hair, makeup, and mani-pedi. DIY’ing your beauty regimen will save you some serious cash. (You may even already have the supplies on hand!) Afraid of looking like Elizabeth Holmes? Ask a friend to help paint your face and braid their hair in trade.

If you really want to be pampered, check Groupon to score a deal on the service. You can also reach out to local beauty schools. Often, their students will gussy you up for much less dough than a pro.

Re-wear or Rent Attire

There is zero shame in wearing a killer dress (or suit) twice. So save your wallet and rock that outfit again! You can also raid a friend’s closet to wear something that’s new to you. But — if you must wear something brand new, consider renting your ensemble for a fraction of the price of buying it off the rack.

Surviving weddings financially as a guest

Photo by Courtney Lindberg Photography

Make Your Gift

If you’ve got the talent, why not use it to make something heartfelt and budget friendly? Your newlyweds will appreciate the gesture and will likely cherish it over another set of wine glasses.

Here are some ideas to spark your creativity:

  • Sing a song at the reception
  • Make the centerpieces on the dinner tables
  • Offer to photograph the event
  • Create a scrapbook about their relationship
  • Knit a blanket for their couch or bed
  • Paint their new family portrait

Still feeling uninspired? Pinterest has got you covered!

Just Say No

Although it hurts to check “will not attend” on the RSVP card, remember: an invitation to a wedding is a request, not a requirement. Sometimes your wallet just can’t swing it and that’s OK. If that happens, confidently decline with your regrets and send a little (perhaps homemade) gift in your place.

Final Thoughts

Being a wedding guest can be crazy expensive — but it doesn’t have to be. Every element of the experience can be optimized to fit your budget. So go ahead and feel the love while enjoying your fatter bank account.



Tips for Wedding Toasts: A Must Read!

By | Wedding Coordinator, Wedding Toast Tips | No Comments

The first rule of Toasting:  Do not go over five minutes.

The second rule of Toasting:  Do not go over five minutes.

Get the point?

At one of the first weddings I ever coordinated, the Best Man went on for seemingly forever. We checked the videographer’s time code:  It was at 34 minutes. Thirty. Four. Minutes.  Do you know what that was? That was a band set. The band the bride and groom paid thousands for – one whole set, cut.

I get that money isn’t everything – but the thing is, the best man wasn’t a professional comedian.  He wasn’t a brilliant speaker. He was fine, but after five minutes, he was repetitive and not covering new ground. Few people can.  5 minutes is fantastic. After that, you have to be a phenomenal speaker to make an audience spellbound.  Guests have already been around for about 2 hours; they are waiting for the next course and are probably hungry; and they can’t wait to go back to the bar and eventually, get up and dance and mingle. Be respectful and keep it short. You can also throw the entire evening’s schedule off – including food service – leading to disaster all because you wanted to tell one more childhood story about your good friend the bride.

Unless, of course, you are a professional performer, or just that good. We’ve witnessed amazing speeches by professional performers and comedians, but even they knew not to go over 15 minutes- like this best man, Jareb Dauplais, who kept it funny and raucous and just long enough.  Jareb is a professional actor and it shows –  his toast was outrageous, sentimental, sweet, and totally seemingly unscripted – and just as long as it needed to be. Take heart, toasters!   (Video by Juice Box Media)



Toast-est with the Most-est: A guide to wedding toasts

By | Embarassing Toasts, How to give a wedding toast, Wedding Toast Tips | No Comments

A funny thing sometimes happens when we cue people for toasts.  They turn around in horror and say, “I’m giving a toast?” At first we think they’re joking, but sometimes, they’re NOT.  So this person, whom the bride and groom told us was definitely giving a toast during our meetings, has no idea they are speaking!

Clinking glasses - toasting the bride and groom! Photo by Julie Wilson Photography,

Thus, we’ve had to give some tips on the fly.  Here are foolproof steps for lovely wedding toast:

1.  Start by introducing yourself briefly. It’s a good way to kick it off without much thought and give you a chance to ‘warm up’.  Giving some background on how long you have known each other is also a way to set the tone for your toast.

2.  Talk about a funny story from the bride or groom’s past that showed their sense of character or unique personality. Please…please:  No naughty stories or embarrassing flashbacks.  We had a toast-er talk about one of the couple’s many ex-es.  Not cool.

3.  Then segue into when you first met their other half.  Maybe it was something sweet about how the groom held the door for the bride or how the bride realized she liked Star Trek as much as he did.

4.  Wrap it up with raising a hand in toast, wishing the couple well and many years of happiness.

Photo by Olivier Lalin /

Feel free also to write out some key bullet points and bring up with you if you like. There’s nothing wrong with bringing up a cheat sheet.

Make sure your toast is no more than 5 minutes long – too long, and the crowd gets bored, and it can even cut into the DJ or band set that the couple paid for.  I know it’s important to have this sentimental aspect of the wedding, but unless your speech is that good (and we’ve had professional comics as best men or maids who’ve killed out there) keep it short n’ sweet.

Always hold the mic up so it’s lightly touching your chin – or no one will be able to hear you. Guests are surprised that you have to bring it quite close up for the sound to project.  If the mic is wireless, you can move around; if not, you will need to stay close to the DJ booth.

Lastly, bring up a glass to toast with, but remember between your notes, and the mic, you may not be able to hold it easily, so ask the DJ if you can place the glass near his gear – some are cool with this, some aren’t – or a nearby table may be best.

Happy toasting!