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A little advice before taking the mic.

Raise your glass and… prepare to perspire. Wedding toasts can wet the palms of even the coolest cucumber, put fear in the hearts of the newlyweds, and make even your crazy uncle blush. But they don’t have to. Whether you’re a bride with expectant ears, or a best man about to take the mic, the best advice is to know the couple – and the crowd.

Danielle Switalski strove for “light-hearted humor” at her friend Sarah Sanchez’s wedding in early 2016, dishing on their “first underage shot in the alley together,” plus that time they ordered everything on the Wendy’s dollar menu. She closed by asking guests to raise their glasses to “a rare and incredible love and a lifetime of firsts.”

Sheila Julson Thompson was surprised when, at their 2014 reception, her husband – local musician Doug Thompson – serenaded her in a personal toast: “He then opened the mic for other musicians in the audience,” she says.

Others, like Mary Briggs-Sedlachek and her wife, who married in July 2015, made it political. “As [we] were thanking our guests for coming, we asked everyone to toast the United States Supreme Court for making our marriage happen,” she says.

Whatever you do, don’t pull a bait-and-switch like Mary Kelly’s now-husband did. “A bit drunk at his bachelor party, he told his groomsmen, who then told the bridesmaids, that he didn’t want wedding toasts. Then he didn’t remember it,” says Kelly, who refused to can the toasts. “Everything was off-the-cuff. The pictures of my face when my tipsy maid of honor is telling 150 of our closest family members and friends about my partying college years were pretty priceless.”


‘Toast Tips’ appears in Milwaukee Weddings.

Find Milwaukee Weddings on newsstands beginning Jan. 2.

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