Kevin Haas: Raise your glass for wedding toasts gone wrong

Kevin Haas

One of the most cherished moments of a wedding day is when the bride and groom’s closest friends share a special story about the couple in front of all the guests. The story is often so special and so touching that the happy couple will look at each other during the speech with a twinkle in their eyes that says, “Why on earth did we give your friend a microphone?”

Last weekend I attended a friend’s wedding. It was a lovely celebration, with a lovely bride, lovely groom and lovely wedding party. It would be completely inappropriate and downright wrong to mock one flaw.

So here it goes:

The maid of honor committed a faux pas (a French word that literally translates to “four paws”) when she said that she never thought “these two” would get married, especially because the bride had dated “a lot of guys.”

I’m sure these were her honest thoughts, but there’s about as much room for honesty in a wedding speech as there is in the marriage itself. In a scale of bad to best, here’s how dating history should be mentioned:

Bad: She’s dated a lot.

Better: She dated some, but never anyone like (groom’s name).

Best: She was locked in a castle dreaming of (groom’s name) until the day she met (groom’s name).

The same type of scale can be applied to a eulogy.

Good: We’ll miss him.

Bad: We’ll miss what’s-his-name.

Worst: What’s this hole doing here?

There are a lot of phrases that can turn a good wedding speech bad, but there are two words that will ruin one: open bar.

But even when booze isn’t part of the equation, a speech can go horribly wrong. It shouldn’t be too much to ask that a little money gets spent on a professional speech writer, especially when the average wedding costs roughly as much as the gross domestic product of Costa Rica.

Some people complain that a professional writer might take the sincerity out of the speech and not allow you to say the things you want to say. This could be a good thing because you may possibly want to mention the bachelor party in your speech, in which case, you may be a moron.

First-hand example of speechwriter need.

When my sister, Renee, got married a few years back, I delivered the maid of honor speech in which I said, “(Groom), ever since I met you it’s felt like you were family. And Renee, pretty much the same can be said for you, too.”

If I had hired a speechwriter, I could have delivered a more poignant message about my feelings for the couple, something like “Groom, ever since I met you it’s felt like you were family. And Renee, nice hat.”

There’s probably one question you’re asking yourself, that being, “Did I just read that you were the maid of honor?”

I’m sorry, but we’re out of space for this column.

Rockford Register Star columnist Kevin Haas can be reached at (815) 987-1354 or khaas@rrstar.com.