While planning the order of our upcoming wedding reception, we ran into trouble figuring out who we wanted to toast and when. It can get a little complicated, matching differing family structures and sets of friends. We needed a guide.
I have a set of vintage etiquette books, including the incomparable Emily Post’s Etiquette, but we thought Letitia Baldridge’s Complete Guide to the New Manners for the 90’s would be more helpful in this case. She offered very clear, direct advice, as she always does. So should you find yourself wondering who should toast and in what order, here is the official list:
The best man toasts the bride.
The groom toasts the bride.
The bride toasts her groom.
The father of the bride toasts the couple.
The bride toasts her groom’s parents.
The groom toasts his bride’s parents.
The matron or maid of honor toasts the couple.
The father of the groom toasts the couple.
The mother of the bride toasts the couple.
The mother of the groom toasts the couple.
Other relatives and close friends of the bride or groom continue toasting.
At which point the reception guests start sawing at their forearms with the butter knives.
Fortunately with our guests, we feel certain that the toasts will be at least as interesting as the sparkling wine we’re toasting with: Crémant de Loire. This bubbly from France’s Loire Valley makes an elegant, less-expensive alternative to Champagne. The bubbles tend to be fine, and they frequently express a bit of that yeasty goodness on the nose that I enjoy in real Champagnes.
So give a Crémant de Loire a try the next time you need a sparkler; they usually cost between $15 and $20 per bottle.