I have noticed a disturbing trend over the past year that I have managed to document and analyze in order to determine if my observations have been accurate. As a wedding DJ, I have heard hundreds, if not thousands, of toasts, almost always by the best man, oftentimes by the father of the groom, and lately by the maid or matron of honor as well. Ten years ago a toast from the maid of honor was a rarity, but today it happens more often than it does not.
Though these women are all fine speakers and often do an excellent job with their toasts, I have noticed that they tend to limit their positive comment about the bride to physical appearance only. The typical maid of honor comments on how beautiful the bride looks and then follows this compliment with a story or anecdote about the couple. Sometimes she talks about the bride and groom’s first date, and sometimes she describes the moment when the groom asked the bride to marry him. Stories from childhood or college are often included, and then glasses are raised and the microphone is passed to the best man.
In the last twelve weddings that I have worked in which a maid of honor toasted the bride and groom, she has limited all positive remarks about the bride to physical appearance.
Every single one.
In contrast, best man speeches never reference physical appearance (unless done in jest) but instead center on a groom’s character. Loyalty, friendship, selflessness, and even courage are often referenced. Sometimes stupidity and clumsiness enter the fray as well. From this past weekend, for example, the groom was described as loyal family man, dependable, funny, intelligent, risk-taking, hard working, sentimental, and kind.
All of these glowing remarks while the maid of honor limited her remarks to “You look so beautiful today” and “You look simply stunning today, as you always do.”
Granted, there was more to the maid of honor’s toast, but stories were told to promote laughter and reminiscence and not for the purposes of highlighting the bride’s many positive attributes.
Other than the bride’s degree of beauty, all other compliments (and I would argue the more meaningful comments) were reserved for the groom.
Thankfully this was not the case on our wedding day. Elysha’s sister’s toast including a glowing tribute to her sister, describing her as a warm and genuine person and not the pretty object that most maids of honor focus seem stuck on.
And my best man offered a long but excellent toast, full of stories that I had long since forgotten, but nothing about my physical appearance, probably to my benefit.
Prior to every toast, I review the use of the microphone with best men and maids of honor, and if needed, I will review their toasts as well, to ensure that nothing is missed. At a recent wedding I suggested to the maid of honor that a few positive comments related to something other than the bride’s physical appearance might be in order, and she scoffed at the idea, looking at me as if I were from Pluto.
“Have you even heard a maid of honor toast before? I got all these ideas from a web site and (the bride) is going to love them.”
Though I didn’t think that she was wrong in her prediction of the bride’s reaction to the toast, I wished that she were.