What to Say and When to Say It (Before, During and After Your Wedding)

If you had time to write down every piece of advice you have been given whether you want it or not, you would have enough material for a series of books. From the selection of your unique invitations to the way in which you should wear your hair, it seems everyone has an opinion.

The one piece of advice you may not have heard yet is what to say and when to say it. There are four times saying the right thing the right way is appropriate.

Best wishes and congratulations

It may seem archaic, but traditionally the bride receives best wishes and the groom receives congratulations.

You could start a rant about how in this politically correct day and age, you don’t need best wishes and would like to be congratulated on your choice of spouse, but look at it this way. Best wishes can go a long way because after all, why wouldn’t your guest want to wish you the best. Similarly, the groom deserves congratulations. After all, he was astute enough to ask you to marry him, wasn’t he?


While anyone can make a toast to the newly married couple, members of the wedding party usually begin the toasts. Although it’s not mandatory, you too can make a toast. To make the toast as special as the unique invitations you sent out, begin with a favorite quote or a few lines of a song or poem.

While your toast should be personal, do not make it so personal that it’s embarrassing. A brief anecdote that is relevant makes great material, and if it is humorous without being deprecating, all the better.

Toasts are short; keep yours to just a few minutes.

I said, “no.”

The two little letters are the hardest to say. You are not alone if you find it difficult to utter this single syllable.

But it’s probably the most important response you can practice.

When one of your bridesmaids asks to create paper fans with your unique wedding invitations, or your future mother-in-law insists that you wear the old feather-decorated cap she wore at her wedding, you must be able to say no without second-guessing yourself.

The trick is to be able to say it objectively, as though you answering the question, “Is it raining outside?”


The easiest response to master is “thanks.”

When your guests tell you how much they loved the unique wedding invitation, a simple “thanks” will do. Who else do you thank?

Be sure to thank people for their best wishes and congratulations, thank those who dance with you – especially your dad – and be sure to thank people for coming. You can even thank your mother-in-law for offering you a special memento from her wedding (but don’t wear that cap).

Knowing what to say before, during and after your wedding may help you transition easily into married life.