There comes a time at every wedding reception when the Best Man and Maid of Honor exchange a glance signaling to each other that it is time… time to get nervous. Butterflies are swarming their stomachs and all eyes are on them. It is time for the toasts. Each person gets to honor their nearest and dearest friends. Some choose to take jabs at the couple, others decide to commemorate a relationship taking on a the adventure of a lifetime.
We all enjoy raising a glass to cheers friends and family but where did this tradition come from?
The custom originated in times when people were weary of poisoning. By raising your glass and clinking them together this was believed to cause the contents to spill over insuring that every drink was safe. There was also a custom of a host walking around the room with an empty cup and each guest would pour part of his or her drink into the host’s cup. The host would then raise his glass and show his guests that he is drinking the same as them.
The word toast came about in the 17th century when often drinks would be flavored with pieces of spiced toast floating in each cup.
Hopefully your wedding guests are toasting you because they want to celebrate with you not because they are worried about being poisoned. With gluten allergies on the rise I would recommend skipping the floating toast in the drinks unless you really want to keep that tradition alive.
What should we drink with the toast? That is truly up to the Bride and Groom. It is traditional to toast with Champagne or Sparkling Wine/Cider. There are superstitions that if you toast with water it is bad luck but other than that any beverage should be just fine. Also it is important in many cultures to make eye contact with those you clink glasses with while you are clinking, other wise you will have seven years of bad luck (or sex depending on who you ask).
I personally like the idea of a Champagne/Sparkling Wine toast. Often the Champagne is set aside solely for the purpose of the toast. The waitstaff will walk around and serve the Champagne and this signals that everyone should take their seats as it is time for the toasts. It creates a nice break in the flow of the reception.
If you are worried about your budget, do not let the idea that Champagne or Sparkling Wine is too expensive for your reception bar budget. There are many very affordable and delicious sparkling wines out there. Personally I would recommend Cristalino Brut Spanish Cava. If you prefer sweeter bubbles then perhaps an Extra Dry or Demi Sec might be the way to go, and if you like super duper sweet a Moscato D’Asti will get the job done. You may want to keep in mind if people are bringing kiddos sparkling cider is a good alternative for young ones, non-drinkers and designated drivers.
No matter what your tastes and budget are there is a Sparkling Wine or Champagne out there for you. Sit back raise a glass and hopefully your bridal party won’t spill too much dirt while Grandma is still there.