The Happiest Day Of Your Life. This Is It.

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It's daunting — trying to plan your wedding, or, as most people call it, THE HAPPIEST DAY OF YOUR LIFE (THDOYL). I am affianced to a lovely man, and in the throes of THDOYL planning. There's so much that can go wrong — your best man could get drunk, your bouquet could cause an allergy, it could rain on your shantung, your maid of honor could reveal the secrets of your high school deflowering, your flower girl could call you Aunt Chubby, your groom could get cold feet, your groom could not get cold feet, your hairpiece could end up in the cake, your mother in law could faint, your ex-spouse could show up unannounced, your dress could get tucked into your underwear... well, you get the idea. That's the problem with THYDOYL. ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN. It is, as you might have guessed, a caps-inducing kind of anxiety. Never fear — Claire Lewis is a wedding photographer — and she's seen it all (and written about it). We've got all the advice you ever wantedand tips on how to give a great toast without ruining a friendship (no one is promising that you won't need a little vodka). I swear — we are not doing this show to make me feel better, FYI.



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A toast made by the best man at my daughter's wedding 31 years ago.
"May all your ups and downs be between the sheets."
Her mother was not pleased.

Sent by Peter Pearson | 3:11 PM | 5-29-2008

The best man started off his speech "I was told a best man speech should be as long as the groom should make love.... So thats all I have." I thought it was pretty funny

Sent by Joe | 3:12 PM | 5-29-2008

On my wedding day my dress arrived from being pressed with mysterious black smudges on the front. Whilst I hyperventilated in the ladies room, the quick thinking pastor gave my mother a piece of white chalk and told her to rub the smudges with it. Voila! The smudges were hidden and my husband and I are celebrating our 12th anniversary this year. Since then I've always carried chalk to weddings just in case.

Sent by Allison - Portland, OR | 3:14 PM | 5-29-2008

I'm sure my comment won't make it on air- but my wedding day was the happiest day of my life. Just me, my husband, the judge, and 2 friends.
And it only cost us about $35.

Sent by Jennifer | 3:14 PM | 5-29-2008

At my best friend's wedding, the maid of honor (three sheets to the wind) gave a toast that named many of the bride's exes unfavorably---in front of a jealous groom, and several of the exes were in the room, one of which was the father of her child. At least one of them left the celebration soon after.

Sent by Courtney | 3:14 PM | 5-29-2008

When I was a bartender at a wedding, the bride cut the cake with the groom and when they went to feed each other a piece of cake,she laughingly rubbed a small piece of cake in the groom's face. He had a little too much to drink and grabbed her around the neck in a headlock and forced her face down into the cake. She pushed on the table to hold her balance and the pedestal table toppled onto the floor along with the cake and the bride and groom fell into the wedding cake. I had never heard such language from a bride before or since.

Sent by Peter Pearson | 3:15 PM | 5-29-2008

My wife and I invited all our guests the day before the wedding. Got married by the first minister who approached us at the court house, who happened to be an african-american woman, I did the catering while my wife was out shopping for her wedding ring. We are very upper-middle class and spent virtually nothing Which was shocking to some. I've never been happier in my life and that's what it's all about

Sent by Steve Carnilla / | 3:20 PM | 5-29-2008

Best Toast Ever ---
To lying, cheating, and stealing. Lying to save a friend, cheating death, and stealing the heart of the one you love.

Sent by Beth Dercole | 3:21 PM | 5-29-2008

All of this talk about the stress of weddings makes me appreciate the way I got married. My husband's family was already gathering for a big surprise party for his parents anniversary and we decided since we had a captive audience, we'd just get married too. My only regret is that no one took any good pictures. We left disposable cameras on all the tables and the pictures we ended up with are terrible.

Sent by Linda Browne | 3:21 PM | 5-29-2008

My daughter's maid of honor began her toast by saying that not many there knew this wasn't Beth's first wedding. Since I had been a guest at many of the dozens of "weddings" these two had staged over the years in my back yard (sometimes inter-species with a more or less willing cat as the groom) I enjoyed watching the reactions of the other guests, especially the groom's mother.

Sent by Karen DenBleyker | 3:21 PM | 5-29-2008

I was at a Catholic wedding when, before the actual vows were exchanged, the priest paused the ceremony to administer a pop quiz to the bride & groom. They were clearly surprised & there was no mention of the quiz at the rehearsal. I don't remember the questions but the bride scored 0 correct & the groom 1 correct. If it were me, I would not have paid the priest.

Sent by Stacy R | 3:22 PM | 5-29-2008

My husband and I were married in 1979 at the Sons of Norway Hall in Minneapolis. We had all our friends bring hors d'oeuvres and desserts, we provided all the wine and beer and recorded all our own favorite dance music. It was a really fun night on a very low budget. After the wedding, I planned on a romantic night at the Sofitel Hotel. Instead, we ended up at 11:00 PM at a local pizza joint with several of our nieces and nephews (all under 10). As we walked in, still dressed in our weddings clothes, with a gaggle of little kids, I remember the hostess raising her eyebrows and saying, "Hmm, so you just got married."

Sent by teresa wagner | 3:23 PM | 5-29-2008

My wife-to-be and I moved halfway across the country, then tried to plan our wedding from 700 miles apart. We wanted a small wedding and so my idea was a destination wedding in the Virgin Islands with a handful of our family and closest friends. This would be followed by a casual reception outdoor party back in Maryland for our large group of family and friends. Then our parents got involved and everything went downhill from there. There wasn't a single part of our wedding, rehearsal dinner, or reception that went as planned or even as hoped. We didn't even have a song picked out to be "our song." Despite me being the proponent of a simple wedding away from the stress of family "good intentions," I somehow still catch the blame for all that went wrong.

My recommendation: elope!

Sent by Chris | 3:24 PM | 5-29-2008

The wedding guests included the ex-boyfriend. The maid of honor was the bride's slightly intoxicated college roommate. She toasted the new couple by saying that she knew he was Mr. Right when she brought him to their college room. Unfortunately it was the old boyfriend.

Sent by Dan Brown | 3:27 PM | 5-29-2008

The wedding toast I remember was from my nephew's wedding. The Maid of Honor (after speaking very fondly of the bride) instructed the groom to place his hand over the bride's hand. She then said "That is the last time you will ever have the upper hand in your marriage."

Sent by Gretchen | 3:28 PM | 5-29-2008

The Best all time wedding toast I heard was at my friends wedding last year.
It was given by the minister who performed the ceremony. It was Short, sweet and smart and went like this.

"May today, be the Worst day of your lives"


Sent by Joshua Knuth | 3:28 PM | 5-29-2008

My dad who never was able to fix one thing in our house celebrated at our wedding by raising his glass and saying "I am not losing a daughter, I am gaining a handyman"

Sent by Carol Bergstrom | 3:29 PM | 5-29-2008

My niece married a fine young man. She had met him thru his brother. When the brother offered his wedding toast to the happy couple, he said, "Barbara, take care of my brother. Michael, take care of my best friend."

Sent by Craig Loehrke | 3:32 PM | 5-29-2008

my favorite toast from my wedding...

May those who love us love us,
and those who do not love us,
may God turn their hearts,
and if He cannot turn their hearts
may He turn their ankles
that we may know them by their limping.

Sent by John Blair | 3:32 PM | 5-29-2008

My husband, who is not a singer, secretly rehearsed and then sang at the reception a fabulous version of "Once in Love with Amy" (Amy being my name). He had a friend sing part of it with him and passed out slips of paper with the chorus so the whole crowd could sing it to me, too. A truly wonderful surprise wedding gift for me.

Sent by Amy S. in Portland OR | 3:32 PM | 5-29-2008

I speak from the perspective as a church organist, Playing for weddings the past 35 years. The few outstanding are: one where the groom was lost and I vamped for 45 minutes while he found the church. I now make sure all are present before I start to play. Another was one where the bride's mom stood up at the rehearsal and announced that the photographer was running the show, not the pastor or the couple. No one was really happy that day. And finally, the two hour rehearsal with a pastor that specified when the wedding party would switch their weight from one leg to the other. Everything was gone over in great detail so that the photos would be great. I was told to always have an excuse to leave the rehearsal after 30 minutes so I would not be there for detailed rehearsal. Of course, my wedding was perfect.

Sent by Debbie Winter | 3:33 PM | 5-29-2008

Last summer, before our wedding, I warned my maid of honor that she should have a toast ready. I don't know if she forgot, or what, in the chaos of getting ready. At the reception, the microphone had come to me. I turned and tried to give it to the maid of honor, who wouldn't take it. I kept at her, saying that the party couldn't go on until she'd given her toast. Finally, in a high-pitched, half-strangled voice, she said, "Toast!" That was it!

Sent by Ann Monroe | 3:38 PM | 5-29-2008

My husband and I dated for 10 years before we married. For the toast, my husband's brother got up and said, "How many of you thought you would live to see this day?" Nobody raised their hand. It's been 22 years and I still think of that toast.

Sent by Julie Gage | 3:38 PM | 5-29-2008

Spent a few years as a professional photographer many moons ago, which included weddings. One memory includes a sense of discomfort in the air as guests arrived at one ceremony. I finally asked someone, who admitted that at the rehearsal dinner the night before, the two families got into an argument. The wedding almost didn't happen... Also remember them serving potato chips and white bread sandwiches at the reception.

Sent by Jim-Bob | 3:39 PM | 5-29-2008

The best wedding toast I've heard yet was given by an 8-year-old girl some years ago. She stood up, raised her glass, and said: "To the Beatles." I hope someone uses that toast at my upcoming wedding.

Sent by Anne D. in Portland, OR | 3:42 PM | 5-29-2008

My father had his new son-in-law raise his ice water and dip his index finger in it. He then exclaimed that "if you allow your new wife to shower first, you need to get use to this temperature!"

Sent by Brent B. in Pleasant View UT | 3:43 PM | 5-29-2008

My maid of honor toasted us saying, "I hope it is better than chocolate." and it really really is.

Sent by Lee Padgett | 3:45 PM | 5-29-2008

Hi Neil,
Is it more "Green" to share your wedding photos via email & online, or is it better for the environment to print a few pictures to send out?

Sent by Rachel Lee | 3:45 PM | 5-29-2008

This is a fantastic toast:
"[Bride] and I first met at a party at her sister's.
We hit it off, opened up, shared secrets and talked about everything. Around us, the party waned, but we hid from sleep together, talking through the deepest hours of the night.
The dawn found us curled up on a couch, asleep but still together.
That experience, connection with a stranger and falling recklessly in love, is one of life's greatest joys.
And now that you're married, you'll never experience it again.
It's the price you pay for everlasting love.
It's a small one, and you should pay it gladly. But I hope it stings a little."
--from the wecomic

Sent by Mark | 3:46 PM | 5-29-2008

I loved my wedding and my guests still talk about it to this day. We've been married 3 1/2 years now.
We were married at Union Terminal (The Cincinnati Museum Center) in the history museum on the public landing recreation a week before Christmas. My dress was red velvet and red and gold brocade with a reproduction Victorian Corset. I made my dress myself. My mother made my bridesmaid's dresses which were like mine but in gold. The best man gave a lovely toast about how my hubby met me over the internet and flew me down sight unseen for a "vacation." (10 DAYS AFTER 9-11!!!) And about how my husband didn't tell his friends about me for nearly 2 months. My husband is Catholic, but I'm Unitarian Universalit... we compromised and had an Orthodox American Catholic Priest marry us. (An Irish Franciscan Monk!) Everyone looked lovely. We played Frank Sinatra tunes at our reception which was also on the public landing recreation.
Yes we had a few things go awry, but don't we all on our wedding day? All that matters is that you love the person you marry and ignore the road bumps.

Sent by Colleen Green | 3:48 PM | 5-29-2008

Wedding Toast

I got this from Herb Caen (SF columnist)
"Here's to the roses and lillies in in my arms and I in your room...A door that is locked...a key that is lost...a Bird, a Bottle, and a bed badly tossed...and a Night that is 50 years Long!"

Sent by Andrea Fulton | 3:49 PM | 5-29-2008

From Rabbi Martin Weitz . . .

May the ground you now stand on, be sacred . . .

May the home you are about to make, be a sanctuary . . .

May the table of your daily bread, be an altar . . .

And may you, Husband, serve therein as high priest. . .

And may you, Wife, dwell therein as ministering angel . . .

And may your skill with skillet, never lead to any burnt offerings.

May this be your shared benediction:

In essential things,Unity . . .

In doubtful things,Liberty . . .

In eternal things, Charity . . . Amen.


I am a pastor . . .
One of my first weddings . . . The groom, best man, and I stood facing the congregation for 20 minutes, as the wedding director changed the song that was our cue to enter the sanctuary. It was the longest 20 minutes of my life (I tried, unsuccessfully, to get her attention. When she finally realized what had happened, her facial expression was absolutely fascinating.).

Sent by De Hillyer | 3:53 PM | 5-29-2008

Here's the best(and shortest) toast I've heard. It was given by the father of the bride. He had all of the guests stand and raise their champagne glasses, then said, "Repeat after me: Emily and Dave (everyone repeated the bride and groom's names,) Forever!" (and the crowd repeated "Forever") It was perfect!

Sent by Karen Wilson | 3:57 PM | 5-29-2008

I'm very happy to say that my wedding rocked. We got creative with it, designing the invitations ourselves, while my father-in-law-to-be composed a string quartet for the ceremony. I'm Jewish and she's Catholic, but we managed to find a local rabbi/priest duo that had an awesome shtick that pleased everyone. We found a place that would let us have the ceremony outside, but had a good Plan B if it rained. And we made sure the DJ knew that if he played certain songs we hated, a mob of bridesmaids would trash his gear faster than he could say macarena.

Meanwhile, I was lucky to have my brother do an awesome best-man toast at my wedding five years ago, so when it was my turn to return him the favor last year at his wedding, the pressure was on. It didn't take long for almost everyone I knew to start giving advice on how I should frame the toast: tell an embarrassing story, don't tell an embarrassing story, etc, etc. In the end, I concluded the best thing to do was come up with an amusing (though not embarrassing) anecdote, and bring props to back it up. You can judge for yourself whether I succeeded or not.

Sent by andy carvin, npr | 5:13 PM | 5-29-2008

Not a toast story but on the cake for my sister's wedding. When it arrived, my mother saw that it said "Happy Hannukah Harry." My father said that not only did he not know that my mother knew the swear words she used but that he did not know some of them. The cake arrived, with the proper inscription, during the ceremony.

Sent by James C. Roberts III | 1:28 AM | 5-30-2008

At the end of my first wedding ceremony I sent everyone back to my bungalow for an after-party and my wife and I got stuck at the reception location. I finally got through to the bungalow and said my name and the person who answered the phone--amid party din--told me that I was on my honeymoon and unavailable and hung up.

Sent by James C. Roberts III | 1:32 AM | 5-30-2008

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