Paying homage with a short speech and a tinkle of glasses.
Informal or formal toasting lends an air of festivity to any celebratory dinner and is a way of honoring people on special occasions. Informal toasting may occur at the beginning of the meal just after the wine has been poured. Everyone raises his or her glass at the same time, and says, “To us,” “Cheers,” or the like. Guests then touch glasses all around or with the people nearest them, and all take a first sip of wine together.
More formal toasting involves a short speech honoring a particular person and usually occurs toward the end of the meal, when people still have a bit of wine left in their glasses, or at dessert, when champagne is served. The person making the toast stands and makes a short speech about the person or persons being honored. The speech may be sentimental, humorous, or outrageously flattering. At the end of it, the speaker says, “I now propose a toast to . . . .” All guests except the person being toasted rise, repeat the name of the person honored, touch glasses, and sip. Nondrinkers should not toast with water ( it’s bad luck), but may rise and touch empty glasses. The recipient of the toast does not rise, nor does he or she sip the wine until the toast is completed. Wedding toasts At a wedding reception, the best man acts as toastmaster. He begins by toasting the bride. Others, including the groom, then toast the bride. The bride returns her groom’s toast and may also toast her parents, her new parents-in-law, or her main attendant.
At a christening, the godfather or godmother begins the toasts; after that, anyone may propose a toast. At an anniversary, the hosts begin the toasting, even if it is the couple themselves.