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  • Holly Blum, The Word Whisperer

Is It Okay For A Toast To Be More of a Roast?

At Taylor Swift’s BFF’s wedding last weekend, Taylor reportedly delivered a toast that some may have considered to cross the line. According to The Boston Globe Taylor shared a somewhat intimate story about her friend and new husband. She said, “She’s running after him, there’s falling, there’s stumbling… They make it to the bathroom and I can hear sounds that I can never unheard… and then there’s silence.” Fortunately, the story seems to have gone over well, getting laughs from the couple. But sometimes the toastmaster isn’t so lucky.

Like this maid of honor who asked for advice from Slate about what to do after her remarks offended the groom so much that her 20+ year friendship with the bride is officially beyond repair.

So how can you figure out what information is appropriate to share and what may not be?

My general rule of thumb is this: if you wouldn’t be comfortable sharing the information with your own grandmother, leave it out of the speech altogether.

For some, this advice is easy to follow. But for those who want to give more of a roast than a toast, tread carefully. It’s perfectly acceptable to infuse your remarks with good-natured humor. Just make sure that the stories you’re sharing will make everyone laugh, especially the guest of honor. If you’re really looking to push the envelope, consider floating it by an objective and trusted friend to gauge their reaction. If you receive genuine laughs, go for it. But if it sounds forced, or you see the dreaded cringe, leave it on the chopping block. The last thing you want to do is offend the person you’re supposed to be celebrating.

If your roasting material isn’t appropriate for a formal event (like a wedding or Bar Mitzvah), you can always consider sharing your stories in a more causal setting (like a bachelor party or dinner party). Again, use your discretion. When in doubt leave it out.

And remember, not everyone can pull off what Taylor Swift can…

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