Raise your Glass: why Toasts matter

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I believe moments are what connects us together for good or bad. And what an incredible moment, the toasts at a wedding can be. You are not just raising your glass, you are blessing a couple about to start their forever. The toast is a chance to reminiscence about fond memories, and to publicly share just how much someone has been a blessing in your life. What an incredible opportunity.

As a wedding photographer, I have heard dozens upon dozens of wedding toasts. Some good, some bad, some incredible. Whether it was the maid of honor rapping a Lecrae song  or the father of the bride charging the newlyweds to put Christ first in their relationship. Toasts are one of my favorite times of the wedding day. In fact I encourage you to have someone to record your toast to the couple. Your words may be more of a blessing then you realize. By remembering shared moments, you are recounting what a blessing the groom or bride has been in your life. You are blessing the beginning of their forever.

This is more then speculation, Shawn Achor, Havard educated happiness researcher, has this to say. “Turns out, there was one—and only one—characteristic that distinguished the happiest 10 percent from everybody else: the strength of their social relationships.” As you give your toast you are affirming your relationship, and publicly sharing just how big a part of your life the coupe has been. Shawn goes on the say, “My empirical study of well-being among 1,600 Harvard undergraduates found a similar result—social support was a far greater predictor of happiness than any other factor, more than GPA, family income, SAT scores, age, gender, or race.”

Pause, take a moment to reflect on these words.

The relationships you have with friends and family are best predicators we have for happiness. In fact, the correlation between social connection and happiness is 0.7. While this may not sound important in research, it’s huge. Studies that show a 0.3 correlation are considered significant. So for a study to show 0.7, that is double the normative amount. All this to say, the more connection you have to friends and family, the happier you will be. You are sending the couple off on a high point simply by offering a toast.

Raise your glass to happiness. Remember cherished moments, laugh, and share. Do not be afraid of this opportunity. Instead treasure this opportunity for what it is. A moment to remember the blessing someone has been in your life.


Jacob Bechtol


Shawn AchorThe Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology that Fuel Success and Performance at Work


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