Toast Points


Guest Blogger: Emily Vandevender from Toast Points

Points About Toast Points:

Your words at a special event should be just as important as any major project.  And like any project, it never hurts to have another set of eyes to make this your finest work.  You look your best, shouldn’t it be just as important to sound your best?

Like most aspects of an event, professionals are hired for most if not all of the moving parts and pieces.  Don’t let this be a piece that slips through the crack!

Why do some couples have a difficulty writing their vows?

Speech writing and public speaking are not everyone’s forte. Now add to that the trepidation and anxiety due to the importance and sentiment of the occasion. But remember, no one is judging. Be thoughtful, sincere and yourself.


Is there an optimal length of time that a toast should last?

Approximately 3-4 minutes. While it really is an honor to be asked to speak and the couple would not have asked if they didn’t want you to, it really is very important- there is also quite a bit of additional programming as well (ie. cake cutting, first dance, etc) and you are standing between guests and their entrees and the bar re-opening.

Are there any differences between toasts at a Rehearsal Dinner vs at the Wedding Reception?

It can be a regional tradition for “off the cuff” celebratory toasts, where guests can toast the couple without necessarily being asked to speak. This is a much more relaxed and less formal setting than that of the wedding. I would suggest asking the couple prior, but here’s your opportunity for a little harmless and preferably “PG” roasting.


What do you do to overcome writer’s block?

I walk away from the screen. Press save, make a cup of coffee and come back with fresh eyes. I always suggest giving yourself plenty of time so that you can come back if you need to.

What is your summertime activity in Chicago?

Is sitting on a patio considered a summertime “activity”? There is nothing I love more than Chips, Salsa and a Margarita on a sidewalk patio on a beautiful weekend.



As Catering Manager for the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago, Senior Wedding and Social Event Manager for the Art Institute of Chicago, nine years of event planning and over 500 executed weddings and special events, Emily Vandevender has heard her fair share of toasts and (unintentional) roasts. With a degree in Communications, extensive public speaking and lecturing experience and as a published writer, she founded Toast Points in 2015 to assist with your ghost writing and toast whispering needs.

Photo Credit: averyhouse, Peter Thompson Photography, Colin Lyons Photography, Tuan B & CoBen Elsass Photography