The term goes all the way back to sixteenth century, when a small piece of bread would be placed in a goblet of wine. The goblet would be passed from guest to guest until it reached the person being honored who would drain the goblet and eat the morsel of bread in the bottom. This tradition is practiced at weddings today – usually in the form of one or more champagne “toasts”.
The best man usually has the honor (or duty) of making the first toast.
Usually the bride and groom remain seated for the toasts while all the guests are usually standing to honor them. This all happens before they pack their suitcases and head off for the honeymoon.
The couple may then make a few remarks thanking their families, wedding party members, and guests. They may also “toast” each other or share a “toast” together.
In the Jewish tradition, the Rabbi recites the marriage blessings over a goblet of wine. Both the bride & groom then drink from the glass. In most ceremonies, after the marriage contract is read, the groom then crushes the glass under his right foot and the Rabbi gives his “priestly blessings”. Conversely, according to Irish wedding traditions, it was bad luck if a glass or cup were broken on the wedding day.
Here are some great ways to give a quick wedding toast in a variety of cultural languages.
Chinese: Ganbei! (dry your cup)
Dutch: Prost! (health)
French: Santé! (health)
German: Prost! (cheers)
Hebrew: Le’chaim! (to life)
Irish: Sláinte! (to your health)
Italian: Per cent’anni! (for one hundred years)
Italian 2: Salute (health)
Japanese: Kanpai! (dry your cup)
Russian: Vashe zdorovie! (to health)
Spanish: Salud! (health)
Welsh: Iechyd da! (health)