Toasts & Readings

Stephen Gosling

Family members and friends contact us regularly with questions about how to make a toast for a same-sex couple, a lesbian daughter or a gay son. We also hear from many of you looking for a great reading to share at a ceremony or reception.

We offer a few basic tips here, but encourage you to take a look at our recent articles on the topic and meander on over to our gay wedding forum to swap notes with other readers like yourself!

Photo credit: Stephen Gosling Photography


The general advice we offer is this: the best toasts we have heard at gay and lesbian weddings have been those which reflect on the excitement of the day; acknowledge the growth and development of the individuals getting married (i.e.: highlighting the complement they are to each other) and/or offer a blessing or wish for their union; and, generally, include an anecdote or special story to help the wedding guests better understand the journey that one or both members of the couple have experienced. More broadly speaking, we offer this: anything shared from the heart will work wonderfully!


Finding a meaningful reading to share during a ceremony or reception can take time, and often the couple will suggest a reading for you. In case you want to find one on your own, however, sources often include songs written by LGBT and allied artists, marriage equality decisions, religious texts, personal poems, and writings by LGBT poets, authors, and other notables. One general rule of thumb is to make sure that the reading or excerpt is succinct and delivered in a manner that engages the attention of the wedding guests. And, of course, it’s always important that you practice the delivery of your reading before the Big Day!

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Wedding innovator Kathryn Hamm (@madebykathryn) is co-author of The New Art of Capturing Love: The Essential Guide to Lesbian & Gay Wedding Photography (Amphoto Books, 2014), an Education Expert for WeddingWire and Publisher of GayWeddings.com