Happy New Year's!!! I can't believe 2008 is just hours away...what a year it has been. I am not sure what you have planned for the big night but whatever you are doing I am sure there will be a toast involved at some point in your evening so I guess now is as good as time as any to go over toast etiquette.
The host of the party or event should always be the first one to start a toast. This person should also make sure that everyone's glass is full before the toast is performed. For a wedding toast, it is still very traditional for the best man to perform the toast. A lot of people think the maid of honor should also toast but this is not true it is purely optional. Although, I will say it will definitely make the bride feel very special if her best gal pal gets up and says a few amazing things about her and her new hubby and their upcoming future together.
The proper way to get the attention of those around you is to stand and say something like "May I have your attention please?" or stand and quietly raise your glass high enough for everyone to see. Never hit your glass with a spoon or other utensil. This is highly improper and a severe breach in etiquette. Once you have everyone's attention remember to sit your glass down before proceeding with the toast. When you have finished speaking you may again raise the glass and sip from it. When you give a toast, you should be standing and you should rely on brief and sincere comments. This is not the time to reminisce about those good ole fraternity days or any other times that would paint a negative picture of someone.
After the toast, the recipient, if there is one, should not take a drink. This is construed by etiquette mavens as patting yourself on the back. Instead, he or she should stand and respond with thanks or by offering another toast. During the toast, if the recipient is already sitting, there is no need to stand unless the recipient would like to return the toast.
Although traditional, alcohol is not necessary to perform the toast. Sparkling fruit juice, punch or even pop may be used. Never make a toast with the water glass, coffee or tea. In some countries to toast with water is considered bad luck. Also, It is worth noting that it is not considered customary to applaud toasts.
If there is a large group of people, it is not suggested to âclinkâ your glasses when the toast is made. Instead, just raise your glass and take a sip. If it is a small group of people, you should always look the person in the eyes when you âclinkâ their glass, and it is appropriate to add a verbal congratulatory like "cheers, skol, salud, etc." But, besides these, there are many common toasts from around the world including:
A votre sante â France
Alla Salute - Italy
EgÃ© szÃ© gÃ© re - Hungary
Kanpai - Japan
Na Zdrowie - Poland
Prosit - German
SaÃºde - Brazil
Skal - Sweden
Slainte - Ireland
Wen Lie - China
Yasas - Greece
I would personally just like to wish you all a year filled with love, laughter, health and happiness!!! Happy New Year's to all of you. Cheers!!