While it often features a good friend, someone in the family, maybe even a co-worker, one of the toughest and often ear-cringing part of a wedding reception is “The Toast”. Often you ask someone to do it, they don’t like speaking in front of crowds, they’re uncomfortable in a spotlight, they’re not very glib, and in the end, it doesn’t become a highlight of the affair. Granted, you have to make room for those special people in your life. They need to be included in that special day. 

However, even with all the best intentions, the possibility exists of the wedding toast being…..inappropriate…..embarrassing…or simply just something that you would want to forget ever happened.

You need something that is entertaining and memorable. Therein lies a lesson I learned at a wedding a few years ago. 

It was the wedding reception for a pair of great friends, people I knew since we were kids. I was one of the ushers, and as someone in the entertainment industry, the couple and those in charge of the event were, at times, leaning on me for advice. One day I was asked about entertainment for the reception, and with so many connections in this part of the industry, I offered a few excellent bands that would fit the mood.

Then, after by chance seeing those very videos I linked to above, I came up with a scathingly brilliant idea. Well, at least I thought it was damn brilliant. 

I had recently interviewed a standup comic as part of a news story. She was brilliant, Very funny and exceptionally glib. Her talents at ad libbing material was spot-on. I had also seen her perform a few times at two of the local comedy clubs. 

What, I wondered, would they think of having her deliver a short monologue for the reception? As a matter of fact, I asked them if they would want it pre-produced and available for vide playback on-screen at the event itself?

“What, a COMIC? AT OUR WEDDING???” The groom was, at first, a little hesitant. The bride? She was ALL IN right from the beginning. The only thing she demanded was the comic had to dress well and not say anything bad about her sister. Everyone ELSE, she assured me, was fair game. Her husband saw the possibilities and chimed in, “So long as can keep Doug (the Best Man) to as short a time on stage as possible, we GO!”

There it was, the birth of an idea. I contacted the comedian and she was in from the first idea. Back then not everyone had a smartphone loaded with more video tech than a network television control room, so we brought her into the studio where I was hosting a nightly show, set her up in mic, and let it fly.

That wedding reception was the most entertaining one I, and I’ll wager, most of those in attendance had ever experienced. The comedian was brilliant. We fed her all the necessary background information about the people in the wedding, the families, a good number of friends, and she rolled off 10 minutes of her best material. She even dropped in a fast one about the Bride’s sister, and Sis was on the floor. 

That’s the moment I decided to bring this kind of entertainment to wedding receptions and other events. As video recording technology expanded and made smartphones so readily usable, we had about a dozen comics turning the old dull wedding reception into something no one ever forgot. They still talk about it to this day. They even named their first born son after me, and I’m always sending that youngster something to laugh about on his birthday. 

The Mrs. takes out the albums every now and then to show people, but she admits that the comedy made it all something really unique. OK, so some of the jokes were a little “blue”, but not one complaint.

Though her sister still swears I put the comic up to a certain joke because we didn’t get paired down the aisle.

OK, MAYBE just a little. I’ll never tell.