Toasting etiquette: How to properly give a toast

Here are five things to know when toasting. 

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If there is a champagne glass in your table setting, toasts will be made! 

In my fine dining masterclass, you will see all the different types of glasses, their specific positions on the table, and their uses. The champagne will the farthest away from you in your table setting in front of all the glasses. If you are sitting down, you will have to reach around to take hold of it. 

Hold the glass by the stem. 

The lower the better. You do not want to heat up your drink. Also, if it is champagne, it is most likely it will be chilled. You do not want to get your hands wet from the condensation. Then your hands will be clammy when you want to shake people’s hands introducing yourself. In a formal dining event, people also prep the table using gloves to not show fingerprints. Your fingerprints might show depending on what your drinking, and it looks neater and more sanitary. 

BONUS: Drink from only one side of the glass. Use that same spot all throughout the night. You do not want to have lipstick or lip prints all over multiple areas of the top of the glass. 

Avoid hitting your glassware with a piece of cutlery. 

If you want to make a toast, simply say, “I would like to make a toast.” It is that simple! Tapping your glassware with beautiful cutlery is not ideal for the host or hostess, because it might be really expensive, and having enough to present is an ordeal in itself. As a good guest, we should help take care of our host or hostess’s things too. I personally live by the motto, “Always leave a place better than when you arrived.” 

Raise your glass. DO NOT clink. 

Being able to touch glasses with every single person at a long banquet table is difficult period. Raising your glass alone also keeps things sanitary. The origin of this was in the 800s of the Nordics where vikings would smash their goblets together to spill liquid into each other. This was a sign of trust in case one poisoned the other’s drink. 

Always toast the host or hostess first. 

They get first dibs on special words being said about them. Also, ALWAYS have a toast prepared up your sleeve with fabulous things to say. Only positives. No blunder stories or embarrassing anyone ever. Some might think it is funny, but it is very rude to do. Only have shining, glowing things to say about anyone as a general rule. But especially a host or hostess who is kind and gracious enough to have you. It is a privilege to give a toast. 

BONUS: Always toast the monarch first.

This protocol only counts for when you are dining with a member of a royal head of state anywhere. If there are multiples of them, toast the one who is hosting. Then, toast the others for their presence. 

More tips: 

  • Even if you have nothing alcoholic in your glass, still toast. Including water. 
  • When the toast is being said about you, say thank you. That is all. No need to raise your glass. 
  • Do not gulp down your whole glass, in case there are more toasts. 

I hope you enjoyed this as it was so fun to write! This is my passion. Making people feel wonderful at parties using these toasting rules will make you all the more charming and captivating. 

Find more etiquette posts here. Interested in a lesson? Book a course with the links below and become the most polished version of you.

Gia G. Dixon
Gia G. Dixon

I’m Gia G. Dixon, an etiquette consultant certified under Royal Charter of King Charles III. Here is my guide to elegant style, high quality living, and little things that make your daily life glamorous.

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