You need to be careful when picking Irish wedding toasts.
Regardless of whether you’re the best man, the doting mother or the father of the bride, many an Irish toast has been followed with a lengthy silence.
This usually happens when someone accidentally throws in a bit of Irish slang that they didn’t understand, or when they pick a toast without considering who’s in attendance.
With that being said, there’s plenty of meaningful Irish wedding toasts that can add a fine dash of ‘Irishness‘ to your/their big day.
But first, some etiquette notes for Irish wedding toasts
So, we have some slightly boring (but very important) warnings/notes on etiquette to get out of the way before showing you the toasts:
1. Always sense check
There’s hundreds of guides to funny Irish wedding toasts online. If you’re not familiar with Irish insults and slang, it’d be fairly easy to pick one and say it aloud without knowing that a certain word means something way different than you originally thought. If in doubt, don’t say it aloud!
2. Know who you’re speaking to
The worst best-man speeches tend to be the ones with endless in-jokes. Why? Because he hasn’t considered who’s listening to his stories. You need to treat Irish wedding toasts the same. Who are you speaking to? For example, the chances are there will be plenty of family and friends in attendance who won’t want to hear a risqué Irish drinking toast at half 2 in the afternoon.
3. Take what you see online with a pinch of salt
There’s endless websites with guides to the 100+ best Irish wedding toasts. The majority of these are packed with toasts that have zero Irish link/connection. Always treat what you read online with caution (a warning we shout about in our Irish wedding traditions guide, too!).
Our favourite Irish wedding toasts
Below, we’ve included toasts that are the most appropriate ones for during the ceremony and the reception.
1. Toast of thanks
This is a short and sweet traditional Irish wedding toast toast that focuses on bad times leading to good ones.
It’s a nice one to accompany the meal or reception, as it’s a specific piece of advice-for-life for the newlyweds.
“Always remember to forget, The troubles that passed away. But never forget to remember, The blessings that come each day.”
2. An Irish wedding blessing
OK, so this one is probably more suited to our Irish wedding blessings guide, but it’s perfect to use as a toast, too.
It’s one of only a couple of toasts in this guide with a direct ‘Irish’ mention, also.
“May you always walk in sunshine. May you never want for more. May Irish angels rest their wings, Right beside your door”.
3. For a person of few words
You’ll often get a family member or friend who isn’t fond of speaking, but who would like some small part in the big day.
If that part is a toast, then this very short nod to the couple might be perfect.
“May you live as long as you want, And never want as long as you live”.
4. An iconic toast
This is one of the more iconic short Irish wedding toasts and it wishes the couple good fortune in their future life together.
Just tell the reader to watch out for the 4th and 5th lines as they don’t flow as well as the previous lines.
“May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face, the rains fall soft upon your fields, and until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.”
Related read: See our guide to 17 of the greatest Irish wedding songs
5. A toast for prosperity
This is one of our favourite short Irish wedding toasts – it’s short, simple and the rhyming pattern makes it very easy to recite.
It’s an apt toast for the reception of the big day and the speaker will have no hassle learning it off.
“May your heart be light and happy, May your smile be big and wide, And may your pockets always have, A coin or two inside!”
6. Another toast with advice
The first handful of short Irish wedding toasts in our guide have unintentionally been weighed down with advice, rather than well wishes.
However, while these aren’t overly funny Irish toasts, the rhyming scheme makes them enjoyable to listen to.
“Always remember to forget, The things that made you sad. But never forget to remember, The things that made you glad.”
7. A toast to good luck
Although the term ‘the Luck of the Irish‘ has pretty offensive origins, it’s use here is very apt.
This almost sing-song-like toast wishes good luck and happiness to the newlyweds.
“May the luck of the Irish, Lead to happiest heights. And the highway you travel, Be lined with green lights. Wherever you go and whatever you do, May the luck of the Irish be there with you.”
8. Best wishes
This next toast packs plenty of the symbols of Ireland into a handful of easy to memorise sentences.
This is a gentle toast packed with well wishes that’s typically made as glasses are raised to the newlyweds.
“May you have all the happiness, And luck that life can hold— And at the end of all your rainbows, May you find a pot of gold.”
9. Happy thoughts
This is another good choice for a less-confident reader, thanks to its easy-going rhyming pattern.
It’s a popular one at weddings of people with Irish roots, thanks to the mentions of Irish smiles and shamrocks.
“Wishing you a rainbow, For sunlight after showers—Miles and miles of Irish smiles, For golden happy hours—Shamrocks at your doorway, For luck and laughter too, And a host of friends that never ends, Each day your whole life through”.
10. Here’s to you both
Some Irish wedding toasts use opposites to punctuate their meaning – it sounds a bit confusing, but it works wonderfully.
It wishes a rich and fulfilled life without hardship.
“May you be poor in misfortune, Rich in blessings, Slow to make enemies, And fast to make friends!”
Related read: Add a dash of ‘Irishness’ to your day with these Irish wedding poems
11. A poetic toast
This is lovely toast for a parent(s) to bestow upon the newlyweds.
It’s a wish for nothing but joy and happiness for the couple as they begin their new life together.
“May love and laughter light your days and warm your heart and home. May good and faithful friends be yours, wherever you may roam. May peace and plenty bless your world with joy that long endures. May all life’s passing seasons bring the best to you and yours.”
FAQs about funny Irish wedding toasts
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘What’s a nice long toast for a wedding?’ to ‘What’s a good one as Gaeilge?’.
In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.
What is a good Irish toast for a wedding?
The shorter the better. We’re fond of: “Always remember to forget, The troubles that passed away. But never forget to remember, The blessings that come each day.”
What do you say at an Irish wedding?
This is a hard question to answer as it’ll vary depending on the family, the couple and their shared beliefs and traditions.
Keith O’Hara has lived in Ireland for 34 years and has spent most of the last 10 years creating what is now The Irish Road Trip guide. Over the years, the website has published thousands of meticulously researched Ireland travel guides, welcoming 30 million+ visitors along the way. In 2022, the Irish Road Trip team published the world’s largest collection of Irish Road Trip itineraries. Keith lives in Dublin with his dog Toby and finds writing in the 3rd person minus craic altogether.