Like many modern wedding traditions, the marriage toast has its origins in the ancient Greek and Roman cultures. First used to pay homage to the gods, raising a glass to everyone’s health became a standard practice at every meal. As a sign of good faith that the drink did not contain poison, the host would pour a bit of each guest’s drink into his own cup.
Legend holds that the clinking of glasses was a sign of confidence and loyalty between those present at the party. The tradition has spread to nearly every culture around the globe as a symbol of friendship and love. Records of toasting to a life filled with happiness, prosperity and health in Germany date back as far as 450 A.D. while early Christians believed the clinking, which mimics the sound of bells, had the power to chase away evil spirits.
In France, toasted bread is placed at the bottom of the glass, another tradition that is borrowed from the Greeks. In a heated race, the newlyweds drink the wine as quickly as possible since the first person to reach the toast is prophesied to rule the house.
Wine, in many cultures, is a symbol of life. The tradition of toasting at weddings even appears in several Bible stories. The fermented grapes can be swapped out for champagne, beer or other fruity drinks but water, coffee and tea are considered inappropriate for the occasion.
Whether you wish to ward off evil spirits or just want to convey some words of wisdom to send the newlywed couple on their way, you can use one of these cultural wedding toasts to bestow the happy couple with blessings for a bright future.