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Toasting Protocol Basics

Dear Dr. Dave and Dr. Dee,

I attended an engagement party where the couple was toasted, but I don't drink alcohol, so used my water glass with which to toast. My husband thinks that for the toast, I should have had a glass of champagne in hand, and just pretend to drink. What is the protocol for toasting, any other tips?


Faux Pas?

Dear Faux Pas,

You were fine with toasting with the water glass. When a toast is given, everyone, except the one being toasted, should take part with any glass handy, even an empty one is better than not toasting at all.

Basic tips for toasting are:

1. If you are the guest of honor being toasted, while the toast is being made, do not stand and do not drink to the toast.

2. If you are the guest of honor being toasted, after the toast is made, then you can stand and say thank you to the one who gave you the toast.

3. The first toast should be made by the host.

4. The one offering the toast should stand.

5. The one offering the toast should keep the speech simple and brief, and indicate the end of the toast by raising the glass and saying something such as "Cheers!"

6. Other guests should always take part in a toast using whatever glass is handy.