As I have written many times before, there are a lot of wedding traditions that seem to be slipping away, and by and large, that’s a fairly good thing. Nobody really needs to hear the best man respond to the groom’s toast to the bridesmaids, although the increasing trend of having speeches before the meal, is in no way progress. You need your guests gently oiled and relaxed, not chomping at the bit diving into the table wine, attempting to offset all the expense they’ve already gone to, by drinking their own bodyweight in vin rouge.
However, I have been asked a few times recently about toasting the ushers or groomsmen in a groom speech, and this is where I do think you should stick to tradition. The only toast a groom should traditionally make is one to the bridesmaids, although I like to add in one to the parents, and of course one at the end to your lovely new wife. Toasting the ushers or groomsmen, is an unnecessary addition that is only going to grind away at your guests, and it will become far too toast heavy.
Generally speaking, you should only have a line or two about them anyway, so toasting them would seem a little disproportionate, chuck in a toast to those no longer with us, and it’s soon going to have the vibe of a sports club AGM. So, my advice is to keep the toasts to a minimum, not least because you really want the focus to be on your bride, and if you’re not careful, she’ll be just another raising of the glass.