Weddings are usually very jolly occasions - you get to spend time with a huge number of people you rarely get to see, some of whom you actually enjoy spending time with. However, there's nothing like a wedding to throw a spotlight on to who's not there, and this is something you really need to think about how you're going to include in your groom speech, and where to include it.
Firstly, should you be including an absent friends toast in the first place? Well, that all depends on whether you've been directly affected by their demise. So, obviously parents and grandparents, however, when the aunts and uncles start getting into the mix, that's when you have to consider a general toast, rather than naming them individually. Reading out a list of names is more akin to the morning after battle, and it will feel a little too heavy. If it's a general toast, then check that the father of the bride also isn’t making one, otherwise it's going to be like Remembrance Day.
When it comes to how to include the important absentees, then I like to do it with as much celebration and positivity as possible. This day and speech is all about celebrating the person you're marrying - the bride - so avoid any mini epic eulogies. It's also going to be emotionally testing, so if you're lightening the load with a funny line about the person, then this will make it so much easier to ready on the day, Remember: balance between humour and sentiment in a wedding speech is the key to success.
I always place the toast at the beginning of the speech, simply because you don’t want to end on a low note. The focus and pinnacle of this speech should always be the bride and you'll enjoy the speech much more knowing you've got the tough bit out of the way at the start.