Entertaining, Tips, Timesavers & Troubleshooters

Toasts: the Good, the Better, the Best

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Aperitifs 3

One could write another War and Peace-size tome on the mishaps, malaprops and missteps that have happened in the name of giving toasts.

But it’s summertime; I’m going to make this short and witty (two assets that any speech should have) and just pass along my favorite classics. You can never go wrong if you have one of these in your back pocket or handbag for any occasion. And if you’re a gracious, good toaster, any host or hostess would welcome this contribution to their party, large or small.

A well-traveled, well- educated friend offered a succinct appraisal,  “A successful after- dinner toast ought to be short, sprightly, amusing, and full of praise for the host or hostess. Reference to the occasion is necessary, and relevant anecdotes are appreciated. The gratitude of the guests is extolled.”

Here’s to you!

Bettie Pardee Christmas 2015-198


A Toast to Friendship:

“There are good ships,
and there are wood ships,
The ships that sail the sea.
But the best ships, are friendships,
And may they always be.”

May we live respected and die regretted.

Make new friends, yes
But don’t forget the old
For the first are silver
And the second, gold.

May we live to learn well,
and learn to live well.

I drink to your health when I’m with you
I drink to your health when I’m alone
I’ve drunk to your health so often
I’ve damned near ruined my own.


A Toast to Love:

Love doesn’t make the world go around. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.

To the men I’ve loved
To the men I’ve kissed
My heartfelt apologies
To the men I’ve missed.

A Toast to Guests:

You don’t have to thank us
Or laugh at our jokes
Sit deep and come often
You’re one of the folks.

All of our guests make us happy.
Some by coming,
Others by going.


A Toast to Happiness and Good Life: 

“May neighbors respect you,
Trouble neglect you,
The angels protect you,
And heaven accept you.”

“Wishing you the hindsight to know where you’ve been,
The foresight to know where you are going,
And the insight to know when you have gone too far.”

May the clouds in your life form only a background for a lovely sunset.

A Toast to Age and Birthdays:

To the old, long life and treasure;
To the young, all health and pleasure.
You’re not as young as you used to be
but you’re not as old as you are going to be.

Another year older? Think this way:
Just one day older than yesterday.

Champagne Bucket
Photo Credit: Ruth Frantz

A Toast to Marriage and Anniversaries:

The great secret of a successful marriage is to treat all disasters as incidents and none of the incidents as disasters. 

Politics doesn’t make strange bedfellows, marriage does. — Groucho Marx

A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person. — Mignon McLaughlin

Happiness is not having what you want, but wanting what you have.

A good marriage is like a casserole, only those responsible for it really know what goes in it.

Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction. — Antoine de Saint-Exupery

To keep your marriage brimming with love in the wedding cup, whenever you’re wrong, admit it; whenever you’re right, shut up. — Ogden Nash

To your coming anniversaries-may they be outnumbered only by your coming pleasures.

May the warmth of our affections survive
the frosts of age.

Some take their gold
in minted mold,
And some in harps hereafter,
But give me mine
In bubbles fine
And keep the change in laughter.

Bettie Pardee Christmas 2015-197

General Toasts:

Call frequently,
Drink moderately,
Park friendly,
Pay today, trust tomorrow.

Good day, good health, good cheer, good night!

May our faults be written on the seashore, and every good action prove a wave to wash them out.

You shall and you shan’t,
you will and you won’t
You’re condemned if you do,
And you’re damned if you don’t.

May the morning of prosperity shine on
the evening of adversity.

Better remorse, than regret.

Please remember to forget
All your worries–and regret
Live while you have life to live
Live while you have love to give.

And to close…

Here’s to our hostess, Considerate and Sweet;
Her wit is endless, but when do we eat?

Featured Image Credit, Ruth Frantz.

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About Bettie Bearden Pardee

Author of Private Newport and Living Newport, garden furniture designer (The Parterre Bench), national lecturer, and entertaining expert. An honoree for the second year on "The Salonniere 100 America's Best Party Hosts", she was also the host and creative producer of "The Presidential Palate: Entertaining at the White House".

11 thoughts on “Toasts: the Good, the Better, the Best

  1. Bettie,
    Would have paid $75. for a book of toasts this morning. Need one tonight. Too hot in Atlanta to be creative. Hope you are cooler in Newport.
    A glass of Clicquot’ to you and Jonathan,
    Lynn and Dick Ziglar

    August 2

    1. It’s all about timing. Hope there’s one in here that suits…or at least gets your imagination working. Have fun!

  2. Bettie, these toasts are rich. Here’s to you and the top of the morning to you as well! Or, as my late father loved to grin and say:

    Here’s to you and here’s to me,
    And may we never disagree.
    But, if we do disagree,
    To Hell with you, and here’s to me!

  3. For any and all occasions, from my Father, Will Dwyre…
    To those we love who are with us tonight (today),
    and to those we love – who are not.

    1. So lovely…I’ll add it to my collection. Thanks for sharing with all of us!

  4. Bettie,

    Loved the toasts!

    As someone once said: “Brevity is the soul of – lingerie.”


  5. “Brevity is the soul of lingerie.” Actually that was Dorothy Parker, who said that, transforming the original witty remark authored by no less than Shakespeare himself!


    1. Well, the concept obviously has wide appeal…from Shakespeare to Dorothy Parker.

  6. What a treat it is to follow you Bettie! Of course, one casualty of 2020 was the forced cancellation of your trip to Greensboro. I was crushed! But your wit and wisdom are with me as I savor these wonderful toasts! I’m having a few friends in tonight so the challenge is which one to use! All the best to you in 2021!

    1. Dear Ann, yes, 2020 delivered many blows, but there were (astonishingly) many silver linings.
      Here’s to life getting back to normal and “gathering and chatting.” Fingers crossed we see each other soon! Happy, Happy and be well, xB

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