Here’s To A Long And Happy Life!   The History Of The Wedding Toast

The wedding toast has its beginnings in the mists of ancient Greek and Rome, as wedding guests would raise a glass to pay homage to the gods. To make sure no one had slipped poison into anyone’s drinking vessel, the host would
pour a few drops of each guest’s drink into his own cup.
Later, the wedding toast evolved into a custom honoring the bride and groom.
The origin of ‘clinking’ drinking glasses together is less clear, although some historians believe the custom originated as a symbol for loyalty
and confidence in those present.
Early Christians believed the clinking sound had the power to
drive away evil spirits.
Different cultures have interesting wedding toast customs. In France, the custom is to place a piece of toasted bread at the bottom of the glass. After the toast, the bride and groom race to see who can finish drinking their wine first,
as the one who is the winner is said to ‘rule the house.’
Beginning in the 17th century, a small piece of spiced bread was added to drinks to enhance the flavor, cut down on acidity and make the piece of bread more edible. This small piece of bread was called ‘the toast’ so the French seem to be carrying on this tradition even today. One of the first written accounts of this practice is found in Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor when Falstaff orders a drink by saying, “Go fetch me a quart of sack; put a toast in’t.”
In Britain, the groom is apt to give a full length speech instead of the fairly brief remarks thanking his guests as is done in the United States. In Japan, the wedding ceremony itself is sealed with three sips from different cups of sake. But this is only the beginning, as a whole series of toasts to the bride and groom goes on and on, for the entire length of the wedding festivities. A bucket is kept discreetly out of sight under the table so the happy couple can dump their drinks without offending anyone and avoid getting so sloshed they can’t attend any of the numerous after wedding parties planned for them.
Irish Wedding Toast 
But let’s leave Japan and travel to Ireland, which is, after all, why you are here! Irish culture tends to be very traditional and Irish weddings are no exception. Many of the traditional toasts used for hundreds of years are still used in Ireland today to shower best wishes on the newly married couple.
Here are a few for your reading pleasure:
May your neighbors respect you,
Trouble neglect you,
The angels protect you,
And heaven accept you.
May the Irish hills caress you.
May her lakes and rivers bless you.
May the luck of the Irish enfold you.
May the blessings of Saint Patrick behold you.
May the blessings of light be upon you,
Light without and light within.
And in all your comings and goings,
May you ever have a kindly greeting
From them you meet along the road.
May brooks and trees and singing hills
Join in the chorus, too.
And every gentle wind that blows
Send happiness to you.
Of course, if you are proposing a wedding toast you have to have a
suitable glass from which to drink.
There is nothing more Irish (and more lovely!) than a pair of
Each flute is delicately etched with the Claddagh symbol; representing Love, Loyalty, and Friendship and would also make a memorable
Irish wedding gift newlyweds will never forget!
Irish Toast
Sláinte chuig na fír, agus go mairfidh na mna go deo.
Health to the men, and may the women live forever!