Here are five engagement toasts - enough I hope for you to find one to use as a model or starting point to write your own.
The common theme running through them all is the celebration and affirmation of the newly engaged couple.
Play around with them; adapt, delete or add segments to make them uniquely yours. Even if the final speech you deliver is radically different, these make an excellent beginning en route to finding your own voice.
It's my happy task to welcome you all here tonight to celebrate the engagement of Mary and Bill.
For those of you who don't know me, I'm Mary's very proud father.
Thank you for coming to share with us this milestone event. It means so much to all of us (Mary and Bill, me, my wife Martha, Mary's sister Elaine and her brother Ryan) that you're here at the occasion marking the beginning of a life long commitment. It is also an opportunity to meet Bill's family; his father Mike, step-mother Stella and his younger brother Peter. Plus there are extended family and friends from both sides. During the course of the evening do introduce yourselves.
Love! Marriage! Growing up seems to happen so quickly.
I've had 29 years of being Mary's father and they've flashed by. I remember her brand new; how her minute fingers curled around mine and the feeling that gave me. I would be her guardian giant - nothing would hurt my little girl. And then came reality.
Sometimes I was the giant. Inevitably there were times I was a dwarf but mostly I was a man - an ordinary one, made special, through being her father.
And now she has grown, and to our great pleasure, has given that same hand to Bill. It is now his to hold and cherish.
Please raise your glasses and join me in a toast per courtesy of Bob Dylan:
May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay forever young
Mary and Bill - we love you.
Mary welcome to the family!
While we're all delighted that Bill has shown such good sense in choosing you I've got an extra reason to celebrate. Finally I get a daughter! Thankfully Bill changed his mind about girls being, as he put it aged about 12, "really dumb".
Bill we are so proud of the adult you have grown in to. With Mary at your side and the love you so obviously share, nothing will be impossible.
To Mary and Bill - I offer you this toast:
When two people are at one
in their inmost hearts,
they shatter even the strength of iron or bronze.
And when two people understand each other
in their inmost hearts,
their words are sweet and strong,
like the fragrance of orchids.
May the strength and sweetness you share now, endure and grow.
I'm Stella. Mary and I have been friends from the day she moved in across the road from my family home.
That's a long time ago when we were six. At that age Barbi ruled. Ten to about thirteen was the age of bikes, ballet, swimming, and braces on our teeth. Fourteen to twenty was books, "Do I look good in this?" and earnest discussions about the plight of the world.
We got an education, experimented with what we did and didn't like and through it all there was "us" - united.
And then along came Bill.
Bill redefined boyfriend. Until he arrived they'd been unreliable troublesome creatures. He was kind, attentive, persistent and ultimately persuasive. And yes, I could see he had Mary's best interest at heart.
He loves her and she loves him. They are a perfect couple and I am happy he's come between us.
To Mary and Bill - we're going to have so much fun planning your wedding!
Mary and I are delighted, thrilled and honored to share with you our intentions.
Standing together in front of all the very special people in our lives to announce our engagement makes our private dreams public and in a way, real.
Thank you for being here, for your love and well wishes.
Mary has made what I previously condemned as trite meaningful. With her by my side I understand "Love makes the world go round" and "All you need is love".
Whether I'll also understand the importance of themed colors for the reception decor, or the bridesmaid dresses is another thing though.
However like the best of men, my father and many of you here, who've gone before me, I'll endure because I know what I want, and that's to call Mary, wife.
We'll see you at the church in six months time.
Bill, it's with great pride I stand here by your side in front of our families and close friends.
Your choosing me to love and to marry is the fulfillment of a dream. It surpasses everything else - academic successes and great career moves.
You are my best friend, my mate and soon to be my husband. Once I was merely me. With you I am more than I ever thought possible and this is just the start.
To Bill - may we grow more in love and life nurturing the best in each other and those around us.
And to you all, my thanks and gratitude for your support past, present and future.
Deliver your engagement party speech with poise, with panache! Nothing develops confidence like practice.