Giving a speech that sums up your feelings about the couple needn't be a source of stress. Raise a glass-with our list of dos and don'ts.

From the second she asked you to be in the bridal party, you've been agonizing. What are you going to say in your toast to the couple? Giving a speech that sums up your feelings about the two of them needn't be a source of stress. Raise a glass-with our list of dos and don'ts.

Do keep it short.

Plan for a couple minutes at most-time for an anecdote or two, some well wishes for the couple and a final salute. Maids of honor and best men have a right to go a little longer, but no need to veer into State of the Union territory.

Do have a drink beforehand.

Calm those nerves-take a few sips of wine as you're snacking at the cocktail hour to counter pre-speech jitters.

Don't have multiple drinks beforehand.

Yes, public speaking is nerve-racking, but that doesn't give you license to pound tequila shots in the name of relaxation. You could wind up oversharing, getting a little too weepy, slurring through a few treasured memories-distracting attention from the happy couple. There will be plenty of Champagne when you're done with the speech.

Do make an outline.

No need to script yourself-just jot down on a notecard a few key words or things you'd like to hit on during your speech. (Emphasis on one notecard-this is a wedding speech, not a marketing presentation.) Stuff it in a pocket or purse until toast time comes.

Don't air dirty laundry.

Keep it PG. The flower girl probably hasn't gone to bed yet, and the groom's grandmother likely won't enjoy your story about watching him vomit on his 21st birthday, no matter how close it brought the two of you together.

Do keep it light.

Sentimentality is fine. Even if you're not naturally funny, a story that plays up the bride's best attributes will keep guests smiling-and make you the toast of the evening.