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Excerpt from Part 1: The Basics of a Great Toast
Chapter 1: Where it all Began
Even the experts can't quite pinpoint when and where in time and culture the practice of raising one's glass with words of well-wishing began.
Earliest man may have used ceremonial drinks as offerings to the gods of weather and hunting. The ancient Greeks and Romans would lift their goblets and speak to the gods, hoping to gain favor. The Romans' practice of moistening stale bread in their wine may have left the wine glass with the title "toast." There is also a legend of two revelers accidentally spilling some of their libation into each other's glasses, then drinking to good health. And finally the 17th century British were the leaders in toasting to the women beginning with the Queen.
There you have it...the various, diverse explanations on the origin of the toast. It's only natural that so much of early wedding lore was built around superstitions and gaining the favor and protection of the gods or good spirits. Those who wished the couple good fortune only naturally lifted their glasses and sealed their wishes with a sip.