@aspasia475: Well,as I say, then I was in a regiment, and I met FI there. Whilst there, I was taught a few regimental rules of refusal, but only saw them performed when a person would toast a particularly heinous commanding officer, for example. The disgust of all present would then be felt not DURING the toast, when everyone would pretend to drink as normal, but AFTERWARDS, when everyone waited for a while and then sneaked their port off to the waiter. The resulting row of half full port glasses was a damning message for the person involved. Because military toasts are traditionally performed with port, and one keeps wine glasses upon the table during toasts (but does not toast using the wine) it is easier than you would think to sneak your port glass away after the toasts without causing attention… it is a rather passive aggressive way of indicating disapproval. But heck… what do you expect from us Brits?
I have no clue how the public would do this, but I am curious, which was why I asked the question.
Now, this subject came up because I plan to have a loyal toast…. the reasons for this were as follows: FI and I are paying for our wedding, so therefore we are joint hosts. Traditional etiquette dictates that the bride does not speak, but then, traditionally then the bride is not the hostess (the bride’s parents are). Wth this in mind, I felt it was only appropriate that I said a final, quick, toast. Seeing as FI will have already toasted both sets of parents at this point (as is traditional), and also everyone who has helped us, I thought that I could toast the “lady who brought us together in the first place”… with no Queen, there would have been no regiment, and therefore no “us”. A (slightly tongue in cheek, or at least quite self aware) toast would also be quite fun for a room full of friends, many of whom work for the army or emergency services. I don’t think that’s weird, because it is quite relevant to us as a couple.
This subject came up with a family member… it was my fault… I shouldn’t have mentioned it. I then said, in response to their rather pissed off expression, “but there is a polite way to refuse, if you like… etc etc”. They then went absolutely ballistic and said that there was no way they would go through “that bloody performance”, that “how dare [you] force your opinions on your guests” and gave a few other choice phrases besides, before starting with a few critiques of my plans for my religious ceremony (not specific plans… the objection was that I was having a religious ceremony at all, which was clearly deeply offensive to them). I considered giving a few choice replies of my own… “it’s my ******** wedding, not yours”, and “nobody’s forcing you to come if it’s such a chore” were on the tip of my tongue. But I resisted.
Anyway, that wasn’t really the point of the post… it was more that I wondered how one would refuse a toast… one of the arguments raised at the time was “how would you feel if we toasted to Hitler?” (not entirely sure that a regimental toast can be compared to a Nazi one, but there you go)… It made me think. How would one politely refuse a toast? So then I thought I might try to find out. There is nothing onlline, so… I thought I would ask the bee.