8 Steps to Writing the Perfect Maid of Honor Speech
Add a pinch of sentimentality, a dash of cringe-worthy storytelling and some well wishes and you’ve got the perfect maid of honor speech.
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So you’re the lucky lady who got selected as the maid of honour? Congrats! It truly is an honour. The maid of honor speech is an important part of any wedding reception , so you’ll want to get it done right. Whether you want the newlyweds to be cracking up or tearing up, there are a few things that you’ll definitely want to include in your wedding speech . Here are the steps you need to take to write the best maid of honour speech.
Here are the 8 steps to writing an awesome maid of honor speech.
1. start writing early.
This is something with a very concrete deadline, so you won’t want to procrastinate - especially if words are not your forte or you’re more of an introvert . While your maid of honor speech won’t be graded, you’ll want to impress both the newlyweds and the crowd with it. Start writing at least a month in advance to help make the process a painless one. Pro tip: use our wedding speech template to get started.
2. Do your research
While researching a friendship (or sisterhood) may seem odd, it’ll definitely help you with your speechwriting. To kick off the process consult high school yearbooks, old Facebook albums, photo albums, scrapbooks - anything that’ll bring up old memories about the bride-to-be.
3. Make your introductions
To kick off your maid of honor speech you’ll want to introduce yourself and explain how you know the bride and groom. Follow this up by giving a shout out to whoever is hosting the bash, be it the couple themselves, the parents or a generous third-party. This is already a few lines of your speech completed, so congrats on getting the ball rolling.
4. Make the bride a priority
She’s the reason you’ll be holding that microphone, so make a big part of your maid of honor about her and your friendship. This is where you can get a little personal and perhaps make some waterworks (or giggles) happen with a tale that exemplifies your relationship. Maybe the two of you had a fun time gallivanting around Montreal? Perhaps you have a pseudo-embarrassing story about how you met in middle school? Pick a memory and run with it. Remember: there are things you shouldn’t say in your wedding speech . You’ll want this to be PG as the bride’s partner, family and in-laws will be listening.
5. Give her partner some of the limelight
While your friendship is important, you also want to give your BFF’s new spouse some love. This is another point in your maid of honor speech where you can get anecdotal with throwback stories about when you met the groom. If you’re not super close with them you may need to return to the research phase. And don’t worry, this section of your speech doesn’t have to be too lengthy.
6. Speak about the couple
You should dedicate a portion of your maid of honor speech to the happy couple - it is their special day, after all. Maybe share the inside scoop about how you found out they were dating or talk about when you knew they were in love. There should be plenty to pull from, but if all else fails I suggest consulting ancient text messages, emails, or FB threads with the bride for ammo or a funny story (thank god for the digital age).
7. Make it snappy
While this is your moment to shine, don’t make your wedding toast super lengthy – keep it short and sweet (five minutes max). The bride’s spouse, family, friends and in-laws don’t need a detailed account of your friendship, so just make things light, easy and speedy. Practice beforehand to make sure it doesn’t drag on.
8. Avoid these pitfalls
As mentioned before, when giving a funny maid of honor speech, you’ll want to keep the stories PG as there may be grandparents and kids around. That means there should be no talk about drunken antics or contraband substances (no, it does not matter how hilarious the story is). You should also avoid mentioning divorce. Nobody at a wedding wants to hear about divorce. Lastly, do not give your maid of honor speech drunk. You can hit the open bar when you’re finished.
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Whether you’re dreading it or are thrilled to stand up and delight the audience with flattering stories about your girl, it can be a challenge to figure out how to write a Maid of Honor speech that flows easily, keeps the audience interested and ends with a bang.
Follow this simple outline to help you write a wedding speech that gets all of the cheering, kind laughter and “aww”s your friend deserves!
Before you begin, think of a character trait that your friend and her spouse have that really says a lot about the kind of people they are. Are they both extremely generous? Are they the life of the party? Are they loyal? Pick one to be the theme of your speech.
Start by introducing yourself.
Example: Good evening, everyone! My name is Laura and I am Ashley’s Maid of Honor. Ashley and I first met interning together at an advertising agency in Richmond. I knew we were going to hit it off when I saw her roll into work, hair blowing in the wind in her Jeep Wrangler, singing “Oops, I Did It Again” at the top of her lungs. We bonded over happy hour margaritas and the rest is history.
Tell a story about your friend’s character that revolves around the character trait you chose earlier. The more detailed and personal, the better, as long as it’s not mean!
Example: One of the reasons I love Ashley so much, is that she loves adventure. I first realized this when we went on spring break in Florida. While everyone else was drinking at the beach, Ashley convinced me to go zip-lining. When we got there, this place looked sketch. I mean, oooold harnesses, rickety ladders and the lines were super high. There was no way I was going up there… yet somehow, Ashley convinced me. After flying through untrimmed tree branches and seeing the best view of my life, I couldn’t be more grateful that Ashley coaxed me into that thrill. And that’s the kind of thing I love about her; She’s never afraid because she knows the payoff is always worth the risk. As far as I’m concerned, that’s a very rare trait and I’m so lucky to have a friend who can push me out of my comfort zone like her.
Tell a story about her spouse that shows how he or she has the same character trait.
Example: One day, Ashley calls me up and says, “So I met this guy… He’s a deep sea diver who collects stuff 70 feet down at the bottom of the ocean for scientific research and he’s so much fun!” I hadn’t even met him, but I knew this was a good sign. Anyone who is willing to go 7 stories underwater for any reason is fearless in my book!
Tie the two stories together and elaborate.
Example: When I found out he worked on contract just so he could travel for months at a time between jobs, I knew they would be an amazing match. I know they will be the perfect team as they take on all of life’s adventures together, from hiking Machu Picchu on their bucket list trip to downsizing to a condo on the beach after their future children have left the nest. And each step of the way, they’ll throw caution to the wind, because that’s the kind of wild, brave, strong and passionate people they are.
Toast the happy couple.
Example: I’m so happy that you two have found each other and I can’t wait to follow along as you take on the world! Please join me in raising a glass to Ashley and Matt!
Now you know how to write a Maid of Honor speech that will bring down the house! Follow these guidelines, make sure to avoid these mistakes, and you’ll have a memorable toast, fit for a wedding video like this one!
If your friend is still looking for a wedding videographer, it’s not too late! Get packages for her here.
[…] able to play back the speeches. It’s not unusual for several of the parents or guests to give toasts during the dinner, because unlike the wedding, there isn’t a timeline to stick to. Most of […]
[…] It’s an honor that girlfriends don’t take lightly. Not only does it require a level of attentiveness and planning, it also requires shelling out and usually traveling for multiple […]
Wow, I’m attending a wedding soon, and this post gave me some excellent ideas – thank you xx
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How to Write a Maid of Honor Speech
A flawless maid of honor speech can't be hastily written on your phone at the reception—it takes time and a lot of practice. Here's how to write a maid of honor speech that will garner a standing ovation.
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As a maid of honor in your BFF’s upcoming wedding, you're likely pretty thrilled about all that's in store for you, from the awesome maid of honor duties , to the epic events to plan ( hey bachelorette party !) to that maid of honor speech — but it's also normal to be a bit nervous, too. As we said, the maid of honor has lots of responsibilities, which include writing and delivering the maid of honor speech. The maid of honor speech usually occurs during the wedding reception, but you might be asked to deliver it at the rehearsal dinner instead. If you’re comfortable speaking in front of a crowd or have a background in acting or performing, the maid of honor speech should be a breeze . But, considering that public speaking is a very common fear, you might be anxious . And even if giving the maid of honor speech doesn’t worry you, figuring out exactly how to write a maid of honor speech likely does. It’s an important moment for both you and the bride, and of course you want to make it special.
How do you prepare the most amazing maid of honor speech she’s ever heard and alleviate some of your anxieties? We’re here to help.
When to start writing a maid of honor speech.
Presuming you haven’t procrastinated too long, you should give yourself as much time as possible to prepare — start at least three weeks to a month before the wedding. This may seem like a lot of time to write a short maid of honor speech, but the longer you wait to write, the more stressed you’ll become.
Choose a time when you’re feeling inspired by your friendship with the bride and/or couple. If you’re feeling extra sentimental after the bachelorette party brought up a plethora of stories you had forgotten about, write them down. Don’t underestimate the power of free writing, during which you unleash all of the thoughts and anecdotes about your bestie that cross your mind onto the page. That way, you’ll be able to see all of your feelings and memories all together at once. From there, who knows? More likely than not, you’ll discover some sort of inspiration within these reflections.
The maid of honor speech outline.
1. how to start the maid of honor speech..
First off, introduce yourself and mention your relationship with the bride, and the couple. Next, be sure you thank whomever you feel is important enough to mention, depending on the circumstances and who paid for or planned the wedding — parents, other family members, wedding party members, etc. Congrats! You have two lines of your speech out of the way.
2. Talk about the bride.
Now things start to get more personal. If you were just going to express gratitude, it would be a toast, not a maid of honor speech. One crowd-pleasing story you might consider including is how you met the bride. If it’s not a particularly appealing or appropriate story, you might also consider a story about the two of you the really exemplifies your friendship, or a time when you knew you were going to be friends forever. If the two of you share a bond over food, maybe you could talk about that time the two of you tried (and failed) to make your own recipe from scratch. Maybe you were really frustrated at first when you were assigned to be partners in class because you didn’t think you were going to get along, but as fate would have it, you became inseparable. Get creative and get sentimental. And don’t be afraid to be funny .
3. Talk about her partner.
After talking about you and the bride, it might be a good idea to include how you first met her almost-spouse in the maid of honor speech. I once witnessed a maid of honor that had been friends with the bride for many years, and during her speech she recalled that the bride actually had set her and the groom up on a blind date at first. The maid of honor and the future groom talked about their common friend for the entire date—and the rest was history. You’re the bride’s right hand woman, but a wedding is all about celebrating the couple, so it’s a nice transition from talking about you and the bride into talking about the bride and her partner. It also shows your solidarity and support for their relationship. No matter how you truly feel about her partner, keep a happy face on.
4. Talk about them as a couple.
Speaking of which, after you explain how you met the bride’s new spouse, talk about the two of them as a couple. This works even better if you’ve known both of them for a long time. Maybe you were the bride’s roommate when they had their first date, and you witnessed her giddy nerves beforehand. Maybe you witnessed the very prolonged will-they-or-won’t-they period of their relationship. What did she tell you after they said "I love you," for the first time? At one wedding, the groom’s sister told a story that took place about three months before the groom and bride had gotten together. The sister was teasing her brother about his love life, when he said, “I’m in love with my best friend, but it will never happen, she’s not interested.” Her brother wouldn’t give any names — but three months later, she figured it out for herself when they started dating.
5. Keep it short and sweet.
In thinking about how to write a maid of honor speech, remember that it should only be about two to three minutes long. That’s just long enough to tell a few stories about the beloved couple and toast to a happy future. Everyone will probably be anxious to start dancing (or eating!) at this point, so there’s no need to drag on. We tend to talk more quickly when we’re nervous, so be extra aware to speak slowly.
Be sure to practice your speech in advance — whether it’s in front of a mirror, your cat, or a family member or friend. You can even time yourself to make sure the speech is an appropriate length.
7. End with a toast.
Don't forget to toast to the happy couple at the end! Raising your glass is a great natural finisher to your maid of honor speech, and a guaranteed crowd pleaser. You can add a few words, like "Now, let's all raise a glass to the newlyweds!" or something similarly concise and to the point.
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What to NOT say in a maid of honor speech
Here's what to avoid when writing your maid of honor speech.
1. Exes, drunken nights or anything else remotely inappropriate.
It should go without saying, but exes or drunken debauchery should not be included in a maid of honor speech. A wedding is a family event, after all. Don’t talk about anything the bride wouldn’t mind her grandmother hearing.
2. Anything that could even potentially cause tension.
Don’t mention the high divorce rate — even jokingly. It will not be received well.
3. Don’t feel pressured to be anything but yourself.
If humor isn’t your strong suit, it doesn’t have to be a hilarious maid of honor speech. You can be nostalgic, sweet, or sentimental — but not drunk. Wait to drink until after your maid of honor speech .
Whatever you write in your maid of honor speech, the most important thing is that your words come from the heart. Even if you’re not a natural-born performer , speak with feeling and emotion — not like you’re reading a classroom assignment—and talk directly to the couple, rather than focusing on the many other faces in the crowd. Your bestie may not remember the exact words you said during your maid of honor speech, but she’ll remember the care and love behind it.
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Your Step-By-Step Guide for Writing a Maid of Honor Speech
When it comes to greatest fears, I’m an anomaly. Public speaking energizes me at the same rate it makes other people think about fainting. I love getting in front of a group of people with a microphone and telling stories and sharing information. However, none of that made giving a Maid of Honor Speech any easier for me.
I thought my Communications degree had prepared me for everything. I thought this would just be another speech to give. I thought the sentimental words would flow naturally. I laid awake the night before my best friend’s wedding, thinking I should completely rewrite my whole speech. I felt it wasn’t funny enough or personal enough or anything enough.Basically, I had completely underestimated the emotional side of giving a MOH speech and it was all hitting me the day before the wedding.
Maybe you’re in that same boat: it’s crunch time for you as the days until your bestie’s big day are dwindling and you still need to write that speech. Well, have I got a treat for you: a step-by-step guide to writing your Maid of Honor speech! Follow these 4 prompts and you’ll have your speech written quicker than you can bustle the bride’s dress.
Step 1: Say Thanks
First things first, introduce yourself and tell people how you know the bride. (Don’t spend a ton of time here; remember that this speech is about the bride and not about you.) Then take a few moments to thank the bride’s parents, the groom’s parents and all in attendance.
Step 2: Tell A Story
Tell a story about the friendship between you and the bride. Because we don’t have biological sisters, my best friend and I often refer to each other as “sisters”–which can be confusing–so I took a few minutes to explain our unique friendship at the start of my speech. Maybe you’ll share the first time you met or the moment you knew you’d be best friends forever– just make sure the story isn’t too embarrassing! If in doubt, it’s not a bad idea to run your story past the bride, just in case.
Then tell a story about the bride and groom. At my sister-in-law’s wedding, her high school best friend claimed the title for Best Matchmaker and recounted the tale of setting up the bride and groom. If you can, make this one a firsthand account of time you all spent together. And again, don’t embarrass anyone and avoid sarcastic comments or teasing.
Step 3: Show Some Love
This is your time to brag about the bride. What are the things you admire most about her? Her diligence. Her style. Her carefree spirit. What makes her your best friend/biggest confidante/partner in crime? Her listening ear. Her encouragement. How she always shares her clothes with you. Remember this speech is about her so let her shine in this moment!
This is also a great time to talk about the groom. Let everyone listening know why these two lovebirds are so perfect for each other. His kindness and her generosity. Her loyalty and his integrity. His wit and her charm.
Step 4: Propose A Toast
Finally, have everyone raise a glass and toast to forever. I would suggest making the toast personal and heartfelt. Don’t cop out with the usual “health and happiness”. For the adventurous couple, wish them many more years of road trips and sunsets and stamps in their passports. For the fun-loving couple, wish them lots of couple friends, more stages to perform on together and days full of laughter. For the romantic couple, wish them more slow dances, a life full of holding hands and lots of surprises.
Once you’ve got your speech ready to go, don’t forget to bring it with you on the wedding day! I suggest writing it in Google Drive and downloading the app to your phone so it’s always with you and you’re able to make real-time edits if need be. It’s also a very good idea to print a copy to stick in your emergency tote bag or clutch.
Ready or not, this is going to be an emotional part of the wedding day. Be prepared to cry and don’t try too hard to be funny. Your stories and love for your best friend will be enough to make your speech a great one.
Need some more tips on rocking your Maid of Honor duties? Check out posts like this one over on our GiveIt Blog!
Written by Sami Moss, a School of Communications graduate who knew her love for talking and her loud voice would come in handy one day.
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