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.