Whether you’ve never written a speech before or you’re a toast-giving pro, writing a maid of honor speech can present some unforeseen nerves, which is completely understandable. After all, public speaking is one of the most widely-felt fears across the world. That being said, it’s important to remember that the moment isn’t about you; it’s about your best friend/sibling/etc. marrying the love of their life. To make things easier, we compiled a step-by-step guide on how to write a maid of honor speech, as well as some do’s and don’ts to help you feel confident on the big day.
Learn how to write a maid of honor speech in 7 simple steps:
Step 1: Begin your speech-writing journey with some brainstorming. Whether that’s creating an outline, scribbling down a stream of consciousness, typing out specific stories that come to mind when thinking of the bride and their partner, or anything in between, brainstorming is a helpful first pass of getting your ideas in order.
Here are a few writing prompts to get your creative juices flowing:
What words best describe the happy couple and their relationship?
What is your favorite memory with the bride?
What do you remember about the time period when the couple first met?
What do you picture when you think of the newlyweds in five years? Ten years? Fifty years?
What is a story that epitomizes their relationship?
Step 2: Once you have a bit of a road map, begin writing out the actual speech. Start by getting all of the “business” out of the way. Start by introducing yourself and how you know the bride. Make sure to thank whoever hosted both the rehearsal dinner and the wedding, as well as any showers/parties that you’ve been to throughout the course of the engagement.
Step 3: Spend some time talking about the bride and your relationship with each other. Paint a vivid picture of what things were like when you first met. Tell a lovely anecdote of your friendship — maybe there’s a funny story of an adventure the two of you went on together. Embrace the authentic nature of yourself as well as the bride. If your friendship is more sentimental, make this part of the speech sentimental. If your friendship is more wild and funny, add some humor to this section. But most importantly, make sure to keep it more about the bride than about you!
Step 4: Next up, the bride’s partner. Whether you know them well or not, use this as a moment to talk about what makes them wonderful. This is the perfect segue into the next section of your speech, which is about the couple together.
Step 5: Now it’s time to talk about the newlyweds as a couple. You can tell the story of their first date from your perspective. How they’ve both grown into incredible people as individuals and as partners. Maybe something you admire about them or a quality of theirs that inspires you as a person. This should be the meat of your speech. Add jokes. Flourish with detail. Spill your heart. But remember, if you’re adding humor to your speech, make sure you don’t include a bunch of super-inside jokes that guests won’t understand. Also, be sure to leave pauses for laughter. You don’t want to talk over any laughs, because it will make it hard for some guests to hear what you’re saying next.
Step 6: Now it’s time to tie your whole speech up. If you can, summarize everything you’ve said up to this point with a few sentences. The theme of your speech, in other words. For example, “Rachel and Jackson exemplify what it means to be a supportive partner.” No matter what you do here. try to avoid any cliche phrases to keep your speech fresh and unique.
Step 7: End the speech with a toast. It’s important that you signal to everyone your speech is coming to a close, and a toast is a perfect way to do it. Something as simple as, “Here’s to the newlyweds! May you never stop loving and never stop growing. Cheers!” is all you need to say.
Do’s and don’ts of maid of honor speeches:
Do: Stay authentic to your true self! If you’re funny, make a joke. If you’re nostalgic, reminisce on the past. If you’re bold, add something unique. If you stay true to yourself, you can’t go wrong. Remember: You were picked for this role for a reason!
Don’t: Use a pre-written speech you found online. It may be tempting if you’ve never written a speech before, but we promise it will feel fake and won’t be in line with the unique beauty of the special couple.
Do: Practice! Some people say it’s best to practice in front of a mirror. Others say to recite your speech to a trusted friend or family member. But either way, make sure you practice your speech out loud.
Don’t: Mention any exes. There are some rare instances that this is OK, but it’s something you should run by the couple/their parents/etc. first no matter what.
Do: Speak slowly and articulate your words, both when practicing and on the big night. Many people have the tendency to talk much faster when they’re nervous. Try to be cognizant of this before, and during, your speech.
Don’t: Drag on forever. Short and sweet is better than long and boring. The ideal running time for a maid of honor speech is between 2-3 minutes. The goal is to keep it short, but impactful.
Do: Use quotes and passages that mean something to you and the couple.
Don’t: Drink too much before having to give your speech.
Do: Use notecards to help you remember your speech. It’s best not to write the entire speech on note cards if you can avoid it. That way you can make eye contact with guests and be fully present.
Don’t: Put too much pressure on yourself. This should be a wonderful moment of love. When you feel yourself getting anxious or feeling not good enough, remember that it’s all about love.
Do: Have a fabulous night filled with joy, excitement, and memories to come!
Put this guide on how to write a maid of honor speech to use!
Now that you know seven foolproof steps on how to write a maid of honor speech, along with tips and essential do’s and don’ts, you’re ready to help usher in the couple’s entry into wedded bliss. Keep in mind that being chosen as the maid of honor is a complete honor, and it comes with its own list of responsibilities. To make sure you’re completely prepared, we’ve compiled a maid of honor duties checklist to keep you on the ball and eliminate any anxiety you might be feeling. Above all else, remember: This is a celebration of love! You’re going to be great.
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