Being asked to be the Maid of Honor in Your Best Friends Wedding is a Pretty Big Deal.The maid of honor has many responsibilities, one of which includes writing and delivering a speech. The maid of honor speech usually occurs during the wedding reception, you may even be asked to deliver it at the rehearsal dinner as well. If you’re comfortable with public speaking or have a background in theatre, the maid of honor speech should be a piece of (wedding) cake! However, public speaking is a very common fear for many people, so, it’s understandable that you may have some anxiety regarding the delivery of your speech - especially if it’s in front of hundreds of people. Figuring out exactly how to write a maid of honor speech can also cause some anxiety and frustrations as it is an important moment for both you and the bride. Obviously, you want to make it special and give the most heartwarming maid of honor speech she’s ever heard.
How to start writing your MOH speech?
When you start writing your speech you will want to give yourself as much preparation time as possible — at least three weeks to a month before the wedding, even longer if you can. This may seem like a lot of time to write a short maid of honor speech, but the longer you wait, the more stressful it will become. Start by brainstorming some key ideas; Think of times you have been inspired by your friendship with the bride - or them as a couple. If you’re feeling extra sentimental dig up some old pictures and find nostalgic memories you think the bride may have forgotten about. Don’t underestimate the power of a good brainstorm sesh - unleash all of your feelings and anecdotes about your bestie that come to mind. Write this all down so that you’ll be able to see all of your feelings and memories all together at once. From here, you're more likely to discover some inspiration within your memories and reflection.
Speech Intro - Where to Begin?
First, start by introducing yourself and your relationship to the bride or couple. Next, thank whomever you feel is important enough to mention — parents, other family members, wedding party members, etc. After you have the formalities out of the way, talk about the bride - make it personal. One story you might consider starting with is how you met the bride. Tell a quick story about the two of you which really exemplifies your friendship, or even talk about the moment when you knew you were going to be friends forever. Get creative, be sentimental, and most importantly- don’t be afraid to be funny.
In addition to talking about your friendship with the bride, including how you first met her hubby in the maid of honor speech. This gives a nice transition from talking about you and the bride to talking about the bride and her husband. If you don't particularly know your besties new husband, you can talk about them as a couple. You know your bestie well enough to know when she realized that he was the ONE. You may have witnessed first hand the evolution of their budding love - even if from afar, you could hear the excitement in your besties voice when she spoke of him. What did she tell you after they said "I love you," for the first time? Talk about how she has grown and changed for the better because of this new love and happiness. It's even better if you’ve known both of them for a long time and can speak to the growth and evolution of their relationship together. Maybe you were there on the night when they had their first date, and you witnessed her giddy excitement beforehand.
Topics to Avoid
You can be nostalgic, sweet, or sentimental — but not drunk. Wait until after your maid of honor speech before you start drinking. A wedding is a family event so keep your speech PG (if there are no children within earshot PG-13). A good rule of thumb: Don’t talk about anything the bride wouldn’t mind her grandparents hearing. Do NOT mention divorce — even jokingly. It will not be well received. Show your support for their relationship - no matter how you truly feel, keep a happy face on.
Keep it Short and Sweet.
Because we tend to speak faster when we’re nervous, be aware of your pace and speak clearly. Be sure to practice your speech in advance — whether it’s in front of a mirror, your dog, a family member, or a friend. If you're worried about the duration your speech, set a timer to make sure the speech is an appropriate length. A maid of honor speech should only be about 2-3 minutes long. That’s just long enough to tell a few short stories about the couple and toast to their happily ever after. Guests will probably want to start dancing (and drinking - since most ‘open-bars’ are closed during speeches) so there’s no need to drag it on.
Whatever you write your speech, the most important thing is that your words come from the heart. Speak with feeling and emotion talk directly to the couple, rather than focusing on the many other faces in the crowd. Your bestie loves you for a reason, so just be yourself. If humor isn’t your thing, you don't have to be funny - it doesn’t have to be a hilarious maid of honor speech. Remember the reasons why you two are besties. whatever it is- focus on those good qualities. Your bestie may not remember your exact words during your maid of honor speech, but she’ll remember how it made her feel - and that's really all that matters.