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As a maid of honor, you have a lot of responsibilities. Organizing the bridal shower, planning a bachelorette party, helping pick out the dress, handling any unexpected duties that pop up before or during the wedding — there’s a lot on your plate. One of the most important duties? The maid of honor speech.
Once the ceremony is complete and the reception finally rolls around, most of your work is done. However, you still have to give your speech. Some maids of honor might be excited for the chance to talk about their best friend getting married. For others, the idea of public speaking might lead to some nerves.
However you’re feeling, a good speech will ensure everyone focuses on what really matters — the newlyweds and your love for them. Follow these tips on how to write a maid of honor speech that delivers a knockout show.
5 Tips to Write Your Maid of Honor Speech
Whether you’re an experienced emcee or this is your first time at the mic, these tips will help you give a maid of honor speech that leaves an impression on the whole audience — and more importantly, the newlywed couple.
1. Be Proactive
If you want to give a sincere and effective speech, don’t put it off until the last minute. This wedding isn’t the occasion to speak off the cuff or throw a few thoughts together on a napkin a few minutes before your speech.
Start thinking about what you want to say as soon as possible. Give yourself time to reflect on your relationship with the bride. If she’s your sister or a childhood best friend, you have many years of friendship to celebrate in a few short minutes. Brainstorm the stories or memories you want to share, including those that include the groom and their partnership.
It’s never too early to get started. Jot down thoughts throughout the wedding planning process and sit down to write a first draft a few weeks before the big day. That way, you’ll have enough time to revise and get feedback on your speech.
2. Start With the Bride, End With the Couple
When you start outlining your speech, a good rule of thumb is to start off talking about your relationship with the bride. You’re the maid of honor at the bride’s request, so it’s only fitting you speak about what an incredible woman and friend she is.
Then, move on to the groom and the couple as a whole. You can take about how they met, times you’ve spent together or other memorable moments. Don’t just focus on one half of the couple. Remember, half the guests are from the groom’s side! Everyone wants to hear why the couple is a good fit and what their friends love about both of them.
Remember, today is about the newlyweds, not you. Instead, celebrate their love with a story that showcases how they make a strong team and improve each other.
3. Lean Into Your Own Style
Your best friend chose you as her maid of honor for a reason. She loves you and can’t wait to hear what you have to say on her big day! That means you should speak in your own words — avoid cliches and canned sentiments. Add details about your friendship to steer clear of generic statements that anyone could’ve written.
If you’re naturally funny, you can include a few jokes that you know will make the couple laugh. However, don’t feel pressured to write a stand-up comedy routine or pretend to be anyone you’re not.
Speak from your heart, let yourself feel any emotions that arise and share what means the most to you. Speeches should be lighthearted yet sentimental. If people start reaching for the tissues, that’s a good thing — it means you’ve made an impact.
4. Keep It Short and Sweet
Think of the weddings you’ve attended before. Have you ever wanted to listen to a rambling speech that traces the MOH’s entire friendship with the bride from the first day of kindergarten to the present? Probably not. You can save those reminisces for another day. In your maid of honor speech, keep it brief to impress.
At the reception, there might be many toasts to be made — the maid of honor, the best man, the parents of the couple and the bride and groom themselves may all have something to say. Limiting your speech to 3-5 minutes to ensure there’s enough time for everyone and keep the night moving along. Anything longer than that might draw focus away from the couple and the crowd will lose interest.
5. Practice, Practice, Practice
Another reason you shouldn’t procrastinate writing your speech? You’ll need to practice delivering it a few times before the reception. A wedding is a momentous occasion and it marks an important day in your friendship with the bride, so you don’t want to leave anything to chance. Rehearsing your speech ahead of time will help ensure everything comes out right.
Practice reading your speech aloud to yourself, then try it out on some close friends. Getting more experience talking in front of others will help you prepare for the big day. If you have serious nerves about public speaking, rehearsing in front of a few friendly faces can ease your fears and give you confidence before the real deal.
Plus, friends can offer some advice about what you wrote and whether you should revise your speech. A story or inside joke you included might not land with the audience as well as you thought, and it’s best to learn that before you’re standing in front of a crowd.
Tips for How to Write the Best Maid of Honor Speech
Whether the wedding is casual and intimate or a grand affair with many guests, the speeches at the reception make the day feel more personal to the couple. They’re an opportunity to celebrate the bride and groom as individuals and as a pair with the people who love them most in the world.
As the maid of honor, you have a special duty to honor your friend on one of the most important days of her life. Follow these tips for writing the best maid of honor speech and you’ll move everyone in the audience — especially the beautiful bride.
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