Jasmine Starr via It Girl Weddings
Your sister or best friend asked you to be her maid of honor and you said, “Yes, of course!” Congratulations! Now comes pre-wedding parties and planning and, oh yeah…the maid of honor speech. Chances are you’ll be asked to give a toast at the wedding, but there’s no reason to fret. Even if you’re a newbie at the whole getting up in front of strangers and speaking thing, you can ace the maid of honor speech. Just keep these things in mind when planning and writing your toast.
You may want to revert back to those high school/college days when you left writing an essay paper until the last minute. Don’t! As soon as you’ve been bestowed the maid of honor title, start brainstorming ideas and writing them down. Think about your relationship with the bride, moments you’ve shared, moments she’s shined, when the couple met and their relationship over the years, etc. Write down memories that stick out for you, whether joyous, heartwarming, or tear jerking. If you need inspiration, think about speeches you’ve enjoyed in the past, read real life maid of honor speeches online, and watch videos of wedding speeches. Take note of the things you like about each one and want to include in your own. Having ideas on paper or typed out will help you during the writing process.
Because not everyone at the wedding will know who you are, open your toast with an introduction and how you know the bride. Thank the bride and groom for the invitation and for letting you be a part of their special day.
Tell a Story
The best way to engage your listeners is to tell a story. Instead of using generic phrases like, “Amy is such a cool person and the best sister/friend ever,” weave your adoration for the bride into a story the two of you share. Like the time she filled your room with balloons on your birthday or brought you chicken noodle soup when you had the flu. Stories have lasting power and will go over far better than a couple of cliche comments.
Tell Her Story, then Theirs
The first part of your speech should be dedicated to the bride – what you love about her, moments you’ve shared, who she was before the groom. Afterward, you can tell their love story – how she knew he was the one, the role he plays in her life, how they’re perfect for each other, etc. During this part of the speech you might be tempted to throw in something like, “None of Amy’s exes could live up to David’s love.” Forget it. Leave out anything about ex-boyfriends, no matter how funny or flattering to the groom they may be. No one wants to be reminded of old flames on the wedding day.
Include the Groom
Don’t to forget to dedicate a bit of your toast to the other guest of honor. Share how you met, why he’s the bees knees, and when you knew he was the one for the bride. Just as you did with the bride, tell a story. An anecdote will leave a lasting impression, not only with the wedding guests, but with the groom. Cliches and generic phrases sound empty. Stories come from the heart.
Wrap it Up
The end of your toast doesn’t have to be some kind of grand finale with fireworks – something sweet and simple will do the trick. Wish the couple a lifetime of love and happiness. You can also include a meaningful quote (from a song, movie, poem, book…) as a powerful way to end the speech.
- Keep your speech short and sweet. 30 seconds to 2 minutes is a good time frame to work with. Practice your speech out loud and time yourself to monitor the pacing.
- Write a draft of your toast about 3 weeks before the big day. That leaves you plenty of time to make changes and practice in front of others.
- Write the speech on note cards. Rather than shuffling through paper or trying to find your spot in a sea of words, flip through your note cards, which should have a sentence or two written on each.