Featured Image: Hillary Leah Photography for Style Me Pretty
Article By: Dana Johnson
As the brides most trusted girlfriend, naturally you have been selected as her Maid/Matron of Honor which can sometimes come with a lengthy list of questions about what you should do and when you should do it. One of those tasks includes writing a Maid of Honor speech that is imbued with charming personal stories, touches of humor, and plenty of loveliness.
Have your nerves begun to tremble yet?! Mine would! It is okay to admit to yourself that this is a scary thing to accomplish. Speaking in front of a crowd is terrifying for nearly everyone, even the pros! Not only do you need to put together the perfect words, but everyone will have their eyes on you and have expectations of 3 minutes of “awe” inspiring moments that even the “toughest” guest will shed a few tears. Lucky for you, there are simple and easy ways to mask your nerves, and you begin by writing the speech. Start by keeping it short, and natural as if you were already speaking to someone. Remember you are not writing a research paper. Not comfortable with your writing? Use a ‘voice to text’ function on your phone speaking what you would like to say. When it types (hopefully with no typos!) out, it will read more like you than a robot.
Once you have the memories rolling in, use these tips and tricks to craft a memorable Maid of Honor speech.
Organize Your Steady Stream of Thoughts
Once you start writing or ‘text to talking’ a few memories, chances are you will soon realize you have a lot to say! I am sure you and the bride have a plethora of happy memories, how will you ever choose which ones to share?! Once you select the best of the best moments in your friendship, how do you turn them into an engaging speech that will have guests reliving them with you? Start off by organizing your speech into four parts: how you two met, what you two inseparable, what you know about her and her new spouse, and last best wishes you have for the newlyweds.
Keep Your Humor Natural and Original
Do your best to avoid using standard jokes or stealing famous jokes. No one enjoys hearing the same comedic punch line over and over again. Most brides are comfortable with you poking a little fun at them during a Maid of Honor speech. Maybe make a small joke about her childhood taste in movies or music, teenage fashion, etc. Remember to keep it light, don’t say anything that would genuinely embarrass her or make her uncomfortable in front of her new spouse and wedding guests. The more original you are with your humor, the higher the chances your audience will laugh.
Over the years you and the bride may have shared some incredibly hilarious moments that still make you laugh out loud to this day. If the joke you are considering is something the wedding guests would have to be there to understand, leave it out. If they don’t quickly understand the context of a particular situation or joke, it will go over their head creating an awkward silence.
When you do land the perfect joke, be sure to pause a few seconds afterward to let your audience take in the story. Don’t rush on to the next story before giving the other guests a chance to get their giggles out.
Don’t Forget the Groom
We all know the bride is important to you, but he is now the other half of her picture. He should be included in a part of your speech. Don’t stress if you do not know the groom very well. Simply include characteristics and qualities about him that the bride has mentioned to you about why she fell in love with him in the first place. The happy couple will be grateful!
Keep it Short and Sweet
The longer you try to speak, the more chances you have to get nervous, and there are more opportunities for the guests to lose attention. Remember to give your speech personality and have a good time. Once you capture their attention on a funny or emotional note, you have about two to three minutes before it transitions back to visiting the open bar, busting a move on the dance floor, or socializing with other wedding guests.
Before saying your speech out loud in front of nearly a hundred or more people. Read your speech out loud a few times so you can catch spelling errors as well as set your pace and tone throughout. The more you practice, the better it will sound in front of those listening. Plus your confidence will grow because by the day of the wedding reception you will practically have it memorized.
Hold Off on the Bubbly
If on the day of the wedding reception you find yourself still nervous about speaking in front of a crown. Allow yourself a sip or two of your favorite liquid courage. Remember not to have too much! You do not want to be recognized as the “drunk girl giving a speech”. The bride will not want to have that memory immortalized in her mind. Save the heavy drinking, should you feel inclined to do so, for after your speech is beautifully delivered.