Since you are the lucky girl who the Bride chose as her maid of honor, you will want to be prepared for an important function expected of you, that of giving the maid of honor speech or toast. This is, of course, in addition to all of the other maid duties you will be called on for such as helping, planning, organizing, encouraging and being a strong shoulder for your best friend, the bride. Maid of honor speeches have become a relatively new addition to wedding traditions in recent decades, and today are one of the looked for highlights of the reception. Maybe getting up in front of a crowd isn’t exactly your cup of tea, don’t worry. By using a few helpful tips put together for you, you can feel more confident about your ability to pull off a heartfelt, enjoyable or even humorous speech with relative ease.
One last but very important point, this can’t be stressed enough, is that you will want to be sober during your speech. Undoubtedly you’ll want to have a drink to relax after the tension of the day, but alcohol can cause your speech to sound slurred, not to mention you could end out saying something you wish you hadn’t and that’s inappropriate. With that out of the way, let’s go over 5 important parts you can cover in your maid speeches that will make it successful and as stress-free for you as possible:
In the first segment you will want to introduce yourself, tell the audience what your relationship to the bride is, and thank everyone for coming. You could then share some information with the audience such as how long you and the bride have been best friends, if you know each other’s families, how you two met and got to know each other. This will lead naturally into the next segment.
2. A Story, or Remembrance to honor the Bride
In this part you could share a humorous or heart-warming story about the bride, or something you two did together that left a touching or fun impression on you. If you have a few stories, keep them moving along and include only the highlights to make your point. Remember, this is a time for you to honor the bride, so make sure your story is about her or something special she did that shows her character and worth as a woman and bride. Never tell about an experience that would embarrass her or be offensive to either her or the audience. This is her special day and you will want to make whatever you share in your maid of honor speeches to be something she can cherish and remember always.
3. How the Bride or Groom Met
If you and the bride were best friends when she met the groom, you can include some story about that or a humorous event, or how they first fell in love and some of the sweet things she said about her future husband. If you know the groom, be sure to include encouraging words about him, although it doesn’t need to be too long as your honor and encouragement should be mainly towards the bride. You can even include what a great wife the groom is getting by marrying your best friend. Keep it sweet or funny, but keep it always appropriate. That’s the key.
4. Something about the Ceremony
In this segment tell the audience about something fun or touching that happened during the wedding ceremony, such as, how beautiful the bride was as she walked down the aisle, the grooms face when he first saw her, how wonderful the new couple look and act together. It could even be something about the ceremony itself that was unique, maybe the couple wrote their own vows, or the Pastor or Priest who officiated at the ceremony said or did something special that stood out to you as significant. This is your time to include the thing that touched you and you want to share it with your audience.
Here you can also include a beautiful quote, spiritual passage or poem to read, even a funny quip about love, marriage, and what it means.
5. Ending Toast
Finally, to round out your speech you can end with a toast to the bride and the groom, the happy new couple. And finalizing at the end you can then either pass the microphone back to the Master of Ceremonies, or introduce the next speaker yourself.
As the maid of honor these simple guidelines can help you more easily prepare well ahead of time to give a winsome speech. Ninety-percent of your nervousness will come from not being prepared or not knowing what you want to say, so if you have the main points covered and your basic speech outline written down or printed out, you can alleviate much of your tension. You might want to also take time to rehearse your speech on someone close to you who can give you feedback, or if you don’t have any one to help you then try talking in front of the mirror and watching your own facial expressions and intonations. Keeping it simple and straightforward will help you tremendously when it comes time to delivering the goods.
And a wee word of encouragement to any nervous maid of honor girls who are experiencing anxiety over giving the maid speeches, just keep remembering you are doing this for your best friend. You most probably want to do everything you can to make this event extra special for her, just as she would want to do whatever it took to make you happy at your own wedding. So, if you keep that little principle foremost in your mind, then getting up in front of your audience will become your chance to give the best and most meaningful present you can to your best and most dearest friend. And if you do end out crying a little or getting emotional and teary-eyed, even if your voice cracks, well, just look at it from the perspective that it all lends to the emotion and beauty of the occasion.