How To Write a Maid of Honor Speech

This article first appeared on melaniekristy.com

It’s just the beginning wedding season right now and currently all you maids of honor out there are scrambling to write the perfect toast, compose an amazing speech and basically wow an audience of people you probably don’t know too well.

I know how that is, I had to write a Maid of Honor speech, and it was hard! It didn’t matter that I am a writer, I spent hours Googling “How to Write a Maid of Honor Speech” and coming up with links that left something to be desired.

I wanted mine to be memorable, but I knew that it was likely it wouldn’t be memorable to everyone. I was okay with that. And so, without any real response or guidance, ventured on my own to write an awesome toast.

So I’m here to offer my suggestions.

1. Love your Bride to Be. This might sound like it’s a given, but honestly I know people who were Maids of Honor in weddings they didn’t approve of. (Get out of there, ASAP.) If you don’t love your Bride to Be, if you wouldn’t spend late nights awake wondering what you might say and if you aren’t willing to wake up countless times during the night with random thoughts of words and ideas that must be remembered (And will probably be forgotten) just stop right now.

2. Think about your relationship. This is the most important part. Are you BFFs with the Groom? Is your Bride to Be as great as she should be? Are you bitter because she’s a total bridezilla and you pretty much can’t stand her at this point in your life? Do you want to tell everyone about your relationship? Because you should. You should want everyone to know how great/ special/ weird your girl is. And this is where the fun begins.

3. Decide your tone. Are you going for sentimental? Sweet? Are you willing to embarrass her or wanting to get back at her for something? This is the second most important part of starting your speech. Decide where you want to go with it.

4. Highlight your relationship and find a way to make it exemplify the Bride to Be as the amazing person/ bitch/ silly girl/ best friend she is to you.

I chose to highlight the strangeness we were as children, and I wanted to build that in a slightly sarcastic way, but I knew that ultimately I wanted to highlight how awesome of a friend she is to me. I also chose to end with a sweet, slightly cheesy note to her Groom that pulled it all together.

5. Start off by introducing yourself. Most of these people don’t know you. Explain to them why you are the Maid of Honor. Make them care. (Example: Shaylin and I have known each other since Kindergarten. When I tell you that, you immediately try to do the math in your head, estimate how long we’ve known each other and that instantly makes you care a little more. This is one long friendship, friend!)

6. Don’t ramble on and on. Pick a few points or stories you want to stick with. Revise as many times as possible. Have other people revise for you. Go to your English major friends and ask them to tighten it up for you. Don’t make your toast longer than a page. After that, no one cares.

7. Don’t use inside jokes unless it is completely relevant and you are willing to explain. We don’t want to try to figure out what you’re talking about if you aren’t going to put in the effort to tell us. This adds the risk of losing your audience because they are left out.

8. Mention the guy, but only if you want to. Some people wondered why I didn’t talk about the Groom more. My reason was because I had nothing specific to say about him that added to my point. At least, not until the parts when I did mention him. I am representing the Bride to Be. If you don’t talk about her in your toast… there’s reason to be concerned.

9. Bring it all together nicely. This is hard to do. I spent three days panicking trying to figure out how to end my toast. I knew where I wanted to go with it, but I didn’t know how to get there. Try taking a lot of showers. That’s where I was when my last few sentences popped into my head.

10. Have fun with it. If you don’t have fun, your audience will know.

Have any more suggestions? Please share!