Maid of Honor Advice
How to Write a Maid of Honor Speech or Toast
"I would love to be your maid of honor, but who said anything about giving a speech?!!"
Before panic ensues, let me just say that, yes, nowadays it is common to have both the best man and the maid of honor give speeches or toasts at the wedding reception. But as a veteran myself, you can believe me when I say, just relax. This is no moment to freak out. By the time you reach the wedding you will have a fantastic maid of honor speech prepared for the occasion.
I know that not everyone is a gifted speaker, but as long as you sincerely wish the bride (and groom) well and maybe inject some fabulous humor in your maid of honor speech the bride will be singing your praises for many happy married years to come. But what exactly are you supposed to talk about?
1. You're the maid of honor! So let's hear it for the bride!
The best man, while celebrating both of the newlyweds, will probably be focusing on his bud, the groom. So it's up to you to give the bride her two minutes to shine (besides the rest of the day, of course!). As the maid of honor you are clearly an important person in the bride's life, and she's the one everyone came to see.
2. Maids of honor know all sorts of funny or touching stories about the bride.
After the often long wedding ceremony, everyone would love to hear a funny story about you and the bride growing up together or attending school. The more concrete and personal stories you can tell, the greater success your maid of honor speech will have. And personal stories are easier to tell because you already know them by heart!
3. Incorporate nostalgic memories both you and the bride share in your maid of honor speech, but don't exclude the 95% of the audience who don't share your personal jokes.
While the bride may laugh about the funny thing you and she once did, she'll be even happier to have everyone else laughing too. And believe me, as someone who has been a maid of honor, a bridesmaid, and a wedding attendee multiple times, we don't want to hear you recount a bunch of nonsensical private jokes that we don't understand!
4. Many great maid of honor speeches include a poem or song lyric.
In one of my favorite moments giving my maid of honor speech, I quoted Madonna, who the bride and I had danced and sang to together millions of times. Here's an excerpt from my maid of honor speech: "Open your heart to me, baby, you hold the lock and I'll hold the key." Not only did people recognize Madonna and laugh at my quoting her (as I said, humor is key), it was also a good sentiment. I then used the lyric to launch into how the bride and groom fit well together, and how that's partially because of their differences.
5. If all else fails, your maid of honor speech will be successful as long as you give the bride and groom your best wishes.
This is the purpose of the speech after all. Talk about the wonderful years the bride and groom will have together and how happy you are for them. This is the heart of the maid of honor speech, and you are guaranteed to receive spirited applause if you express these sentiments.
As you go on to write or brainstorm about your own maid of honor speech, I have one more piece of advice as both a former bride and a former maid of honor. If you need them, feel free to use notecards (particularly if you're quoting from a poem or song), but if you don't need them, skip them. Your wonderful stories will ring even more sincere. And finally, make your maid of honor speech short and sweet. You audience wants to toast the bride and groom, but they're also hungry and ready to eat!