As the Maid of Honor, you occupy a place of honor in the bride’s life during the wedding planning. You are expected to become her virtual assistant in almost everything, from choosing her gown to arranging the venue—especially when a woman’s touch is preferred. On top of these responsibilities, you must also start drafting your maid of honor speech.
If the knowledge that giving a speech in front of so many people is not sufficient to get anybody into a nervous knot, then perhaps the fact that the maid of honor speech comes after the groom and best man have said their pieces will make those butterflies go a-fluttering. Of course, we’re just messing with you here. With the following tips on how to prepare, practice, and finally give your maid of honor speech, it should not be a source of stress
We believe that the first step toward a successful maid of honor speech is to embrace the role. Once you have accepted the responsibility with a more open heart, you will be able to focus on the positive aspects of the task. Your speech will then flow along nicely even if it’s just on paper first.
The bride will also be able to help with your speech, if you ask nicely. She may even have been given the same responsibility as a maid of honor in her day, which means you have an ally in the same way that she has a friend in you during the difficult days of wedding planning. Plus, it will show just how delighted you are with being chosen as the maid of honor.
This is a wedding, which is not exactly one that you can delay for your own convenience. At least a month before the big day, you should get a head start on the draft of your speech, lest you find yourself listening to the best man make his toast and realizing that you don’t know what you’re going to say. Do remember that you are speaking in behalf of the females in the wedding entourage, and it simply will not do to make your speech a lame one.
So, write your draft as soon as you have the time from your usual maid of honor responsibilities. Write it on paper or draft it on computer—you need not be nitpicking about the method just so long as you don’t procrastinate.
Think of the Must-Haves
Every speech during the wedding reception, whether from the groom, the best man, or the maid of honor, has certain must-have portions. This is not to say that all maid of honor speeches must be similar in form, substance, and structure—far from it. But if you want to cover all the bases, so to speak, it is best to adhere to the basic structure that even an experienced toastmaster would use when drafting his message.
These must-haves in your maid of honor speech will include the following in a more or less structured order. Of course, you are always free to play around with it for a personal touch. Just make sure to keep it short, sweet, and sincere, and you should be all right.
• Introduce yourself to the guests and explain how you are related to the bride.
• Express your thanks to the bride for being chosen as her maid of honor.
• Tell a joke about the bride, an anecdote about the couple, or other relevant remarks that will reflect your relationship to your now-married sister/friend. If possible, just choose the one with the most emotional impact on the couple, although it need not necessarily be somber as funny often does the trick.
• Offer encouraging words of advice, although you my skip this if you think that you are not in a position to do so.
• Offer your best wishes and your final toast. Raise your glass of wine, say something along the lines of “To you, John and Jane,” and then sip a little of the wine.
You can, of course, be as creative as you want to be with your maid of honor speech. You have every license to make the bride and groom and the rest of the audience cry, smile, and laugh during your speech, so long as these emotions are in a positive manner.
P.S. Did we mention that it also pays to practice your speech so that you can be comfortable with it even before the wedding festivities have begun? Oh, yes—you must!