It can be nerve racking to prepare the perfect maid of honour speech, but there is a reason that she chose you to stand beside her on her special day! I could not have been more touched when my sister asked me to be her Maid of Honour – I bawled my eyes out! After I was finished crying, I knew that one of my duties and something I would need to plan well in advance for, was writing an incredibly special maid of honour speech as a tribute to the beautiful person that she is and has become. Whether you are a seasoned public speaker, or have nerves like spaghetti, these few tips can get you well on your way to writing a speech that both you and she will remember forever!
1. Plan in Advance
Writing my Maid of Honour speech was something I definitely did not want to leave until the last minute, as there was SO much that I wanted to say in that short time frame. By making multiple drafts and thoroughly assessing the message that you want to portray in your speech, you will be well prepared and also keep an edge on your nerves on the big day!
2. Be Yourself
The best advice that I can give someone writing a toast to the bride is to be authentic. Do not be afraid of emulating the ‘perfect’ MOH. By being yourself you will be just that – perfectly you! After all, she chose you to stand beside her, cry with her and celebrate this experience with her, and there is a darn good reason for that!
3. Set Boundaries with Humor
It’s always a little challenging to know where to draw the line between humor and honesty when sharing stories with a large group. I know for me, my sister’s toast had to be edited a number of times because a lot of the stories that I wanted to share were funny to my sister and I, but potentially not to others… A toast to the gorgeous bride should provide guests with information and stories they did not already know, but would want to know. Make sure that you don’t embarrass the bride in any way, or get too personal… set boundaries so that your humor does not cross the line! You want her to feel special and loved – not humiliated!
4. Speak from Your Heart
Tears are authentic and beautiful, so don’t be afraid to speak from your heart when preparing your toast. I was afraid that I would be a blubbering mess on my sister’s big day, but I knew that I didn’t have too much say in eliminating that issue… so I just ensured I was well prepared and rehearsed and let my emotions be authentic. As long as you can manage to get through your speech and still be audible, the rest is real and beautiful and is coming right from the heart of the girl that she asked to be her MOH!
5. The Bride and Groom
It is important to not forget about the man she has just gotten hitched to when you are writing your speech. After all, there wouldn’t be much of a wedding without the groom! Some special mention, story or comment about the groom and the couple is a great addition to a perfect speech. He will be so touched that you included him as well, since he is clearly one of the biggest parts of her life!
6. Know Your Time Limit
Make sure you ask the bride how much time she has allocated for the speech portion of her celebration so that you don’t go over your time limit. I know it can be a challenge not to go on and on and on when you are talking about someone you care about… but trust me – it’s much better and more pleasant for the audience if you don’t! I have been to weddings where I caught myself yawning (it reminded me of being in a lecture at school), which is not something you want to imitate! Know the time frame that you have to complete your speech and make sure that you stay within your budget!
7. A Final Wish
End your speech with a final wish for the bride, the couple and for their future. It could relate to a previous idea that you offered in your speech and it is a great way to prompt the audience to lift their glasses and toast the gorgeous couple. This is the perfect finishing touch that shouldn’t be missed when you are composing your perfect maid of honour speech.
No matter what, you are probably going to be nervous when it comes to giving your speech to the bride. Take deep breaths, think magical thoughts and remember how much it means to her that you are her Maid of Honour and that you have taken the time to share a special piece of your heart with her! What was the best MOH speech you ever heard, and what made it so memorable?