How to Write a Maid of Honor Speech

One of the most challenging things I’ve ever had to do is write a Maid of Honor speech.  I was flattered to be chosen as one of the MOHs and I was excited that I would be able to tell all the guests what a great friend the bride is, how much I adore her, and how fabulous the bride and groom are as a couple.  But once I opened up the blank Word document to start writing, I couldn’t think of anything.  I came up with a lot of stories, but I wanted to be cautious about what I said — after all, there was going to be family there!

I reflected on some of the speeches I had heard at other weddings and tried to draw from them.  In the end, I came up with some great stories and the speech went well!  Both the groom and I cried during the speech and I received many compliments afterwards.

Here are some tips for the MOH speech:

  • Make the speech family friendly! I kept picturing myself telling the speech to the bride’s parents. It ensured I stuck to appropriate stories and didn’t have too many inside jokes. 
  • Don’t forget to thank the families. Regardless of who’s paying for the wedding (and sometimes it is the bride and groom), the families should be mentioned. After all, they’re responsible for bringing both the bride and groom into the world and/or raising them!
  • Tell stories about the bride, the groom, or the bride and groom.  Sound obvious, right?  But once you start telling a story, it’s very easy to end up speaking more about yourself than the couple.  One of the worst speeches I ever heard was a Best Man who told stories about how he and the groom used to compete in high school sports and how he (the Best Man) was a much better athlete than the groom.  Remember: it is THEIR day, not yours! 
  • Make it personal.  I know I just said to make sure the stories are about the bride and groom, but you should be sure it has to do with you! After all, you were selected because you are a good friend and vice versa.  Share stories of times when you were with them.  That’s much more meaningful than a list of reasons why marriage is sacred.
  • Keep it relatively short! It doesn’t need to be a minute, but it shouldn’t drone on either. A few quick stories, maybe a how you met the bride or groom, and a toast should suffice!
  • Try not to read.  Obviously you’re nervous and you’re afraid you’re going to forget something, but do your best not to read.  Some people like to take a few notes up to the microphone, while others feel more comfortable with the full speech written out.  I did not bring anything with me because I didn’t want it to sound too rehearsed.  I was talking about my friend, not doing a closing argument!  In retrospect, sure, I forgot some things — but no one knows but me!  
  • Try not to be nervous! The Wedding Maid of Honor Speech Blog suggests introducing yourself, talking about how you met, and introducing humor to make the speech more relaxed.  

If you happen to start crying in the middle of the speech, like I did,  or if you forget what you were going to say, then just take a minute, breathe, and move on.  It felt like ages when I paused to wipe the tears, but when I saw the video afterwards, I realized it wasn’t nearly as long as I thought it was.  Good luck!


One Response

  1. […] Give a speech at the wedding reception. And if you want some tips, here they are! […]

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