Okay, I’ll level with you. My sister’s wedding is officially 18 days away and while I’ve certainty talked a lot about performing a speech… it may or may not actually be written yet.
Unlike the Best Man or Father of the Groom, the Maid of Honour speech is a relatively new addition to the wedding speech line up, meaning that unlike the best man or father of the groom speeches, it’s without a set traditional structure or role. However with a little preparation and some solid one liners, you can give that best man, or father of the groom a run for his money!
Tip #1 Introduce yourself
While it may seem pretty obvious that you are the brides best friend or sister, you would be surprised how many plus ones, extended family members or parent’s friends will be attending, and totally unaware of your connection to the bride. So give your audience a little context by introducing yourself, and a brief story of how you know the bride.
Tip #2 Tell a story about the bride
As the Maid of Honour you probably know the Bride better than most of the guests, so start with a cheeky story of when you were younger, the day when you first met or how she got you out of embarrassingly sticky situation. For a softer angle, tell the guests about a time that highlights her better qualities, like loyalty or patience.
Tip #3 Talk about meeting the groom
Since you probably knew the bride before she met her man, who better than to talk about how they met! So share the story of how they met, maybe sharing the Bride’s first impressions, maybe the time she said she had a crush on him years ago, or the awkward-but-cute first date.
Tip #4 Celebrate the bride and groom as a couple
After talking about the bride, and how she met the groom, it’s the perfect moment to share how they have made one another’s lives better. Whether her determination helps to motivate him, or his sense of humour always makes her laugh. Guests love to hear about little moments that show they are right for one another.
Tip #5 Close with a toast
It’s true that every speaker has a slightly different purpose, and speaks on different topics, however all great speeches end with a toast to their future. So finish strong by wishing the beautiful bride and her new husband a long, loving and beautiful future together.
MISSING A FUNNY BONE?
If you’re not typically a comedic person, stick to your strengths! While there’s a pressure to have the audience in constant laughter, people love a heartfelt speech just as much, if not more! Although if you do want to get a few laughs going, keep the jokes classy enough for old nana and grandpa sitting in the front. While the tales of ex boyfriends and drunken nights out are numerous and terribly funny, they’re better kept for girl’s nights.
DON’T TAKE IT PERSONALLY
While you know that one random story will put the bride and a select few in stiches of laughter, try to tell anecdotes that everyone can appreciate. Wedding speeches are an opportunity to publically address the bride, but also the guests who want to feel included and laugh along with you.
LESS IS MORE
You may be the best speaker in the world, but no matter how talented you are, no one likes a long speech. By keeping your speech under five minutes, the audience will enjoy it more, and so will you — no one likes to see people glancing at their watch or heading to the bar during their speech!
DON’T GET STAR STRUCK
With a loud mic and a gathered audience, it’s easy to get carried away, but sorry gal, this isn’t your moment. While the speech should be personal, the focus should be the one thing the audience has in common; the bride and groom. So only bring yourself into the mix if it’s important for an anecdote with the bride, but keeping most of the speech about her and her new partner.
PRACTICE MAKES PRETTY NEAR PERFECT
While you don’t need to totally memorise your speech… you also don’t want to be reading straight off a set of notes. Aim for a happy medium between, by having a few key points written down, so you aren’t reading it word for word, but have notes to jog your memory. The key to getting to this point? Practice, practice, practice! While nothing is quite like performing it on the day, full of nerves, joy and a little champagne, practicing out loud will give you the best chance to ace it on the day!
Don’t over think it! You aren’t writing a Presidential Address or a Funeral or eulogy so don’t forget to enjoy it! If you’ve been chosen as the Maid of Honour AND to speak on the day, the bridal couple clearly consider you an important and special person in their life. So take it easy on yourself, take a breath and start writing!