My recipe for the perfect maid of honor speech


The long and the short of it is that public speaking just isn't everyone's cup of tea. But what do you do when you've finished your pre-wedding duties as maid (or matron) of honor and it's time to publicly give a toast to the happy couple in front of hundreds of people?

I have been to a plethora of weddings, gotten married myself, and have been maid of honor as well as matron of honor, so, I've been there. I wouldn't say I'm afraid of public speaking, but I am afraid of saying something ridiculous and embarrassing myself and my friends (who isn't!?). That's why I've cooked up the perfect recipe for a flawless maid of honor speech, and hopefully it helps you if you're working on one now or will be in the future.

1. Start with how you know the bride. I kicked off my MOH speech for my cousin's wedding by telling the crowd that I am Jenna's older cousin—by three months—and that she has always been the little sister I never had (complete with matching clothes and kiddie pool parties).

2. Tell a funny story involving the two of you. I don't like my whole speech to be funny (mostly because I don't think I'm that funny; hello, self-deprecation); however, I do like to add a little humor in hopes of getting a giggle or two out of the crowd, or at least from the bride. Coincidentally, my cousin and I did something pretty dumb the day before her wedding, so that made it into my speech last minute. #winning

3. Share a quick anecdote about the groom. I started by talking about how glad I was that Jenna's now husband is finally joining the family after nearly eight years of dating, and congratulating him on being able to put up with our family (for reference, our family is big and our get-togethers are always eventful—in a great way, of course).

4. Put a ribbon on it by toasting to the happy couple. Here's your chance to say something sweet and wish them well on this new phase of their lives.

And that's it! Short and sweet. So, there's your dos list. Here are your don'ts.

DON'T:

  • Exceed three minutes. As much as the bride and groom want to hear from you (they wouldn't have you speak if they didn't), everyone wants to get back to the party! This is especially important if there are two MOHs or two best men.

  • Talk excessively about how wonderful the groom is. Keep that piece short and to the point. You don't want to sound like you want to marry him.

  • Tell inappropriate stories about the bride and/or groom. Remember, their parents and grandparents are listening. Similarly, don't use controversial language, either.

  • Poke too much fun. This isn't a roast, and you don't want the bride and/or groom to feel targeted on their big day.

  • Talk about yourself too much. This is about the bride and groom!

Bridal party pros—anything you'd add to my list?

All photos are courtesy of Light Box Photography.

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