Maybe you’ve been asked to stand with your best friend as their Maid of Honour, or perhaps you’re the Best Man for your brother’s wedding, and you’re honoured to have been asked to fill this role. However, the thought of giving a Maid of Honour speech or Best Man speech makes you want to crawl into a hole.
So, what do you do?
Do you have to give a wedding speech?
While I know some people who follow traditional wedding practices very closely disagree with me here, I genuinely believe no one has to give a speech if they really don’t want to.
Things to consider
Before you tell your loved ones that you’d like to pass on the wedding speech, I encourage you to consider a few of the following questions around why you don’t want to give a speech.
- Are you feeling scared of standing up in front of an audience?
If fear is what holds you back, I encourage you to take a few minutes to sit with the fear to see where it’s coming from. Is it fear because you’ve never given a speech to a large audience before? Are you fearful that you’ll be judged?
Take some time to reflect on this fear and see if there’s an opportunity to face the fear instead of hiding from it—is there an opportunity to try something for the first time even though it’s scary? It is a chance to practice not worrying about what people think of you? However, if this fear comes from deep anxiety or social fear, I encourage you to talk with a trained professional.
Interested in 7 speech delivery tips for your maid of honour speech? Check out the blog!
2. Are you afraid that your speech won’t sound good?
If the fear is coming from insecurity about your ability to write a good speech, then there are some ways to overcome this fear! There are many blogs online that teach people how to write wedding speeches. There are templates you can purchase to help you get started, and there are even professional wedding speech writers (like me) who will help you write a speech from the heart.
3. Are you afraid you don’t have the time to commit to another duty?
If the fear comes from the time commitment of all the wedding party duties, I encourage you to talk with the engaged couple about this fear as they will likely understand.
If you’re open to a speech but feel it would be easier on your schedule if you didn’t have to write it and practice it, talk with the couple and see if there are other duties or tasks they can help you remove from your to-do list so that you would have time for a speech (if you want).
4. Are you worried you don’t have enough to say?
It’s not uncommon for members of the wedding party to know very little about the couple (even the best man and maid of honour), so giving a heartfelt speech might feel impossible.
Consider talking to mutual friends or family members to try and gather some stories and traits about the couple. If that’s not an option, consider hiring a wedding speech writer to help you with this situation. I have worked with dozens of clients who know very little about the couple and always come out with a beautiful and meaningful speech.
Alternatives to the wedding speech
If, deep down, you still want to give a speech, there are a few alternative options:
- Pre-record your speech and have them play it at the wedding, so you don’t have to speak live in front of the audience
- Consider a very short toast (one or two sentences) to simply congratulate the couple and wish them all the best with a cheers at the end. These can be under a minute long and still a sweet gesture to the couple.
- Write your speech, but have a friend or family member read it on your behalf
- Write your loved one a personal love letter in place of the speech and give it to them the night before the wedding
- Have another member of the wedding party join you for a joint speech, so you have someone up there with you
You’ve decided you don’t want to give a speech, what do you do?
If, after your reflection, you’re sure you don’t want to give a speech, it’s time to tell your loved one you will not be giving a speech at their wedding.
If possible, set a time to meet with them in person. Let them know you care about them and are dedicated to supporting them through their wedding planning process and their big day, but you don’t feel comfortable giving a wedding speech.
Understand that they may express disappointment or sadness over your decision, but you don’t need to feel pressured to change your mind. If they express concern over not having anyone speak on their behalf, you can suggest asking someone else from the wedding party or even a family member to give a speech instead.
Try and ground the conversation in kindness and respect, and your loved one will likely understand where you’re coming from, even if they’re a bit sad at first.
Remember, at the end of the day, no one should ever be able to force their loved ones to do things they do not feel comfortable doing.
Questions? Comments? Feel free to reach out! I’d love to hear from you 😊
Wishing you all the best,