How to Give a Maid of Honor Speech: From Drafting to Delivery, The Beginner’s Guide to the Maid of Honor Speech
Being asked to stand with a loved one as their maid of honor can be a huge honor, but the role does come with a few tasks, including often giving a speech (not sure if you’re supposed to give a speech, you can always double-check with the bride!).
Does the maid of honor always give a wedding speech? Read the blog to find out!
For this blog, we’re going to assume you’ll be giving a speech, so below, we’ll share 12 steps on how to give a maid of honor speech.
Before the Wedding
Step 1: Start Thinking About Your Speech
Before you begin writing your speech, start thinking about what you might want your speech to be.
- Do you want a short and sweet 1–2-minute speech? Or something a little longer so you can share a story (maybe around 2-3 minutes)
- Note – Traditionally, speeches should be kept under 4 minutes unless you’ve been specifically asked to give a longer one
- How do you want your speech to sound? Do you want it to be funny? Heartfelt? A combination of both?
- Tip – Have the tone of your speech match your personality. However, avoid sarcastic or negative tones (even if you mean it as a joke) as it can come off as harsh, especially for the audience who may not know you’re joking.
- Have you seen or read any speeches that inspired you?
- What kinds of information would you like to share in your speech?
- How you met the bride?
- How you knew their partner was “the one?”
- A sweet memory with the bride that exemplifies one of her best qualities?
- What do you want your best friend to feel as they hear your speech? What stories, quotes or information would match that feeling?
At this stage, you just want to start brainstorming options for your speech.
Step 2: Writing Your Speech
Once you’re ready to start writing your speech, dedicate time to focus your attention on the writing and editing process. Ideally, you don’t want to leave this to the last minute (though it’s ok if you did!).
Tip—To help ensure reading the speech is as easy as possible, split your paragraphs up, so they are small and easy to read. Also, consider increasing your font. This way, if you lose your place, it’s much easier to find it again!
Not sure what you should include in a maid of honour speech? Check out my blog on How to Write a Maid of Honor Speech!
Step 3: Practice Your Speech
Once you’re happy with your speech, start practicing! You do not need to memorize your speech, but practice reading it aloud to familiarize yourself with the words.
As you read out loud, if you notice you’re stumbling or struggling to read any parts, you might want to go back and edit those sections.
Tip—If you’re unsure, consider recording yourself reading the speech and then playing it back to yourself to see if you can hear any sections that need work.
If possible, try practicing in front of real people (even just one person will do!). This will help you get comfortable reading the words in front of an audience.
Do you need to memorize your speech? Read the blog with some tips and tricks on how to prepare for your speech!
The Night Before the Wedding
Step 4: Do a Final Read-Through
Before you print, do a final read-through of your speech. Check for:
- Any last-minute spelling errors
- Double check you have names and dates correct
- Whether the flow feels comfortable to read
- Whether the formatting feels easy to read off the page
Step 5: Print off a Couple of Copies of Your Speech
Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to print off your speech (just in case you have any technical issues!).
It’s always a good idea to print off multiple copies and have another bridesmaid hold one for you in case you lose yours. You can also keep a copy on your phone as a backup.
Step 6: Put Your Speech into The Bag You’ll Carry on The Wedding Day (or With the Person You Trust)
Before you head to bed or out for the night, make sure your speech is packed, and your backups are where they need to be.
The Wedding Day
Step 7: Double Check Timing
If there’s a planner or someone in charge of the timeline, double-check when you are giving your speech. This way, you’re fully aware of when you’ll be speaking and can keep an eye on the time, so there’s no rushing, and you know where you’re supposed to be.
Step 8: Don’t Drink too Much Alcohol Before Your Speech
While trying to calm our nerves with a few drinks can be tempting, you want to be mindful that your speech will go much smoother without too many drinks.
Step 9: Bring Up Some Water
Once you’re called for your speech, don’t forget to bring up some water or champagne to the podium (you’ll often be called up by the MC or the couple themselves once it’s your turn). This way, you will have a glass to cheers at the end (this is quite commonly forgotten!), and you’ll have something in case your mouth gets dry while you read.
Tip – If you get flustered or nervous as you begin reading, use your drink as an opportunity to pause. Take a moment to sip your water and center yourself.
Step 10: Breathe
Once it’s time to begin reading, remember that it’s ok to take your time.
- Smile and introduce yourself
- Get your speech ready to be read
- Make sure your water is nearby
- Breath and begin reading your beautiful speech
As mentioned above, if you get nervous or lose your place, it’s ok to pause. Take a sip of water and breathe. No one is expecting you to be a professional speech reader. In fact, this might be your first public speech, and that’s ok!
At The End of Your Speech
Step 11: Don’t Forget to Ask the Audience to Join You in a Cheers to The Newlyweds
So many speech readers forget this step, but it’s tradition to end your speech with a cheers.
You might say, “Everyone, please raise your glasses and join me in a cheers to the newlyweds. To Maggie and Sam and their happily-ever-after. Cheers!”
Step 12: Smile!
Once you’ve finished your speech, take a moment to smile and breathe before you bolt for your seat. If there is a photographer, they’ll be snapping photos and this is a great time to get in some good shots for your friend to remember the moment!
If appropriate, go hug the happy couple and then enjoy the rest of the party!
Bonus Tip: Remember to Enjoy the Day
While you may be feeling nervous (that’s totally normal!), try focusing on the day’s beauty and excitement. You don’t want to miss out on the celebrations because you’re focused or worried about your speech.
Remember, you’ve done a wonderful job prepping for your speech, and you want to enjoy the celebrations!
Feeling nervous about giving your speech? Here are 7 delivery tips!
Next Steps: The Dos and Don’ts of the Maid of Honor Speech
Looking for some more tips and tricks for writing your speech? Check out my blog on the Top Maid of Honor Speech Do’s and Don’ts!