Being a maid of honor is a very special privilege, and it includes many different responsibilities. On the big day, you’ll want to be able to focus on supporting the bride, so there are a few things you’ll need to check off your list beforehand. Writing the perfect maid of honor speech is one of those exciting and nerve-wracking tasks, and we are here to give you all the best tips to set you up for giving a memorable toast! We’ve also included maid of honor speech examples along the way to guide your process.
Rosewood Bridesmaid Dress | Photographer: Britney Tarno
How to Write a Maid of Honor Speech Simplified
We’ve all sat through a wedding speech that was cringe-worthy, mind-numbingly long, or even a bit TMI. Our easy-to-follow steps will set you up for success with the best tips and tricks to make sure you avoid giving a bad wedding toast! Whether you make it more personal, funny, or sentimental is up to you, depending on your style and your relationship to the bride.
The Best Maid of Honor Speech Template
Kennedy Blue Bridesmaid Dresses in Moss | J. Stoia Portrait Design
1. Introduce the new couple and yourself
Introducing yourself at the beginning gives the crowd context on your relationship to the bride. Keep in mind that there are often a few people at a wedding who don’t know each other and are meeting for the first time - distant relatives, colleagues, and old friends - so you can help keep everyone in the loop. Knowing how you are related to the bride makes the crowd feel more involved with the day and activities.
Hello, everyone! I’m Rachel, and I’ve been friends with the bride since we were in college - that’s 8 years now! We’ve gone to school together, lived together, and we’ve shared both joys and tears throughout the years. Nothing makes me smile more than getting to witness Jules in her happiness today - if anyone deserves it, it’s Jules.
2. Briefly thank the hosts for hosting and the guests for being there.
This is an important piece of the speech because it gives everyone the spotlight they secretly want. Many people travel thousands of miles for someone’s wedding day, and it’s important to recognize that. If family or friends helped put together this wedding, a moment of acknowledgement and gratitude is a great way to highlight the love and appreciation for everyone involved in the wedding.
I want to thank everyone for being here today, whether you’ve traveled near or far, for helping celebrate this special day - and especially to both the families who put so much work into making this event so magical.
3. Start with a story about you and the bride.
The most important aspect when choosing to share a memory with you and the bride is making sure the listeners will enjoy it. If you’ve been chosen to be the maid of honor, you have probably shared many special memories - but make sure it doesn’t feel too personal and out of place. Inside jokes and stories that require too much background information may not land easily. Instead, try following a funny story with a more emotional one. This helps show who the bride really is as a person and will help the audience feel even more connected to the bride. Tip: Although you may be tempted to, don’t mention any exes!
One of my fondest memories of Jules involves a key, a sweatshirt, and one too many hours spent at a car rental place. After our big trip to Florida, Jules and I were returning the rental car and Jules couldn’t find the car key anywhere - so returning the car was going to be an issue. While we were digging through our pockets, I had an idea. I told Jules to go into the bathroom and take off her clothes - and voila! We found the key right when she removed her sweatshirt, tucked inside the sleeve.
4. Move your attention to the couple.
After talking about the bride specifically, it’s time to bring everyone’s attention back to the couple. Their relationship is what everyone is here for, after all! Choose a memory or story that you think the listeners will enjoy. You can share a story about meeting them for the first time, details about how you knew they were meant to be together, or a few qualities about them that make them so compatible.
Now that we’ve established that Jules can be a little forgetful sometimes, I want to talk about a time Jules’ memory served her well! We went to a concert together and she just happened to meet someone very special there. For days, even weeks after the show, she kept talking about Avery from Connecticut - and she even remembered where Avery had gone to school. That’s how she managed to look Avery up later online - and the rest of that story is why we’re all here today.
5. Share your thoughts on love.
Now is a great time to move into the sentimental if you haven’t already and talk about love - the real reason these two people have come together. Remind the audience and the couple why they decided to make this commitment to each other. You might choose to incorporate a line from a song, poem, or quote. Keep in mind that this is a normal place for you to start to feel a little emotional, and that’s okay!
Jules’ and Avery’s love and commitment for one another remind me a little of a line from one of Jules’ favorite songs: “It’s like you’re my mirror, my mirror staring back at me, I couldn’t get any bigger with anyone else beside of me.” I’ve watched these two grow and learn together as one another’s mirrors, and I can’t wait to watch them keep growing.
6. Close with your wishes, hopes, and dreams for the couple.
You’ve made it through almost the entire speech and now it’s time to wrap it up! Consider ending your maid of honor speech with your wishes for the couple as they embark on this new adventure. If you didn’t include a lyric, poem or quote earlier, this is an easy way to end the speech and toast to the new couple!
Jules and Avery, congratulations. May your life together be memorable and filled with warmth. Everyone, raise a glass to this happy couple!
The Best Tips on How to Give a Fantastic Maid of Honor Speech
Now that we’ve given you an outline, it’s time to talk about some of the do’s and don’ts when it comes to giving a bridesmaid speech. Preparation, practice, and delivery are all part of giving a toast, so let’s walk through some pointers.
Tip #1: Eye contact
Making eye contact with the couple or the audience can make your delivery feel more heartfelt and genuine. Our best recommendation is to memorize your speech. However, many people feel more comfortable having a little support up there. Notecards are a great option to feel like you have something to double check you’re on the right track. We’ve also noticed that phones have become more of a norm - so if you’ve typed your speech on your cell phone, that’s okay, too! We’ve also seen speeches written on beautiful notebooks like these, which can give the photographer something gorgeous to work with. If you are reading from your notes, be sure to look up at least once every few sentences.
Tip #2: Time your speech ahead of time
You might find yourself wondering, how long should a maid of honor speech be? The worst thing as someone in the audience is having to sit there and listen to a speech that just doesn’t seem to end! Aim to make your speech no longer than around 4-6 minutes. This is the perfect amount of time to keep the audience’s attention without anyone starting to yawn. Be sure to account for pauses and the audience’s laughter and applause as well.
Tip #3: Speak loudly
Let’s say it one more time for the people in the back - speak loudly! There is nothing worse than an audience having to strain to hear a speech you’ve prepared so well for. If there is a microphone, speak into it directly. If there isn’t, you’ll want to project loudly and clearly to the person furthest from you - so imagine you’re speaking to that farthest-away person.
Tip #4: Speak slowly
Your nerves can sometimes get the best of you, but it is important to make sure you speak at a normal pace. Be sure to take pauses for breaths, laughter, or emotions. Memorizing or practicing your speech plenty of times will help you nail it when the time comes. This also gives the audience more than enough time to process everything you are saying.
Tip #5: Practice with others before giving it
Practice makes perfect! Practicing it in front of others is a great way to help calm the nerves on the big day. This will also help you identify where people might laugh or clap so you know the perfect parts to take a break and a breath. Getting others to listen will also offer the opportunity for some feedback so you can make sure you write the best maid of honor speech.
Tip #6: Don’t drink too much before
We’ve all seen that scene in a movie when someone throws back a shot before a big moment - but in real life, you’ll want to make sure you don’t go overboard. This should be an obvious one, but just in case you get carried away during the day’s festivities, make sure you are ready to go for your speech. It is always tempting to drink a little before to help ease those nerves, but you know your limit best! We recommend not having more than one drink before you give your wedding toast.
Tip #7: Write your speech at least a month in advance
Writing your maid of honor speech more than a month in advance allows for more than enough time to make edits and changes. Practicing in front of others and memorizing it is much easier if you are prepared before all the wedding festivities begin. Knowing that you’ve been reviewing this speech for some time will also ease your nerves the day of. You got this!
Maid of Honor Speech for Sister
If you are acting as maid of honor for your sister, there are a couple of things to keep in mind as you are writing your maid of honor speech. Of all the people that know her at the wedding, it’s likely you’ve known her the longest. Consider the following ideas:
- Reference a funny memory from childhood
- Share ways that you look up to her, or admire her growth
- Mention a nickname you used to use for one another
- Share a lighthearted secret you used to keep from your parents - but don’t say anything that will leave anyone feeling too embarrassed
Elena Bridesmaid Dress in Cornflower | Photographer: Flash and Fix
Maid of Honor Speech for Best Friend
As the maid of honor’s best friend, you’re probably privy to some of her deepest fears, desires, and triumphs. This special relationship calls for a few extra considerations in the wedding speech:
- Focus on the friendship and what you cherish about her relationship with you
- Offer some heartfelt advice - after all, she trusts you!
- Praise the bride’s new partner - you’ve probably seen her date some duds over the years. Without mentioning the exes, acknowledge how glad you are that she found this special someone!
Our Favorite Maid of Honor Dresses
One fun part of being the maid of honor is wearing a gorgeous dress! Whether the bride wants you to match the bridesmaids or pick out your own unique style - there are plenty of stunning options to choose from! Here are a few of our favorite dresses for the maid of honor to wear.
1. Spaghetti Strap Bridesmaid Dress in Teal
This gorgeous, modern-style bridesmaid dress makes for the perfect maid of honor option! Fitted around the torso, Sue offers a tasteful slit, making movement easier. Available in sizes 00-32!
2. Maid of Honor Dress with Sleeves
For more coverage, the Luca maid of honor dress is one of our favorite choices! The darling flutter sleeves and v-neck make for a perfect combination. Plus, the tie back adds an extra touch of detail that won't go unnoticed.
Here at Kennedy Blue, we love all things wedding! Whether you are writing a maid of honor speech for your sister, best friend, or cousin, all our tips and tricks aim to help. What tips have you used in the past to help write your maid of honor speech? Let us know in the comments down below!