So the time has come, and you’re getting ready to write your maid of honor speech! We get it. You’ve been mentally writing your maid of honor speech since the day you and your BFF met in second grade, or since you became roommates in college, or since she was the only person at your new job who welcomed you. Or you have more to say than you can possible boil down into one maid of honor speech, because this is your sister. She’s been with you through thick and thin.
We know, and we are here to turn all of that love into the perfect four minute speech, that will bring down the house.
How do you write a maid of honor speech? Let’s break it down: In its simplest form, the maid of honor speech is one to four minutes wherein you will wax poetic about how much you love your this person, how you can’t believe that she and her partner found each other but that they are so perfect together, and how you can’t wait to see what kind of life they will build together. You’ll throw in a few anecdotes (tales from summer camp or college, erring on the side of caution and eschewing details that no one except the two of you need to know). You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll toast the couple, and it will be brilliant. But if any part of you is worried about how that might come together, We’ve got some very specific tips on how to write the perfect maid of honor speech:
Tips For Writing Your Toast
- Get personal. Obviously this is not the time to use every awful person your friend has dated as evidence for how excellent her chosen life-mate is, but it is the time to share a few personal stories. You’ll want to talk about how happy you are for the couple, how much as you knew your BFF was your BFF the second she traded shoe laces with you, you knew that her chosen partner was perfection when they showed up to her house wearing bacon-themed socks. After that, wrap it up nicely and sweetly, toast the couple, and have a seat.
- Don’t worry about the Best Man. Best men have a rep for sometimes being uncool during their speeches (let’s avoid that). And if you’re worried, just ignore whatever the best man might get up to, and do you. You don’t have to bring out the waterworks as a counterpoint to a counterpoint to potentially awkward jokes, if that’s not your style. If you want to be funny, be funny! Steal the best man’s thunder. It’s fine.
- Don’t turn it into stand up. That said, your maid of honor speech is not the time to try out your future career as a stand-up comedian. No one is expecting Maya Angelou to suddenly appear and speak through you, but they probably are expecting something heartfelt and sincere. So really consider the speech and take it seriously, even if humor is your vehicle of delivery.
- Don’t wait too long to start writing. Try to start writing your speech the month before the wedding so that you can practice on a friend (not the one who is getting married) or partner, and adjust as needed.
Just about everyone gets the jitters when they’re in front of a large group and have to speak—it’s fine! If you’re super freaked out, just use the formula:
A Made of Honor Speech Template
- Part 1: I love you both so much.
- Part 2: A lovely anecdote about the couple’s relationship and how awesome they are. (Try to stay away from something just about about just one of them, but about them as a couple. Talking about primarily on person within the context of their relationship and their love can be lovely, too, if that’s your relationship to the couple.) This should be the bulk of your speech.
- Part 3: I hope you are always as happy, joyous, and in love as that moment. OR This proves how madly in love you two are. May you continue to be an inspiration to us all. Etc.
- Part 4: (Actually make the toast.) Everyone drinks!
Here’s a sample maid of honor speech that follows the formula perfectly:
maid of honor speech EXAMPLE
Haley and Rachel,
I love you both so much. Haley, not only for you being one of my best friends, but for being there for me when being my friend didn’t just involve late night Wal-Mart runs and hours of watching ’80s movies. We’ve grown up together and I am so very grateful that we did not grow apart. And Rachel, I love you, too, for not only being such an incredible partner for my Haley, but for being a great friend to me also. I know you didn’t expect that dating Haley would include helping her flaky friend after she locked her keys in the car three times in one month, but you are a doll for doing so with a smile and only laughing at me a little.
However, what I love most about the two of you is how you are together. I’ve never seen two people that fit so well in each other’s lives; it’s hard to imagine a time when you weren’t “Haley and Rachel.” It may seem to some like you two were just meant to be and that fate put you together, but I think to look at it that way diminishes how amazing your relationship really is.
Having been there from the beginning, I know that what appeared to be seamless was the effort of two people who truly loved one another and were determined to make their relationship work. They didn’t just magically fit into each other’s lives; they rearranged their lives to make room. They changed priorities, made time for one another and learned to love each other’s little quirks… like Rachel’s not-so-secret love of R&B vocalists.
But nothing shows this as much as Haley, Rachel, and the hockey debacle. You see, when they started dating, Rachel noticed that Haley had a framed Gretsky jersey in her living room. And, deciding to play it cool, Rachel started asking Haley if she wanted to go to local hockey games and watching the latest game on TV just so she’d have something to talk about to Haley the next time they chatted. Haley, oblivious to all of this, thought Rachel really liked hockey so she enlisted my brother to teach her more about the game. Because, you see, Haley never watched hockey. The jersey belonged to her Uncle Mike, and Aunt Laura gave it to her as a reminder of him after he passed away. Meanwhile, both my brother and Rachel are pretending to know more about hockey than they actually do and were starring in their own sports-themed comedy of errors.
Eventually, they figured it out… and by eventually I mean seven months later. However, once these two worked on their communication skills, they had a new favorite hobby to do together… and further proof that Uncle Mike really is watching over Haley. AND, he’s bound and determined that she marry a hockey lover!
And it only goes to show not only how goofy these two are for each other, but how much they truly are committed to being in each other’s lives. Your love makes us smile, makes us tear up with joy and makes us believe in the kind of love cynics would make you feel is impossible. Thank you for being an inspiration and my friends.
To Haley and Rachel! (everybody drinks)
Have you ever written or heard a truly great maid of honor speech? What works—and what doesn’t?