Finding the right words to say about your close friend or family member on her wedding day can be a challenge. Even if you the bride well, crafting a speech that entertains guests while casting her in the best light can be hard to balance.
Whether you’re writing a maid of honor speech for the first or fifth time, there are a few key tips and format to keep in mind to ensure your speech is well received, memorable and makes the bride and groom feel special on their big day.
Here’s how to write a killer maid of honor speech that the bride and all wedding guests in attendance will remember.
How to Write a Maid of Honor Speech
Writing a maid of honor speech is a very personal process — which is one of the reasons why it’s so difficult. Every bride has their own idea of what they would want to be included in a speech, what things are off-limits and what would be important for the bride and her guests to hear from a maid of honor speech.
This also makes it difficult to put together a hard and fast guideline of rules to follow when writing a maid of honor speech. Though every pride is different, there are some ground rules and templates that can be used as a starting point to use as a guide.
Maid of Honor Speech Outline
In an ideal scenario, a well-executed maid of honor speech generally follows the below outline.
Step One: Say a few things about the bride
Sometimes the hardest part of writing a maid of honor speech is knowing where to start. It can be helpful to envision yourself standing up in front of the room and asking yourself, what would they want to know?
A good starting point would be to introduce yourself and say how you know the bride. You may include an anecdote about how you met, but make sure you keep mentions of yourself light and keep the focus on the bride. For example, what was it that drew you to want to meet her initially? What are some of the positive qualities about her you recognized off the bat? Over time?
Step Two: Say how happy you are for the bride and groom
Now that everyone knows who you are and how you know the bride, express how happy you are to be part of her special day, and how excited you are to see the new couple begin their lives together.
Step Three: Tell one personal story about you and the bride
This can be the hardest part about writing a maid of honor speech. You likely have so many fun stories you’d love to share, but for the sake of time stick to one. Try to have this story be something that everyone can relate to – maybe it’s the time that she came up with an inventive solution to a problem you were met with while on a trip because she’s so resourceful, or the time her spontaneity caused you to make friends with strangers.
This can be a heartfelt story as well, of a time where she did something meaningful for you. Try to keep these stories light and fun and cast the bride in the best light.
Step Four: Say a few more positive things about the bride
After you’ve shared a personal story, build on the other positive attributes of the bride. Is she dependable? Fun? Hilarious? Giving? Think about the ways she’s impacted your life for the better. Chances are the wedding guests who have showed up for her on her big day have been touched by her in that way, too, which will make your speech relatable.
Step Five: Talk about why the bride and groom are great together
Hopefully, you’ve had the chance to get to know the bride’s significant other well. But in the event that you haven’t spent as much time with her new spouse as you might have liked for the sake of writing this speech, focus on how you’ve noticed how much happier she is since they’ve been together.
Step Six: Thank the bride and the family
Planning a wedding is rarely ever a solo person effort. It’s likely that in addition to the work and funds the bride and groom put forward to make this day happen, the families of the new couple likely contributed as well. While you don’t need to necessarily call this out, thanking the bride and groom for making you part of their day, and their families for making this incredible event happen is always a good move.
Step Seven: Make a wedding toast
Wondering how to end a maid of honor speech? With a toast! Wish the couple well and ask the room to join you in raising a glass to toast to the new couple. This might be the easiest (and most fun) part of the maid of honor speech, so don’t skip it!
Maid of Honor Speech Tips
Try freewriting. If you’re having trouble starting your maid of honor speech, it could be because you feel the immense pressure to say the exact right thing. Freewriting, or writing your thoughts as you go, helps take the pressure off and allows you to get all of your feelings and thoughts about the bride down on paper. Set a timer and allow yourself to write for 20 minutes. Think about all the positives about the bride, the memories you’ve shared, and any stories that you love to talk about her. At the end of your 20 minutes, you’ll likely have plenty of material to pick and choose from for your maid of honor speech.
Keep it brief. How long should a maid of honor speech be? Keep your maid of honor speech under five minutes. Any longer than this, and people start to lose interest. Not to mention, there are other speeches that need to be made along with finding time for all the other wedding traditions. Before the wedding, it’s a good idea to time your speech to ensure it’s not too long.
Pause for responses. If you’re someone who gets nervous speaking in front of people, it can be tempting to power through the entire speech without stopping to allow people to react. Make sure you give people space to react. Even if your speech isn’t funny, you may be surprised at the “awws” or even applause that people feel compelled to give — especially if they’ve had a few drinks at this point. Keep your speech well-paced and remember to incorporate breathing room.
Maid of Honor Speech Do’s and Don’ts
Don’t mention past relationships. This one might seem like a given, but it’s an important one to avoid. Even if you did witness the bride kiss a lot of frogs before finding her prince, now is not the time to bring that up. Instead of focusing on past dating mishaps, including what was different about the person she’s marrying and the positive attributes that drew her to him.
Do practice ahead of time. Even if you’re a pro at public speaking, practicing your maid of honor speech to ensure you’re familiar with it, that it’s well-timed and doesn’t run too long is a smart idea ahead of the big day.
Don’t be generic. As much as possible, try to steer clear of generic phrases when talking about the bride and make the speech authentic to your friendship. Weddings are formal events, but if your friendship with the bride is funny and goofy, don’t be afraid to interject that into your speech.
Do stay sober before the big speech. This can be difficult, especially during a long ceremony day. Only you know your relationship with alcohol and how it impacts you, so be mindful of how much you’re drinking before you get up in front of a room full of wedding guests to give a speech.
Maid of Honor Speech Examples
Still having trouble writing your maid of honor speech? Here are a few maid of honor examples to help get the creative juices flowing.
Speech for a Best Friend
Hi everyone. My name is [name], and I’ve known [Bride] since [childhood/high school/college] when she and I [insert story of how you met/bonded]. Having known her for [X] years, it makes me so happy to be able to stand up here today and celebrate her.
If you know [Bride], you know how thoughtful she is — she always takes care of others before herself. This is why I was so happy when she met [Groom], who is equally giving and has always made her his top priority — even on their very first date, which he took the red-eye back for after a work trip because it worked best with [bride’s] schedule.
[Tell the story of your first impression of the groom]. Example: My first impression of [Groom] was that taking care of others was also important to him. He really went out of his way to make sure all of our friends had a great time at the restaurant we were at, even going out of his way to carry the drinks over to our table himself when he saw how busy our waitress was — something that I could see [Bride] doing as well.
Over the last [X] years, I’ve seen how happy being with [groom] has made [bride], and I’m so honored to be here to wish them well. [Bride] has truly met her match, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for you both as you start your lives together.
Please join me in a toast to the new couple – as the character from our favorite TV show put it best, [insert love quote here]. Cheers to the happy couple!
Speech for a Sister
Thank you all for being here to celebrate my sister, [Bride]. I’m the youngest of five siblings, and being the only other girl, [bride] was forced to team up with me against our brothers. I’ve looked up to her in so many ways and continue to learn from her even in adulthood. She has always paved her own way, and I admire that about her.
When [Bride] met [Groom], I knew instantly that something had changed. She seemed calmer and at ease. After meeting [Groom], it was clear that his easy-going nature and go with the flow attitude had rubbed off on my sister. [Groom] fits so well with our family, it almost feels like he’s always been a part of it. I’m so excited to make that official today.
Let’s raise a glass to toast the happy couple. I wish you both a lifetime of unconditional love and happiness and can’t wait to see what the next chapter brings. Cheers!
Funny Maid of Honor Speech
Hi everyone, I’m [Name], and I’ve been [Bride’s] best friend since we met on the playground in elementary school. We’ve come a long way since staking our claim on the best swings at recess. [Bride] has been friends with me through thick and thin, and there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for her. Including giving a maid of honor speech to a room full of strangers.
Everyone who meets [Bride] likes her more than me, even my own cat, which is fair since she’s absolutely my better half. She’s selfless, hilarious and can turn any situation into a positive one. Even when [Groom] called her the wrong name on their blind first date, she stuck to it and played the role of [Name]. Luckily he got it right when he said “I Do” today.
In all seriousness, I’m so happy [Bride] and [Groom] found one another. These two look at each other the way I look at the food being brought to my table at a restaurant. I know they’re going to have a happy, beautiful life together…and I’m an ugly crier so I’m going to stop there.
Let’s raise a glass to the new couple. Wishing you both the best that life has to offer. Cheers!
Writing a maid of honor speech is an important job. This speech will likely be something that the couple refers back to throughout their lives, that gets played whenever they revisit their wedding video.
Writing a maid of honor speech can feel overwhelming but having a maid of honor speech template and maid of honor speech examples to refer back to can be a huge help. Overall, be authentic and show the bride in the best light. And don’t forget to make a toast!