How To Write A Maid Of Honor Speech (That's Funny And Heartfelt At The Same Time)

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how to write a maid of honor speech

So, you’ve been selected to have the role of Maid of Honor at your friend’s wedding. Congratulations! This means that you have a friend who really, truly appreciates you and everything you do for her. She trusts you and loves you so much, she wants you to be the one to help her as she has the biggest day of your life.

That’s an amazing honor to have, but with great pride comes great responsibility. As a Maid of Honor, you will be expected to help her out during the wedding with planning, wardrobe malfunctions, and possibly also cool out a Bridezilla moment before it takes over everything. The biggest thing you may be asked to do, though, is write a Maid of Honor speech. And if you don't know how to write a maid of honor speech, you might feel nervous about the whole thing.

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Speaking as a professional writer who has written a couple of speeches in their past, the art of creating a tactful speech isn’t easy to master. If executed incorrectly, a Maid of Honor speech is something that could easily turn into a disaster. Here’s how to write a maid of honor speech and do it right.

1. Write it out and practice it.

Do not be the one woman who insists that they “can totally wing it.” You will not be able to, especially when you have hundreds of eyes waiting for you to give a stirring speech. You will run out of things to say really quickly.

Jot down your speech and practice it. Don’t be afraid to carry the speech with you in your purse. It’s much better to look at a paper and read aloud than to sit in front of people looking like a deer in the headlights.

2. Follow a list of dos and don'ts.

The problem with writing a Maid of Honor Speech is how quickly things can go South. So, let’s start with a couple of things you should not do if this is your first time speaking at a wedding:

  • If you’re not the type of person who typically does well with jokes, don’t force a joke in. While it could have worked for your Uncle Harry, it might not work for you. It’s better to be heartfelt than to have an awkward laugh.
  • Don’t say anything you wouldn’t say in front of your own grandmother during the speech. It’s a wedding, not a bachelorette party. The bride’s 89-year-old Grandma Gertie will be there. She doesn’t need to hear about the bride and groom popping Molly at Coachella.
  • Never mention anything that suggests that the bride was desperate. Things like “she’s finally met her dream man” or “she finally got what she wanted” will cast her in a bad light. Don’t do that to her.
  • Never, EVER compare the groom or bride to past exes. This is just gauche, even if it’s in praise of the groom or bride. The wedding isn’t about exes; it’s about the couple who found love.
  • Don't start drama or upstage the couple. Now is not the time to reveal you're pregnant. Now is also not the time to reveal you slept with the groom. Capiche?
  • Don’t make it about you. Have you ever listened to a wedding speech that made it clear that the couple weren’t the stars of the show? Did you ever see a speech where the Maid of Honor started talking about inside jokes few others knew? Cringey, right? Yeah, don’t do that.

3. Get your introduction right.

Unless this is the world’s smallest wedding, not everyone will know who you are. So, the best way to open up your speech is to talk about how you know the bride and who you are. This allows people from the groom’s party to connect with you and feel at ease with having a stranger extolling the happy couple.

Though you should introduce yourself and the relationship you have with the bride, there are a couple of things you should not do during your introduction. The biggest thing that you should remember is that the speech is about the bride and groom, not about you. So, while you should introduce yourself, it should be brief.

Engaging with the audience during the introduction is a good idea. Ask questions like, “How many people here have had Sally make them laugh with one of her killer jokes?” The more you interact with the audience, the better it usually is.

The bulk of the introduction should talk about the couples’ love story, and how important love is. It also should include a “thanks” for the honor that you’ve been given. After all, it’s a major compliment!

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4. Praise them, and if you have experience, offer them advice.

A Maid of Honor speech isn’t just a speech; it’s a way of showing that the bride’s best friend wishes to send them off into a happy marriage. This is the time for you to make them realize how much you treasure them. If you have been happily married, it’s also time to offer them advice.

Talk about how great the bride is and how wonderful the groom is. Tell them that you see the way they look at each other, and how happy you are that they have found the love. Things like talking about the groom’s wicked sense of humor, the bride’s loving family, and their wonderful future are highly encouraged here.

Then, if you have experience, offer them advice for the future. Tell them to look forward to each day as they age, and to work together to build a future together. Should you choose to do this, make a point of keeping the advice positive. You don’t want to scare them!

5. Wish them luck.

Finally, once you have given them the awesome energy you know you can give, wish them luck. It’s just that simple. The only thing that you need to make sure to do in this part of the speech is to be sincere, like in the Maid of Honor speech from My Best Friend’s Wedding.

6. Practice your delivery.

It seems simple, right? The Devil’s in the delivery. In theory, writing a good Maid of Honor speech is a cinch. However, in practice, things tend to fall apart. The issue that most people soon realize is that what looks good on paper doesn’t always sound good. Being able to deliver a killer speech is just as important as writing a good one.

It’s important to tailor your speech to actually sound good when you say it, rather than just look nice on paper. Here are some of the most important things to do when you’re tweaking your speech:

  • Keep it short. A great Maid of Honor speech shouldn’t last more than three minutes, tops. It sounds short, but believe it or not, that’s a lot of time to stand up there talking. Read your speech slowly and time it.
  • Practice makes perfect. Being a great speaker doesn’t happen overnight, nor does delivering an electrifying speech. Grab a friend and practice your delivery before the big day. If you are really struggling, hire a speech coach.
  • For the love of all that is holy, stay sober until after the speech. A common way of handling stage fright is to drink it into submission. Do not do this. Slurred speech and rambling isn’t charming.

7. Finally, it’s okay to get a little bit misty-eyed.

Your bestie is just about to be married. It’s so incredible that you’re getting to witness this, right? Of course! It’s only natural that those who tend to get a bit emotional may get a couple of tears in their eyes. It’s okay to cry a little. Love is beautiful like that.

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Ossiana Tepfenhart is a Jack-of-all-trades writer based out of Red Bank, New Jersey. When she's not writing, she's drinking red wine and chilling with some cool cats. You can follow her @bluntandwitty on Twitter.