With wedding season approaching, I’m sure a majority of us are either involved in a wedding or are attending one. Being in a wedding, in short, can be extremely exciting, but very expensive and stressful as well. If you have recently been asked to be in one of your friends weddings as a bridesmaid, all you have to do is pretty much make sure you’re wearing the correct dress, make it on time for pictures and most importantly show up. But if you have been asked to be the maid of honor, you have a lot more responsibilities on your shoulders.
Aside from having to plan the bridal shower and bachelorette party for the bride, there is one last thing that is expected of you. Oh yes, you also are expected to give a speech at the reception! This is when people start to stress out. Not everyone prepares to give their speech at the wedding months in advance. Usually, this is constantly pushed to the side due to all of the other obligations you have. But before you know it, the big day is only a few days away and you have no idea how to even start your speech. Many people struggle with putting their speeches together and are not quite sure what to include, or even how to start.
I put together a list of 9 must haves you should most definitely include in your speech that will help making putting together your thoughts a whole lot easier:
- Introduce yourself.
The first and only thing you should do to start off your speech is to introduce yourself to the audience. This is often the most common and simple thing that people will forget to do. If you’re a nervous public speaker, sometimes forgetting to introduce yourself to the room is often something you will do. Don’t forget to let everyone know your name and who you are to the bride and groom. For example, if you are the maid of honor for your sister, you could start your speech off by saying, “Good evening everyone, my name is Samantha and I am the sister and Maid of honor to the beautiful bride sitting right here.”
- Remember to thank everyone.
This does not need to be long, but remember to thank everyone for attending and helping out with the wedding. Weddings are a lot of work and it is important to remember that all of this could not of been possible if there wasn’t anyone there to help along the way, let alone attend the actual wedding!
- Tell a story about the bride.
This is what you will often hear in many wedding speeches. The best route you could take when telling your story is to throw some humor in there along the way. You can lighten up the mood of the room by telling a funny story about the bride, this will get a laugh out of the crowd, which will also help calm your nerves and make things more comfortable. But remember to keep it PG! Take into account who your audience is. Grandma Lilly will not want to hear about her granddaughter’s drunken college sorority stories. Instead, try telling a story for all ages that is memorable to both you and the bride. This could be something important, like a childhood memory you have with the bride, with a little humor thrown in there. Everybody loves to hear a good story!
- Explain the first time you met the groom.
Next you could tell the audience about the first time you met the groom. For example, you can explain how happy you could see the groom made your friend, and how you could tell right off the bat that he was going to be different. Focus on explaining who he is as a person and why he is the perfect fit for the bride. Remember you’re there to support the bride, but that doesn’t mean you can forget about the groom! Don’t forget to include him in your speech. After all, this day is about both of them.
- Tell the groom what he means to you.
Using the example from above, if you just told the story about when you met the groom for the first time, you could next go into stating how thankful you are that she met him and explain what the two of them mean to you. You could state how you are thankful that you were able to gain such a good friend from the two of them getting together, and how you wouldn’t want anyone else to become a part of the family. You can also throw in how she deserves the best and how you believe he is the best for her and you’re so thankful that she was able to find that in him.
- Tell a story about the couple.
Next, since you just told everyone how thankful you are that the couple found one another, you could tell a story about the couple that sums up their relationship. For example, you could talk about how your friend came home from their first date and wouldn’t stop talking to you about him for days. Or about the time they went to a football game and how you saw a change in your friend. This is often the time when people will state a moment they knew their friend had found the love of their life. Think about a specific time you remember seeing this change in your friend and share it with everyone. This can often be hard to do, but think back to when you first noticed how in love the two of them were and you should be able to come up with this no problem. Everyone loves to hear about these moments, as well as the couple! It allows them to reminisce about these times and will put a smile on their face.
7. Explain how the groom fits perfectly into the family.
If you’re the maid of honor, you are most likely either a part of the bride’s family, or a really close friend who is considered family. Because of this, you could add in how the groom fits perfectly into the family. For example, you could talk about how he is able to hold his own in the tough loud family you grew up in, and how not many people are able to do so. Or you could talk about how the family felt whole the moment that he came into her life. Including that they are the “perfect fit” is something that many couples will love to hear, as well as everyone else in the room!
8. Read a love quote.
The next thing you could do is to share a love quote. One quote that is often heard and that fits nicely in wedding speeches is “You don’t marry someone you can live with. You marry the person you cannot live without.” When you share a love quote, you can explain how this fits with this particular couple. For example if you were to use this quote, you could say how you can see how the two of them really cannot live without one another and how that is the most important aspect you believe a marriage should have.
9. Interact with the audience.
Here is where you could end your speech with a question, or something that engages the people in the room. You could ask, “who is ready to celebrate this wonderful couple with an awesome night?” or “who else thinks we should start this celebration now?” This way, it allows you to end your speech, but also gets the excitement in the room up.
Remember, the best thing you can do when writing a maid of honor speech is to keep it short. You don’t want to drag on and on, and lose the interest of your audience. Keep it short and sweet and remember that no matter what, the most important thing is the couple is going to be happy, and that is all that really matters.