My sister Kameryn got married this time last year, and I was lucky enough to be her Maid of Honor. I wanted to share a few tips when it comes to writing the perfect Maid of Honor speech. These tips can also be applied to rehearsal dinner speeches!
How To Write a Maid of Honor Speech
Sit and reflect
Trust me, I know what it feels like to have writers block. The best thing you can do when it comes to writing a speech, is pull up photos of you and the Maid of Honor. Have a piece of paper, or a Word doc open on your computer, and just start jotting down silly and special memories that you two share. Write down sweet things that the bride has said about her husband. Jot down a few sentences about how you know each other. This part can be messy and it will make sense later when you edit it all together.
A little “outline” I’ve used for my MOH speeches is to start with the bride’s name. I think it’s really personal and intimate to look at the bride and start off with her name to sort of address her first before anyone else. Then I started my speech with, “Kameryn, it is such an honor and joy to be here on your wedding day.” Then, I took a long pause and looked around the room. I shared a few sentences about our childhood which introduced me to guests without having to formally introduce myself in an obvious way. I then talked about what Kameryn said to me when she first met Rob. The setting they were in, her reaction, and just a few sweet details about their early days of dating.
Lastly, I circled back to Kameryn and talked about how Rob brought out the best in her and how excited I am for this next chapter. Throughout the speech I looked at the bride and groom, and glanced around the room 2-3 times. At the very end, I grabbed my champagne glass and made a closing toast congratulating the newlyweds. Then I hugged both Kameryn and Rob (and cried tears of joy and relief too haha!)
Edit and Condense
It usually takes me about 4-5 different versions to finally land on the one I am going to use. Speak the versions out loud to make sure that sentences and words flow as you make your edits.
Keep it short and sweet
I’ve given 2 Maid of Honor speeches now, and witnessed a handful, and the key is to keep it short and sweet. People get lost and tune out after 2 minutes, so aim for 2 minutes max. A nice 1 minute 45 second speech is ideal!
Practice Practice Practice
Once you’ve written your speech down and fine tuned it, practice saying it slowly in front of the mirror at least 3-4 times. When you actually give your speech, nerves will make you speak faster than you mean to, so be sure to keep reminding yourself to slow down!
I highly recommend printing or writing your speech out on a beautiful piece of thick stationary so that you can give it to the bride as a memento after the wedding. Don’t make the same mistake I did years ago, and read the speech off the notes section on my phone! I thought it would be lower profile than a piece of paper, but the blue light from the phone looked bad in photos and just took away from the traditional moment – lesson learned! Also, I don’t recommend memorizing the speech, because you never know what nerves can do to you in the moment.
I have a huge fear of public speaking. Always have, and probably always will! The best advice I can give for a MOH speech is to have a few sips of a cocktail (not too much LOL) to ease your nerves, and just really make this a moment between you and the bride. Angle your body slightly toward the bride so it feels more safe and intimate, and you can focus on what the speech is truly about. Speak from your heart and you will do great!