Categories: Wedding Advice For Women
Maid of honour speeches are becoming more and more popular these days, so it’s not just up to the best men to say a few words about the bride and groom! As you’ve been selected as the maid of honour, you’ll either be the bride’s sister or her bestest friend, so you’ll know her inside out, and it’s the perfect opportunity to wish the happy couple well and tell the bride how much she means to you!
If you’re not too sure where to start with the maid of honour Speech, then don’t fret, because we’ve got the perfect structure to help you on your way to writing a totally memorable maid of honour speech – there won’t be a dry eye in the house!
Below is Hen Heaven’s special formula for speech success!
The opening line is all about grabbing everyone’s attention for your maid of honour speech – perhaps a little joke or just stating that it’s now your turn for a speech is a great way to set the tone and prepare yourself too! Make sure you concentrate on the bride and maybe open with a joke about her. The best man will have the groom covered. If you want to keep the jokes away from the happy couple then mention how nervous you are – go down the self-deprecating route. Remember, take a deep breath and everything will be fine!
Start the speech off by giving a little introduction to who you are and how long you’ve known the bride for. Although this may sound silly, there will be friends and family of the couple present who don’t know you, so it’s the perfect way to introduce yourself to everyone before getting stuck into the speech! Get some compliments in there and get a safety net for yourself with any upcoming jokes at their expense coming up. Commenting on their looks and how the ceremony went is a sure-fire way to get everyone onside.
It’s time to take a stroll down memory lane and fill in everyone about your earliest memories with the bride and how you met her. But do remember this is about the bride and not you, so do make sure you keep your focus to the lovely lady herself. Getting across how you met or the earliest memories of her. A funny anecdote from before she met her new husband will amuse him and his side of the wedding. Mentioning a few hilarious moments that could result in a few chuckles from the audience is always a hit. Just perhaps don’t mention about those messy girl’s holidays abroad! Season everything wih compliments to the bide, after an anecdote that might not put her in the best light rebound with saying that how she makes you laugh and her antics. is one of the reasons for your strong friendship.
Top tip #1
Stay Off the Vino and Stay Calm
Weddings go on for days in certain cases so there is no rush to get through your speech, no matter what your nerves say. A strong speech is easy to hear and not mumbled and rushed. As well as this, your jokes and anecdotes that you have worked so hard to write will fall flat. Silence will only increase your nerves and you don’t want both of those things in the middle of your speech!
Don’t get drunk beforehand! This should go without saying, but we will include it as a disclaimer. It might guarantee being memorable, but it will be for all the wrong reasons if you get drunk. Dutch courage can easily fall into a Scottish slur if you’re are not wise with dosage. Best to avoid alcohol totally until your speech is over!
Once everyone’s been filled in on the history of you and the bride, it’s time to dedicate some time to the happiest day of the bride’s life – the wedding day. Pay particular focus to all the hard-work and effort that’s gone into the planning of the day and thank both sets of parents for all their help and contribution too. If you want to make it appear that your speech is less scripted, then a great idea is to make an observation about the day so far; what a beautiful ceremony it was or how delicious the food is, that kind of thing!
You’ve probably been speaking for a little while now; so far, you’ve covered all about the bride and the wedding day itself, so it’s now time to move on to the man of the day himself, The Groom. Your job and expertise is getting a laugh about the bride, so best to stick to that tried and tested method. Mentioning how you think she is too good for him or how you used to plan on marrying Brad Pitt. Then state what a lovely guy he is and how he’s made the bride the happiest you’ve ever seen her. It’s all fun and games but this really is a beautiful moment in both their lives, so get across that you understand that.
You’ve discussed both entities separately, so it’s now time to discuss them as the Spice irls say, ‘When two become one’. Feel free to make this part as loving and soppy as possible! State how happy they make each other and what a great team they are together. Maybe you’ve got some cute stories about them as a couple – don’t be tempted to make jokes about the big argument they had at a birthday dinner a couple of years ago, as that won’t go down too well.
Top tip #2
Avoid Cliché Avenue
It plays into the hands of maid of honours that the tradition of a speech has not been diluted with standard jokes like the best man’s has. There are still plenty of phrases and jokes however that will seem cliché and overused. If you want your speech to be that true success and keep people entertained then give them something they haven’t heard before. Wedding jokes are going to make your audience groan, and not in a good way! Such classics like ‘It’s been emotional – even the cake is in tiers’. If you are known for your granny sense of humour and bad jokes then maybe it could be Christmas for you but just make sure you judge the crowd as well.
This is the time to talk about the theme of love in general, so the audience better be prepared for more soppiness! Discuss those attributes needed for a successful marriage and perhaps use the bride and groom’s parents as an example to support your statement. Mention a time when you saw this in the couple and how that made you feel. This part can become awfully serious and a tear jerker so end with a light-hearted quip to get everyone back in the mood for the party again!
It’s now time to round everything off, so the best place to start is by summarising what you’ve touched upon and how much you’re looking forward to the rest of the day and that you wish the gorgeous bride and groom a lifetime of happiness together. You can even call back to earlier stories or jokes, tying everything up nicely before you move on to the last few words. If you have a killer gag or anecdote up your sleeve that you know will get everyone smiling, now is the last chance to use it!
As maid of honour, we think that it’s normally best practice to keep along the lines of love for the toast. If you have been mainly jokey or philosophical then stick with that till the end. You don’t want to ruin all your hard work with something that is out of place. Now make that toast and of course raise a glass. Make sure to enjoy the smiles and enjoy the applause rolling in and check to see the groom and bride’s reaction, because let’s be honest it is their day. After all this it’s time to relax, enjoy a few drinks (finally!) and celebrate the wedding till the early hours!
Top Tip #3
Learn your lines.
Okay we are not suggesting you learn the entire speech off by heart, but using a script of rumpled A4 sheets will put off people very quickly. It also gives a sense that you have rushed or not put any effort in. Instead cue cards are a perfect medium. Allowing you to maintain a linear speech with just a few bullet points while also able to look up and engage with your audience, and the couple. You want to engage with your audience and nothing ruins this faster than having your head down and reading!
Some would say that the job to make people laugh at the wedding is a best man’s speech, but why do they get to have all the fun. Of course, a happy medium should be struck between joke and sentiment. No one is paying to see the UK’s answer to Joan Rivers. But let us be honest this is your opportunity to let the people closest to the couple laugh at their expense and the best man is not going to hog that opportunity!
You don’t want to waste it with cheesy bad jokes though. Making sure you get the right joke selection and delivery is paramount. The priority is to make it memorable for the bride and groom and nothing is more important than for them to look back on their big day as a success on all fronts. Including the speeches.
This one is vital to keep everyone onside. Remember what audience you are speaking to. This is a wedding not an lary crowd late at night. Keep the jokes away from anything controversial. A simple rule is if you think they might offend someone just don’t say them. Some people might laugh but another section could be furious.
Although you are talking from personal experience with the bride, you want to make sure the jokes aren’t all inside jokes. Make sure you’re including the audience. Make them feel included by making the jokes relatable to everyone. Something only three people will get won’t go down well in a room of a hundred.
Don’t over explain a story with unnecessary information or side notes. You know the story is funny, everyone has loved it before, so why change it now? Don’t start a story about a night out with you on the swings aged 10!
Confidence is the key to many things in life. Whether you’re on a first date or winging it at a new job, confidence will likely get you through. People are drawn to those who look like they know what they are doing, why do you think showbusiness has a saying like ‘fake it til you make it’. Comedy is no different and sometimes a poor joke delivered confidently will get more of a reaction than a great joke done meekly.
The key to this is not just having a loud assertive voice as you speak, but the way you stand. Looking rigid will not only be awkward, but people may question what you have got in where the sun don’t shine! Relaxing those limbs will make everyone else feel relaxed as well. That is just biology!
One thing you should never do is try to be someone you’re not. You are sure to be among friends and they won’t mind any mistakes. In fact, if you do slip up, laugh it off and comment on it. That always removes the tension from those situations!
Soak up the attention you get from the jokes. You have worked hard to write them so enjoy it because you will quickly be passing the microphone off to someone else. It is your chance to feel like a comedian and realise why it is not really the hardest job in the world.
Here are a select few little nuggets of wisdom to get you thinking or just to simply plagiarise!
"The capacity to love is tied to being able to be awake, to being able to move out of yourself and be with someone else in a manner that is not about your desire to possess them, but to be with them, to be in union and communion." - bell hooks
"Love is the sum of our choices, the strength of our commitments, the ties that bind us together." - Emily Giffin
"Love is everything it's cracked up to be. That's why people are so cynical about it. It really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for. And the trouble is, if you don't risk anything, you risk even more." - Erica Jong
"We love because it's the only true adventure" - Nikki Giovanni
"Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get -- only with what you are expecting to give - which is everything." - Katherine Hepburn
"We are each other's harvest; we are each other's business; we are each other's magnitude and bond." - Gwendolyn Brooks
" In a great romance, each person plays a part the other realy likes" - Elizabeth Ashley
"Love makes your soul crawl out form it's hiding place" - Zora Neale Hurston
"Chains do not hold a marriage together. It is threads, hundreds of tiny threads which sew people together through the years. That is what makes a marriage last." - Simone Signoret
"Love is the lifespring of our existence. The more love you give, the happier you feel and the more love you will have within you to give." - Susan L. Taylor