So you've agreed to do a maid of honour speech. You've got the bridesmaid dress to wear on the big day, you've arranged the hen do and you've helped your best friend navigate the wonderful world of planning a wedding. With the big day soon approaching, it's now time to put pen to paper and start writing your maid of honour speech. The one you know your bride is really looking forward to. No pressure! Instead, take a deep breath, find a quiet space and start preparing with these seven easy steps.
Step 1: Introduce yourself
It might seem a little obvious but once you're up there with all eyes on you, it can be easy to forget the basics. Be sure to start with your name and how you know the bride, perhaps with a little note of humour ("When I met the bride she was convinced she'd marry David Beckham,") to put the room at ease.
Step 2: Share a story about your friendship
To prove just how well you know the bride and how long you go back together, tell a story about a memory you share from the past. Extra points if it involves something a little embarrassing that will make the bride giggle. But don't go too far either. Select your story with caution and good judgement. If you're wondering if your story is too embarrassing, don't include it. Passing round old photos of the two of you are always an easy (and safe) win.
Step 3. Compliment the bride
Once you've got some laughs, now is the time to turn your speech towards a more sentimental note. Be sure to thank your friend for giving you the maid of honour title and tell her how beautiful she looks. Also don't forget to talk about how much you value her and her friendship. You may need a tissue on hand for this part!
Step 4. Tell a fun story about the couple
With the bride feeling all emotional and sentimental, it's now time to pick up the energy a bit with a fun anecdote about the couple. Perhaps talk about how the happy couple met, or at least how they met from your perspective. While this story may have already been told by the groom or best man, you may have extra details that not everyone knows. Or, think about a story from their dating history that not everyone will know. Anything that's a little embarrassing but still okay to say in front of grandma is ideal.
Step 5. Compliment the groom
After talking about the meeting or dating history, this is the perfect moment to compliment the groom. Talk about how grateful you are for him and how happy he's made your friend.
Step 6. Offer some words of wisdom and wishes
You've had the laughs, you've shed some tears, and now it's time to bring it on home! For this part you could share a quote or sentimental poem about love and marriage, or you can opt to keep it short and sweet with a simple "I wish you a life time of happiness."
Step 7. Toast to the bride and groom
Once you've finished your speech it's time to ask everyone to join you in raising a glass to the happy couple. Cue the applause and you're done!
Things to avoid in your Maid of Honour speech
Aiming to just 'wing it' on the day: even if you're great at speeches, do prepare at least some key points to keep you on track on the day.
Forcing the laughter: if you're not confident about making jokes, you don't have to. It's better to keep your speech simple and from the heart.
Mentioning ex-boyfriends: This is a huge no-no.
Long stories: this is not the time for long-winded, detail oriented stories. Keep them simple and to the point.
Anything too rude: if you wouldn't say it in front of your own grandparents, don't say it in front of hers.
Talking too much about yourself: it's great to talk about you and the bride's friendship history and how much she means to you, but be sure to keep it there. Everyone is there to celebrate your friend, not you.
Drinking too much: sure a sip of Champagne to control your nerves is fine, but don't drink more than that until after your speech.