Singaporebrides | Weddings 101

February 2012

Oops! I should not have said that!

So your bestie has asked you to be the Maid of Honour. You’re, well, honoured. But at the time, it means you have to stand up and deliver a heartfelt toast to the bride. So between planning that bachelorette party and going for bridesmaid dress fittings, you have got to write the perfect speech that will win her eternal gratitude. As if that’s not enough, it’s only too easy to trip up by saying the wrong things. To help you cope, SingaporeBrides lists what you simply shouldn’t say.

#1: Sad, sob stories

Weddings are joyous events. It’s also the start of a brand new beginning for the bridal couple. So avoid bringing up sad and depressing topics like medical illnesses and failed marriages. We all know that it’s not a picture-perfect world out there. But there’s no use harping on such negative stuff. Doing so will only lead to awkwardly silent moments during your speech. We can guarantee those wedding guests won’t know whether to shed a sad tear or two, or clap encouragingly when you’re done.

Don’t follow these bad examples!

  • “I’ve been best pals with this lovely bride for 15 years. Through these years, I’ve seen how she emerged from depression to find her one true love.”
  • “Hey, we all know that half the marriages out there end in divorce. But hopefully, Jenny and John will make it last.”

#2: Low points in the bridal couple’s relationship

Most couples would have gone through many highs and lows on the long and winding road leading to the altar. It’s likely that the bridal couple had to overcome challenges to be together. Which means they might have experienced plenty of heartache, pain and unhappiness to get to where they are today. However, there’s no need to mention the low points in their relationship. And yes, there’s also no need to bring up how she used to end up drunk because of those arguments.

Don’t follow these bad examples!

  • “Remember how we used to go drinking whenever you and Mike quarrelled?”
  • “You’ve made your decision to marry Kenny, so I hope he won’t make the same mistake he did that time. Watch him closely, and don’t let him cheat again! But if he does, I’ll be here for you – as always.”

#3: What the bride was like before she met the groom

Remember: Your Maid of Honour speech should make the bride look good. Focus on the compliments – like how she’s been a great friend to you. Skip private and less-flattering information like how she’s always falling for the wrong guys (and sobbing on your shoulder when she falls out of relationships). Besides, the groom’s parents will be there and you definitely should not embarrass her in front of them.

Don’t follow these bad examples!

  • “I remember those lonely Christmases where Patricia would call me up, sobbing about how she would never find a guy!”
  • “Jane has a tendency to fall for the those ‘bad boy’ types, so I’m glad she found the right one this time!”

#4: Taboo topics

A wedding is a harmonious event, so avoid such taboo topics that can easily divide or offend the guests. Sex, politics, religion and money are definite no-nos when it comes to wedding speeches. Whether it’s the astonishing cost of the bridal couple’s lavish wedding or how they had to almost employ child labour to get the wedding invites completed, it will come off sounding wrong – no matter how well meaning you are.

Don’t follow these bad examples!

  • “Joe and Kelly have put in a lot of thought into this wedding! Isn’t everything wonderful? Yes, they spent a cool $50,000!”
  • “Joanne and Ridhwan triumphed all odds to be together. You see, she’s Catholic and he’s Muslim.”

It’s a great honour to be able to give a toast at your best friend’s wedding. And pulling off that perfect toast is possible – it’s all about sharing significant (and sweet) memories and sending well wishes her way. Here’s a general rule of thumb: If you can’t talk about it in front of your own mother, you probably shouldn’t talk about it at all.

5 useful tips to write that memorable Maid of Honour toast

1. Start early: As a Maid of Honour, you’re the bride’s right-hand woman. So you must be overwhelmed with duties like organising the morning gatecrash and sorting out the dress fitting dates. But don’t leave your speech-writing till too late. Collect ideas, thoughts and anecdotes at least three to four weeks before the big day.

2. Work from a template: Don’t just stare at a blank page and feel despondent because you’re stuck even before you start. If you’re not a natural or experienced writer, try finding maid of honour templates on the web. Good ones will consist of pointers like how long you’ve known the bride and groom and a famous marriage quote or two. Then, adapt it to your needs by filling it up with your own anecdotes. This would make your task way easier and pleasurable.

3. Be funny: It helps to add humour to your speech to create a light-hearted mood at the wedding dinner. You can tell one or two tender, well-meaning jokes about the bride. Like how she used to drag you around town to shop for the perfect birthday present for the groom. But be very careful not to offend anyone or embarrass yourself with those jokes.

4. Mention touching moments: As a close friend of the couple, you can make the wedding guests go “awww” by bringing up loving, sentimental moments between the bride and groom. If you have been privy to the courtship details between your best friend and her man, now is the time to briefly mention it to showcase their devotion to each other.

5. Practice: Don’t just write the speech and leave the folded note in your handbag. Stand up, and try delivering it in front of the mirror. This will help you to attain the right poise and confidence for that important evening. It would be even better if you can do it in front of a friend or your fellow bridesmaids and ask for opinions.