Singaporebrides | Weddings 101

January 2016

How to Write Your Maid of Honour Speech

Follow this step-by-step guide to writing your maid of honour speech, or check out our sample maid of honour speech for a few ideas.

Being the maid of honour or best man in your friend’s wedding is, well, an honour, and one that comes with a lot of responsibility. As maid of honour, you’ll be in charge of planning a bridal shower and bachelorette party, keeping the bride calm on her wedding day, and smoothing over any problems as they arise. The best man is in charge of planning the bachelor party and keeping the rings safe before the ceremony. All of this might be a little stressful at times, but for the most part, it’s a lot of fun.

But both jobs entail a task that maids of honour and best men alike tend to dread: the wedding speech. Even the best writer or most confident public speaker can get nervous at the prospect of writing and giving a toast in front of a crowd. But as long as you prepare ahead of time and speak from the heart, the newlyweds are sure to be happy. Here is a step-by-step to get you started:

1. Introduce yourself

The bride and groom know who you are, of course, but the rest of their wedding guests might not.

2. Include a few lines about how you met the bride or groom

Maybe you met her in university, or maybe he’s your brother. Either way, this is a great opportunity to discuss what their friendship means to you. Including a couple of inside jokes that only the bride or groom will understand is also a nice touch.

3. Brainstorm a list of your favorite memories with the bride or groom

If he or she has chosen you as their maid of honour/best man, you’ve likely known them for a long time and have some sweet and funny anecdotes to share. Make sure the ones that make it into the speech are appropriate for everyone to hear—you don’t want to offend the groom’s grandmother.

4. Talk a little bit about how the bride and groom’s relationship

It’s okay to make jokes here, but again, be sure that you’re not offending or hurting anyone’s feelings.

5. Sometimes it’s nice to include a quote about love that you think the happy couple will appreciate

It’s also a convenient way to wrap up your speech before you move into the toast.

6. The toast should impart your wishes for the bride and groom’s future, and will come at the very end of your speech

At this point you can take a large drink of champagne and celebrate! maid of honour speech Yvonne and Royce’s Vintage Glam Flower Field Hall Wedding at Gardens by the Bay, captured by Daniel Beh Photography

Sample Maid of Honour Speech

Still stuck? Take a look at this sample maid of honour speech that follows this basic format.

“Hi everyone, my name is Tara. I’m Jaime’s cousin, and today I have the privilege of being her maid of honour. I can’t express how grateful I am to be here today.

Jaime, I’ve known you for a very, very, very long time. 23 years, to be exact. We’ve been involved in quite a few shenanigans—a lucrative salon business, some dance and theatre routines, and quite a few other activities that I will not bring up in front of all these nice people tonight. Although we’ve grown up, and no longer air anti-drug public service announcements at family gatherings, I know that I always have a friend in you. More than that—I have a best cousin forever. And sorry, Joey, but you will never, ever learn our secret handshake.

Joey, you’ve been part of our family for a long time, but now it’s official. Now, you are legally bound to family gatherings and will be permanently subject to our awful, awful birthday singing. For that, I’m sorry. But I think we can both agree that Jaime is worth it, right?

As I sat down to write this, it seemed fitting that I should be imparting some words of wisdom about marriage. But I don’t really feel like I have any business giving advice on a subject I know so little about. What I do know is that I’ve watched Jaime and Joey stand by each other for many years, through both happy and difficult times. Their love, and their commitment to one another, is remarkable. I am confident that they will enjoy a long and happy marriage together. (pause)

I’d like to leave you all with a quote that I think Jaime and Joey will appreciate:

‘We are all a little weird, and life’s a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.’

So, let’s raise a toast to Joey and Jaime, Mr. and Mrs. Simmons, and wish them a lifetime of health, happiness and mutual weirdness. (raise glass) To the bride and groom!”

Bernie and Samuel's Pastel Travel Themed Wedding Singapore 77 Bernie and Samuel’s Pastel Travel-themed Wedding at The Fullerton Hotel, captured by Antelope Studios

Here are a few helpful tips to keep in mind when preparing for your maid of honour or best man speech:

1. Be prepared: Even if you’re completely confident in your public speaking skills, now is not the time to freestyle. Preparing a speech ahead of time shows the bride and groom that their day is important to you and that you’re taking your job seriously.

2. Test it out: Read your speech to someone else before the wedding. If you’re unsure about any material in particular, getting a second opinion is always a good idea.

3. Write it down: There’s no shame in writing down your speech on a flashcard. The last thing you want is to get so nervous that you completely blank on what you were going to say—which can happen no matter how many times you’ve practised. Write down the entire speech, or at least a few important bullet points, on an inconspicuous flashcard that you can stow away in your pocket or clutch.

4. Keep it short and sweet: Keeping your speech short is the best thing for everyone. You’ll have less material to come up with, and you won’t risk boring the crowd (or worse, the happy couple). You can easily express your sweet sentiments in 3-5 minutes.

5. Don’t drink too much before the speech: Having a few glasses of champagne before your speech might seem like a good way to soothe your nerves, but instead could leave you slurring your speech and embarrassing the newlyweds. Stick to one glass (or none) beforehand so that you’re sharp for your speech. There will be plenty of time for partying afterward.

6. Be yourself:The most important thing to remember when giving a maid of honour or best man speech is to be yourself. If you’re the sentimental type, be sentimental in your speech. If you love to joke around, make your speech humorous. As long as your toast is thoughtful and heartfelt, the bride and groom will love it. Cheers!


Credits: Feature image from To Love and To Cherish, captured by Multifolds Photography