Inside Tips for a Memorable Maid of Honor Speech!
Life is moving faster than I can keep up with! So many friends are getting married or having babies and (I’m just trying to remember what day of the week it is anymore) but exciting things are happening!
This past week, my sister sent me her wedding video trailer. It opened up with parts of my maid of honor speech. I was so excited that her videographer thought it made an impact that he used such a big part of it in their trailer and it brought me back to their wedding day!
I was so excited when my sister asked me to be her Matron of Honor, however, the thought of having to give a speech was terrifying to me. Terrifying might be an understatement – want to curl in a ball and hide and maybe cry and eat potato chips.
Her wedding was AMAZING and I had way too much fun. However, I was a nervous wreck about giving my speech. I couldn’t focus during dinner knowing right after I finished eating I had to give my speech in front of everyone. I am not a fan of public speaking and I haven’t given a speech since college (and I was nervous then too – literally the worst!).
I really wanted my speech to give a lasting impression. I practiced two weeks before giving my speech and all my hard work paid off because I received endless compliments on how my speech so many at the wedding. I wish I would have given myself more credit, but, even after giving it I immediately turned to Andy and asked: “How did I do?!”
My sister’s wedding planner came up to me afterward and told me she’s heard numerous maid of honor speeches and mine was the best that she’s ever heard. I am totally gloating right now because I really didn’t think my speech was that good. I mean it was definitely up there, but that compliment meant everything to me and made me proud to know that I delivered a great speech for my sister and her husband!
I wanted to share my tips of inspiration to get your creative thought process going for those of you who were as nervous as me about writing a memorable maid of honor speech (don’t curl in a ball and cry- seriously)!
Here are my 7 tips for a great Maid of Honor speech
I mean I think I’m funny, but I am way better at being a sap. I knew right away I wouldn’t have one of those speeches were people would be laughing hysterically throughout the whole speech. I would not be that YouTube rapping Matron of Honor video (kudos for people who are that comfortable in front of a large group).
I still put some humorous parts in my speech, but I honed at what I was good at – being emotional. I pulled some heart strings and got some tears by writing what I really felt and thought. I’m sentimental and I made sure that came through in my speech by telling my guests why my sister has been such a great sister, and if she is half as great of a wife that she is as sister, then her husband will be in great hands.
I used storytelling to help build my speech. Make sure to not use inside jokes that your audience won’t understand. I started off my saying how I was the annoying little sister that looked up to my big sister for everything. I used storytelling to share just how desperate and willing I was to do anything in order for my sister and her cool older friends to accept me. I mentioned the time my sister convinced me to cut off my hair and transitioned later in my speech to how she let me crawl into her bed at night when I was scared.
With storytelling, I was able to share the details of my relationship with my sister and how it transitioned as we got older. I went on to share how my sister would be there for me later in life to drive me to my first day of high school. By adding bits of storytelling I felt like my audience really understood our relationship better and helped with the flow and development of my speech.
Emphasize Parts of Your speech
There’s nothing more boring or awkward than watching someone stumble during their speech or when it sounds like someone is a robot just reading away.
To add some depth, I made sure to emphasize certain phrases or points in my MOH speech.When I wanted to make certain transitions clear, I emphasized the way I said them. I made sure I hit the words “how perfect” when I mentioned how perfect they are together. When telling my brother-in-law how I knew he’d be the man to marry my sister, I made sure it was clear and confident.
If a humorous part came up, I would lighten my tone and add a smirk. Make sure it doesn’t sound like you are reading your material right of the page (even if you are)!
Know Your Material
It will be easier to sound like you aren’t directly reading right off the page if you practice it enough. My husband convinced me that I would memorize it by the time the wedding came, but I thought he was crazy.
Practice does make perfect and even though I did end up memorizing my speech I still brought a copy with me. I know my nerves get the best of me, and I didn’t want to get that deer in the headlights look. Although I did get nervous, I didn’t mess up! By having a copy of your speech with you, it will help keep you focused and is a guide if you need to look down. By knowing your material you won’t need to heavily rely on reading right off the speech and you will know which keywords you need to emphasize or give yourself little reminders of where you need to pause, slow down, or breathe!
Length of Speech
My speech was right 3 minutes and forty seconds. I would say five minutes is the absolute max and two minutes is the bare minimum. Make sure you practice so you don’t speed through it one time and drag it out the other. After practicing it a couple times, I was still very consistent on time. Time will be the least of your worries once you are up there, believe me.
Content of Your Speech
I divided my speech into three parts: my sister and I growing up (and how she was a great sister), how she and her husband met (and how you know they are perfect for each other), and how my sister’s husband will be the perfect man for her (and how she will be a great wife).
I tied in aspects of her remarkable qualities as a sister that will make her be the best wife. I mentioned that I know she will be there for him when things get scary in life, whenever he needs advice, and whenever he wants to reminisce on life’s worth of memories.
Make sure to not embarrass the bride or groom. Don’t mention any exes or inside jokes only you and the bride know. Now is not the time to be swearing in front of people you don’t know. If you have to second guess any content of your speech, don’t include it in your speech!
Enjoy Your Speech
Get into the parts of your speech that emphasize your favorite lines and have fun with it. Once I got up there, I did just that and I think that’s what made it so good (and not so scary). Make sure to look around at your audience and when you address the bride or groom to look right at them. When people can see how emotional or sarcastic you are they will do the same.
Let me know how your maid of honor speech went and any other advice you have! Good luck!