Being chosen as the maid of honor in a wedding is a huge honor and a huge responsibility.
To be selected shows that you are a very important person in the bride’s life and that she trusts you to help her big day go off without a hitch!
When you first start your maid of honor duties, you’ll probably be focused on things like planning the bachelorette and making sure all the bridesmaids are organized.
However, there’s one important duty you definitely shouldn’t leave until the last minute: the maid of honor speech.
As the maid of honor, your speech will be one of the most important aspects of the wedding reception.
Not only should it be meaningful and personal to the bride and groom, but it also needs to captivate the attention and stick in the minds of the guests.
If you’re not sure where to start with writing the perfect maid of honor speech, don’t worry – we’ve got your back.
We’re going to walk you through the whole process, from choosing a style and subject material to writing the speech step-by-step.
Your maid of honor speech should not only be heartfelt but also appropriate for all ages in the audience.
To help you get started, we’ve included some examples of great maid of honor speeches to inspire you and give you a better idea of what works well.
The Maid Of Honor Speech: What You Need To Know
If you’ve been asked to be the maid of honor and to give a speech, but have absolutely no idea what a maid of honor speech is, don’t panic!
The premise of the maid of honor speech is actually fairly simple (albeit a bit nerve-wracking).
The maid of honor usually gives a speech at the wedding reception, typically right after the meal.
The maid of honor’s speech is usually preceded by the father of the bride’s speech, or the best man’s speech.
Your maid of honor speech is expected to last around 3-5 minutes. It can go on for up to 7 minutes, but you won’t be expected to speak for longer than this.
During the speech, the maid of honor is usually directly addressing the newlywed couple in front of the rest of the guests.
The purpose of the speech is to congratulate the happy couple and specifically voice appreciation for the bride as well as the groom.
At the end of the speech, you’ll be expected to give a toast to the newlyweds. This is known as the maid of honor toast.
If you’re not a naturally outgoing person or simply aren’t used to speaking in public, let alone at such an important and sentimental event, the idea of giving a maid of honor speech might be a little scary.
However, while some nerves are normal and to be expected, there’s no need to be scared.
As long as you follow the structure and guidelines set out in this article and practice your speech ahead of time, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be a hit!
Writing The Maid Of Honor Speech
Writing the perfect maid of honor speech comes down to knowing the correct structure as well as being aware of the things you should (and should NOT) include in the body of the speech.
Here’s what you need to know when it comes to getting your maid of honor speech down on paper:
Most maid of honor speeches follow a basic structure, which goes something like this:
1. Introduce Yourself
You should start by introducing yourself to the guests at the wedding.
Obviously, the bride and groom know who you are, but some of the guests might not have met you, so start by introducing yourself as the maid of honor and briefly stating your relationship to the bride.
Remember, this speech is actually about the happy couple and not about you, so don’t be tempted to tell your whole life story here.
2. Center The Bride
Now that you’ve introduced yourself, it’s time to talk about the woman of the hour: the bride.
You can mention some of your favorite qualities about the bride and take this opportunity to let the guests know how you met.
3. Express Congratulations
Take a moment here to express how happy you are for the bride and groom and congratulate them on this incredible step in their relationship.
4. Share About Your Relationship
Although the maid of honor speech isn’t strictly about you, it’s clear that if you’ve been chosen as the maid of honor, you’re a special person in the bride’s life.
Therefore, talking about your relationship with the bride in the light of how she makes your life better is appropriate.
You may have already mentioned how you met, but you can go on to talk about a funny (but wedding-appropriate!) story that brought you closer, or some moments where the bride really showed up for you.
5. Celebrate The Couple
Return to the couple at this point and talk about why you love their relationship and why you’re honored to be celebrating their love on this special day.
Talk about how you know the groom has enhanced the bride’s life and how you can’t wait to see what their future holds.
6. Thanks And Blessings
Time to thank the happy couple for including you in the celebration of their love, and congratulate them once again.
7. Raise A Toast
To end the speech, ask the guests to raise a glass to the bride and groom – and take a drink yourself, because you’ve earned it!
Note: It’s fine to add some things to your speech at the last minute if it feels right to you.
Ideally, you should have your speech fully prepared in advance, but you may wish to include some stories or observations from the day of the wedding itself, and that’s totally fine!
A good maid of honor speech should come from the heart, so if something feels right to say in the moment and it’s appropriate for the occasion, go for it!
What NOT To Include
We’ve covered the main things you should include in the structure of the speech, but there are also some things you should avoid including in your maid of honor speech.
Please avoid any of the following when writing your maid of honor speech:
1. Inside Jokes
A personal story or two about your relationship with the bride is absolutely fine, and even encouraged in a maid of honor speech.
However, you should avoid including any inside jokes that only you and the bride will understand.
While the bride might appreciate your use of your inside jokes, nobody else will understand and this is likely to lead to an awkward silence from the guests, which isn’t ideal.
2. Embarrassing/Inappropriate Stories
Again, although personal stories are fine for the most part, certain anecdotes really aren’t wedding-appropriate.
Your maid of honor speech is definitely not the time to start talking about wild college parties or that one time the bride got severe food poisoning on vacation.
Try to avoid clichés wherever possible in your maid of honor speech. Your speech should be touching and heartfelt, but ideally, it shouldn’t be corny.
Obviously, it’s an emotional day, so it can be tempting to start talking about how love is eternal, but try to keep this to a minimum.
4. Really Long Quotations
If there’s a short and sweet quote that you feel summarizes either the bride’s character, your relationship with her, or the bride and groom’s relationship, there’s nothing wrong with including it.
However, quotes that are several lines long should be avoided as they’re likely to send the guests to sleep.
Maid Of Honor Speech Examples
Now that we’ve covered how to structure your maid of honor speech and what you should avoid including when you’re drafting, you should be well on your way to writing an amazing speech!
If you’re still not completely confident in your speech-writing abilities, though, here are some examples to draw inspiration from:
“Hi everyone, I’m Emily, and I’m Sandra’s big sister. I’m so honored to be here with you all today celebrating the incredible love between Sandra and Drew.
Sandra, you’re not only my sister but my best friend. I’ve known you your whole life and you’ve always been such a shining presence in every room you walk into.
That’s why I’m so grateful to Drew for coming into your life and showing you the love that you deserve.
You’ve been my rock through difficult times since I can remember.
I’ll never forget after grandpa died, you made us smile through our tears by sharing all your favorite memories of him.
You always manage to see the light in dark times, and that’s one of the things I love the most about you.
I’m so happy that you and Drew found each other five years ago.
This man’s kindness, determination and loyalty make him the perfect partner for you, and I can’t wait to witness your journey continue to unfold. Congratulations to you both.
Let’s all raise a glass to Sandra and drew – two of the best people I know!”
Best Friend Edition
“Hello, my name is Kelly and I’m Bianca’s maid of honor. I feel very lucky to be able to call myself Bianca’s best friend, and even luckier to be a part of such a special moment in her life.
I met Bianca in high school. We sat next to each other in math class on the first day of school in sophomore year and I just couldn’t figure out the answer to one of the problems.
I felt embarrassed, but when Bianca saw me struggling, she immediately smiled and offered to help. We’ve been best friends ever since.
Bianca, you’re not only the reason I passed math class in high school, but the reason I am the person I am today.
No matter what, you’ve always continued to be there for me with a listening ear, a compassionate heart, and a shoulder to cry on through some of my most difficult times.
Someone so kind and special deserves an equally wonderful partner to share life with, and that’s why I couldn’t be happier today, celebrating your marriage to Ryan.
I remember how happy and excited you were when you first met Ryan, and how overjoyed you were when he proposed.
The love between you is so powerful and I know that you’ll continue to love each other for the rest of your lives.
I wish you a long and beautiful marriage and I will love and support you both every step of the way.
Cheers to the happy couple!”
Hey everyone, I’m Alison and I’m Lizzie’s best friend. I’ve known Lizzie ever since I can remember, so when she asked me to be her maid of honor, I was overjoyed.
Lizzie, you’re the kindest, smartest, most hilarious woman I know, and I’m so happy you’ve found a husband who can handle your sense of humor – and your shoe collection!
In all seriousness, Lizzie, I wish you and Noah the most incredible journey together. You’re both such amazing people and I couldn’t have asked for a better life partner for my best friend.
When I agreed to be Lizzie’s maid of honor and started writing this speech, I made a list of all my favorite memories of us.
At first, I had 16 stories on the list, but then I took out all the ones she’d kill me if I talked about on her wedding day, and there were only 3 left.
I feel like that tells you everything you need to know about our adventures together!
But seriously, of those 3 memories, my favorite has to be when we were 5 years old and decided to try on some of Lizzie’s mom’s makeup (sorry, Janice!)
We had no idea what we were doing and when we went downstairs to show everyone, nobody could stop laughing.
Since then, laughter has continued to be a huge part of our friendship, and I feel so lucky for that.
Lizzie, we’ve always said we were each other’s favorite people.
Since meeting Noah, I know you’ve had two favorite people in your life, and I’m honored to share that title with a great man who is perfect for you and makes you so happy.
Now, before I start ugly-crying, let’s all raise a toast to the bride and groom! Cheers!
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Maid Of Honor Speech Go First?
While the maid of honor speech is one of the most important events at the wedding reception, it is not the first speech given at the wedding reception.
Usually, the father of the bride speech goes first, followed by the maid of honor speech and then the best man.
Sometimes, the best man speech will precede the maid of honor speech depending on how the bride and groom prefer to structure the event.
What Is The Goal Of The Maid Of Honor Speech?
The purpose of the maid of honor speech is ultimately to flatter and give insight into the life and character of the bride on her special day.
As a secondary goal, the maid of honor speech should aim to praise and congratulate the couple as a whole.
How Should The Maid Of Honor Introduce Herself?
To introduce yourself as the maid of honor simply say your name and your relationship to the bride before specifying that you’re the maid of honor.
Related post: Bridal Shower Advice Cards – What To Write
Being asked to give a speech as the maid of honor can be daunting because it’s a big responsibility, but as long as you follow our pointers and write from the heart, you should end up with a beautiful and graceful speech to honor the bride on her big day.
Remember to congratulate and raise a toast to the couple at the end of your speech, and try to give the guests as much of a personal and genuine insight into the bride as you can while remaining respectful and avoiding clichés.
This is the key to delivering a great maid of honor speech.
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Serena & Dominic are a married couple and parents to 3 wonderful children. They plan weddings, run multiple small businesses, and curate wedding events.
By giving you everything you need to make your dream wedding attainable, you can eliminate stress, get the ‘wedding glow,’ and focus on spending this rocking day with the person you adore. Discover their podcast for more information