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It is clear that being the Maid of Honor is an extremely important task since you are entrusted, among many things, to be the bride's support in every way, to mitigate the stress of planning and above all to prepare the most amazing Maid of Honor speech ever. No pressure!
Surely the topic of accompanying your friend in the good and bad moments you have it under control, but giving a great speech in front of a crowd can be complicated for many.
If this is your case you have nothing to fear because we'll give you all the live hacks we've learned from bringing couples together over the years to create a magical speech.
A bridesmaid speech is something intimate, very personal, each one reflects the experiences and friendship that unites them, but that does not mean that there are not some key points that serve as a structure to start.
If you want to create a winning bridesmaid speech, follow these guidelines:
A great way to start this type of speech is to talk about your friend, what she was like before she met her other half and the positive changes she has seen thanks to the presence of this new person in her life. Talk about how happy she looks and how happy she feels about that.
After recounting the positive changes in your friendship, talk about the spouse and focus on the good changes this new person has brought into your life. If you have had the opportunity to get to know that person a little, tell a positive story that shows what a good couple you are, how well you complement each other, or how happy you are with each other.
One way to give the speech an epic twist is to add a good short story, or several short anecdotes that somehow weave together to get your point across about the relationship the happy couple shares.
Reveal at the end of the speech the insight or lesson these stories have left you with to touch the audience.
To close, make a final reflection that leads the speech to the positive things about the couple: how well they get along, the love they share, their resilience in the face of difficulties, how happy they seem together and, above all, their good wishes.
Use your status as an expert onlooker and talk about those little things as a couple that they share (maybe even without realizing it) and that make them look good.
Many people are good at improvisation, but nerves can become treacherous at the crucial moment, so ideally in 99% of cases you should write your speech on paper so you can practice it or even read it at the ceremony, anything goes.
Now, not everyone is given to writing and in that case we have some tricks that can help you:
On a blank sheet of paper, take a few minutes to do a free-writing exercise. Write down all the interesting or emotional anecdotes that you have experienced with your friend or with the couple in general that might seem relevant.
It helps a lot if you imagine yourself at the moment of the speech, seeing the couple at the altar and being surrounded by all the family and friends. What would you say?
With this you would already have a good starting point. If it's difficult at first you can just talk about whatever comes to mind, the ideas will come to you.
Don't feel pressured to make an extremely long speech, you really don't need to and the audience will get bored no matter how interesting it is. Keep it short and simple so that the emotional and symbolic nuances are not lost. Anything less than 5 minutes would be fine.
When you think you have everything in place create one or more test speeches. Start by writing whatever comes to mind with the structure we discussed earlier, anything will be perfect, without correcting or stopping, just write.
Once finished you can sit down and read it thoroughly and ask yourself if all the messages, jokes and stories would be appropriate for the moment and if it will make the impact you want.
It is important to know what to say, but even more important to know what NOT to say in your maid of honor speech. We know you handle a lot of confidential information and it's an important part of the ceremony so it's best to stay focused on the objective and make some omissions.
Be very careful not to make mentions of your friend's past relationships, we are absolutely sure that no one will want to hear those references and much less in front of the guests, who are usually intimate people and members of the new family. Focus on the couple and the positive things they share.
It's important that people understand the kind of relationship you have with the couple (which after all is why you've been assigned the role of Maid of Honor) but that doesn't mean you should over-include yourself in the speech. It's your friend's time, keep it there and highlight those things that as a friend of the couple you have gotten to see and celebrate about their union.
Sometimes excellent speeches are completely lost by not allowing time for the audience to process the ideas. After you make a joke, pause a little, just as you did when you ended with an anecdote and explained the special meaning behind it. This will give everyone a chance to process the emotions, laugh and be moved by your speech.
As mentioned earlier, as a bridesmaid you are sure to have many confidences with the couple or just one of the spouses. Be careful not to accidentally reveal any secret anecdotes that may be inappropriate for that moment (or any other).
Leave out generic compliments that (while true) ring hollow and don't really add anything to the speech. Don't say the girlfriend is "a great partner" talk about the times you helped her without asking, or when she was honest with you. Highlight those properties that you consider vital to share with illustrative anecdotes.
Sisters make excellent Maids of Honor, and in some ways planning a speech for a sister has certain nuances that can be leveraged to create a truly moving piece of work. Follow these general tips for inspiration:
- Remember funny family anecdotes, since you have grown up with the bride you will know details from your childhood that you can use in a positive way.
- Admiration is a good element to add in the speech, tell something you admire about your sister with a nice story.
- Childhood nicknames are good additions.
- Some innocent secrets or confidences you shared in hiding from parents.
- You can draw inspiration from key moments where you were essential in each other's lives.
- Finally incorporate from your expert point of view how you knew your sister had found her soul mate.
Here is an example of an emotional speech that you can use for inspiration to create your own, with all the concepts we went over earlier.
"Good evening everyone, my name is Kendal and I am Kami's best friend. We've known each other for a little over 12 years now after going to high school together and hating each other from the first moment we saw each other... as you'll see, some things have changed since then.
One day, we got stuck in the classroom because of terrible weather and, even though I don't like to talk too much, that day I had the most open, honest and funniest conversation of my entire life.
From that day on I was never alone again, because I had the best adventure partner in the whole world to whom I could never keep a single secret.
That is one of Kami's greatest gifts, her honesty inspires the people around her to open up, to be better, to heal and to not feel alone.
I am immensely happy to know that no matter what happens now she will never be alone either, because she has found love in Jhon.
Let's raise a glass to Kami and Jhon, that together they may always appreciate the miracles that happen even in the worst weather and find in each other the best companion of all times..."