Unless you are a professional speaker, the thought of giving a Maid of Honor toast at your best friend’s wedding, can fill you with dread. With these tips, you’ll sound like a pro – and may even cause some happy tears.
1. Plan your speech.
A wedding speech is not a time to wing it or to wait until the last moment. Plan what you are going to say and practice saying it. Try it before a mirror or a small group of people in advance. Ask for feedback about the pacing too long, too fast, etc.
2. Use the mic properly
If you aren’t sure how to hold the mic, ask the wedding DJ for a few pointers. Hold the mic close to your mouth, about chin height. If you talk with your hands, use your non dominant hand to hold the mic. Be sure to pronounce each word clearly. And yes, this thing is on.
3. Start It Off Right
Too often maid of honor speeches start with “For those that don’t know me, my name is __ “. The wedding DJ will introduce you so restating your name isn’t necessary. Consider beginning your toast with a simple start, “I am so honored to be speaking at my best friend’s wedding” or “I’ve known the bride since __ “. Be sure to stand for your toast.
4. Don’t Be Basic
It’s easy to use phrases like, “She’s the sweetest” , “They’re the best couple” and “She’s so pretty”. While obviously true, these basic phrases lack the weight to be remembered later. Instead use specific examples that show how those basic phrases are true.
5. Tell Your and Her Story
Half of the room may not know the bride the way that you do. Telling them that “she’s so sweet, smart and kind” is a statement. Telling them that you knew you were friends for life when she took detailed notes from a lecture you couldn’t attend because you were ill, tells the wedding guests the type of person she is. Share an impactful moment with guests.
6. Don’t Mention The Worst of Times
Did your bestie have the worst break-up ever before meeting her new husband? Your wedding toast isn’t the place to bring it up. This is the happiest night of her life, be sure to focus on the good times.
7. Toast the Bride, Wish the Couple Well
You’re toasting your best friend so it’s normal that the majority of your (brief) time will focus on her. But this toast is on her wedding day, so you must mention the groom too. Think about ending your toast on how the groom has added to her life. Bring the ending home with a well wish to the couple.
8. Raise Your Glass
Avoid an awkward ending by inviting guests to raise their glass with you in a toast to the newlyweds. This will let everyone know that your toast has ended.
- Do choose a theme for your toast such as why the couple is perfect together, or what you have learned while living with the groom.
- Do use point form notes. Don’t write out your speech word for word.
- Do know when you are expected to speak. This will keep you from being caught off guard.
- Do familiarize yourself with the location and other dynamics.
- Don’t use canned toast or something you found off the internet.
- Don’t assume you will be able to speak without preparation.
- Don’t speak longer than 3-5 minutes
- Don’t use humor that would offend your grandmother, especially since there will be grandmothers present.
- Don’t have more than one drink before the toast.