Being the maid of honor is quite the responsibility, and one of the key duties of being the MOH is giving a speech during the reception. If you’re feeling like there’s a lot of pressure, if you’re debating on whether it’s okay to crack a joke or two, or wondering how on earth to begin, we’ve got you covered. Read on for some tips and ideas for a rocking MOH speech everyone will remember!
1. Start with an introduction
This is something you might overlook with all the other things you might want to include in your speech, but it’s actually quite important. Other guests might not know who you are and how you know the bride. Did you meet in college? Were you best friends since kindergarten? Sisters? Workmates? Make sure to say a few sentences to enlighten everyone about your relationship.
2. Don’t forget to say your thanks
Another thing you might overlook is saying thank you. Say thank you to the parents and families of both couples for helping with the wedding, and to the guests who came to help celebrate with the happy couple. A few words will suffice–no need to keep this long, as the couple will also be sure to thank everyone later.
3. Tell everyone a story about the bride
After the introduction and a quick round of thanks, you can start off with a memorable story about the bride. It can be about the time you first met, the time you knew you’d be best friends, the time she first introduced you to the groom, the time she called you excitedly to tell you about the proposal, etc. I’m sure you two have a lot of good memories together, it’s just a matter of choosing the one you think is the most relevant.
4. Share your first impressions of the groom
Another thing you can do is share your thoughts on the groom. It doesn’t necessarily have to be your first impressions. You can share why you think he’s so perfect for the bride, the good qualities you noticed about him, or why he’s such a great guy.
5. Mention a cute anecdote of the couple
Think back and try to recall a cute moment between the bride and the groom that you witnessed. It would be great to include an anecdote like this in your speech, connecting it to your point of the couple being perfect for each other, or it being the time you knew that they’d make a good husband and wife.
6. Have a slideshow at the ready
If you want to punctuate your speech with photos of the couple, then make a slideshow so that guests can see what the couple and their moments were really like. You can ask photos from the bride and groom themselves, or if you want it to be a surprise, rope in their families and the best man while you’re at it!
7. Spout well wishes
Of course you have to wish the couple every happiness in the world! This doesn’t have to be long–just a few well-chosen words to convey just how much happiness the newlyweds deserve. (In this case, make sure to focus on your delivery too. Words are well and good, but the way you deliver them is what makes it more believable.)
8. Go with a timeless quote
To wrap things up, you can go with a quote. You can go with a timeless love quote (there are plenty on the internet!) or you can go with a favorite saying of the bride or groom. You can also pick up some lines from the bride’s favorite movie, or the groom’s favorite song. The more meaning it has to the couple, the better!
9. Stay away from the big no-no’s
It’s your best friend’s big day, and the last thing you want to do is bring up any embarrassing stories about her and her now husband. Also stay away from romantic history like ex-boyfriends and bad breakups, and make sure to keep your language G-rated (yes, even for the jokes!). Try not to mention any low points in the couple’s relationship either (fights, arguments, etc.), as this might bring up bad memories no one needs to be reminded of.
10. Keep it short and sweet
What is the ideal time for your speech? While there isn’t any rule for this, a good MOH speech should be less than five minutes to five and a half minutes (if you really have a lot to say). I know it’s hard to cut down everything you want to say and express to the bride, but you can always say it later on in private, a sweet text message, or even a letter.
11. Practice, practice, practice
The key to an amazing speech is practice. Yes, practice. You can make cue cards, have bullet points on your phone, prepare your slideshow, and even practice looking at the couple and the guests. Make sure to time your speech so you don’t go over time, practice your speed (not too fast and not to slow), and of course practice your delivery with the right tone. Is it weird that you’re practicing your speech like you would a big presentation? Of course not! This is your best friend’s big day, the happiest day of her life, and you want to give the best speech you possibly can. So good luck ladies, you will rock it!