How to Prepare the Maid of Honor or Best Man Speech

If you were chosen as the maid of honor or best man in an upcoming friends’ wedding it means that you hold a place very near to their hearts.  Maybe you grew up with one of them, maybe you are a sibling, maybe you were a college friend or colleague or maybe you stepped into their life only a few years ago. No matter what the reason that they chose you, it is up to you to make sure you honor them.  You can honor this by preparing a speech that highlights both their love for one another and your love for them.

Here are some things to remember when preparing the speech:

1. Practice, Practice, Practice.  This is not a college exam; you don’t cram the night before.  You have to put thought and time into this one.  The engagement is typically about a year, but even with half that time, it’s enough to prepare and practice for the big day.

2. Google it.  If you have no clue where to begin do what all the great writers do, read!  Reading helps spark your brain with vocabulary and verbiage. Skim the internet and get some sense for what others say, but in the end make sure it’s your own.  This is to get your creativity flowing, not to steal someone else’s amazing speech.

3. Reminisce. Look back at old photos of you and the groom/bride or the couple.  The past can give you some good ideas for where to go with the speech.  Reminiscing can help you get some ideas and add the pizzazz of the past.

4. Ask. Ask the other people in the wedding party for things they enjoy about the couple or their favorite memories.  You can gain insight on how to introduce the new couple.

Here are some things to remember when giving the speech: 

1. Hold off on the boozing until after the speech. You have to get through the whole day, which can begin on a golf course with the guys or in the salon with the ladies.  Wait until after your speech to give into the free bar.  There is nothing worse than getting up in front of someone who wanted you to represent them that day, and turn out to be blasted or buzzed.

2. Watch the content and the language. Remember that the audience does not just consist of your frat bros or close friends.  There is family, co-workers, and friends.  Even if one set of parents enjoy a dirty joke now and again, the etiquette at a wedding calls for more.  There are grandparents and many friends that will see inside or crude jokes as unfunny and unfriendly.  Be mindful of the audience.  Anything you could not say in front of a child or a grandparent is better left out.

3. Don’t talk too much or too little.  Remember that you have other people giving speeches too.  Think about talking for a maximum of five minutes.  Ask the bride or the groom what they expect and follow along with other wedding part speech lengths.

All in all remember that this is a very special day for the couple.  They only get to do this once. No do-overs, so practice and make your speech another great memory for the wedding day.


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