Maid of Honour

Your Maid of Honour Speech

We love a maid of honour speech. Boom! That’s the best man blown right out of the water.

Of course, being asked to give a maid of honour speech is a bit of a ‘responsibility’. An honour, hell yeah, but a shed load of pressure too.

Entertaining a room full of strangers, some elderly relatives and a load of drunken mates can be scary. But it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to tell a true friend, or maybe even your sister, how goddamn awesome they are.

Follow our advice and write a speech that will leave the best man weeping.*

*Or if you’re looking for more than ‘advice’, check out our maid of honour speech template, our speech edit service or our bespoke speech writing service.

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Maid of Honour Speech Etiquette

1. Your job:

Is simply to drop a love-bomb on your friend. In our experience, a maid of honour speech can be just as touching as the groom’s but that’s not to say it shouldn’t be blooming funny too. In fact, it definitely should be funny.

2. Your style:

Tailor your speech to suit the style of the wedding. Is it a rock n roll affair, a traditional do, or a child -friendly bash? Think of your audience and decide if ‘ladies and gentleman’ is necessary or overly formal (generally it’s the latter).

3. Your focus:

Tailor your speech to suit the style of the wedding. Is it a rock n roll affair, a traditional do, or a child -friendly bash? Think of your audience and decide if ‘ladies and gentleman’ is necessary or overly formal (generally it’s the latter).

4. The groom:

Remember to be nice about the groom. Say more than the usual platitudes and give a sense of his character too.

f. The toast:

Other speakers get first dibs on the classic toasts but quite frankly, who wants them? Find a unique way to toast the newly-hitched- even if it’s just to ‘the coolest couple this side of The Tipsy Cow’.

Finding your funny

Granted, the bride (and her mum) will focus on the touching side of your speech – but everyone else, well, they want the laughs. Here’s how to achieve them…

1- AVOID WEDDING ‘JOKES’ – Being funny isn’t about finding good jokes on the internet. Humour comes from real life, so don’t look anywhere else for your inspiration. You’ve got a ready-made character that you can play with, and even if the bride’s on the straight side, we guarantee there will be fun to be had. Yes, it’s more effort to create original humour but it’s not that complicated. There’s never an excuse for jokes about the day being so emotional that ‘even the wedding cake’s in tiers’.

2 – IT’S FUNNY BECAUSE IT’S TRUE – Start by thinking about the things that make the bride unique. Ask yourself lots of questions – what’s her worst habit (cheating at the pub quiz), what’s her guilty pleasures (Justin Bieber), what might she love more than her groom (peri-peri sauce?) etc. Once you have a bit of content to play with, the comedy will be easier to find.

3 – CREATE A CHARACTER – Imagine the bride was a character in a sitcom. What type of person would she be? The health freak who transforms into a kebab-eating monster after a bottle of Pinot? The A&E doctor who can’t live without her straighteners? The intellectual who secretly loves The Kardashians? Once you find a basic premise, use anecdotes can help build on the character you’ve created.

4 – KEEP IT SIMPLE – Good writing is all you need for a great speech. Powerpoint and props can often get in the way. Keep your speech short and your jokes punchy.

Read our How To Be Funny Guide to get more inspo & advice.

Or check out our Sister of the Bride blog or Sister of the Groom blog if you have a special sibling relationship to ridicule.

Five speech rules

So we all know this is how you’ll be judged. Here are the basic rules.

A heart-warming tribute to your daughter should be the focus of your speech but remember every bride is beautiful, kind and generally amaaazing.

Cut the cliches and concentrate on what makes your daughter unique. Is she an indie chick, a library-lover, a technology fiend?

Nailing her individual and quirky characteristics is key to delivering a great speech. Indeed, don’t turn your daughter into a perfect princess. Whether she’s ditsy, gobby, obsessed with fake tan, people love her the way she is, and it’s your chance to celebrate that.

Before you start writing your speech, get gathering your material.

Imagine you’re that bloke off Time Team, get your waterproof on and get digging.

Email your mates and ask for their favourite bride stories. Invite them for a ‘wine-storm’ if you have time.

Of course, as well as the embarrassing stuff, make sure you gather the evidence that the bride’s a damn fine specimen of a human too. And feel free to name-check ‘contributors’ in the speech.

Rather than just a collection of anecdotes and the usual stuff, creating a theme and building a narrative ensures your speech is crafted rather than just a cut and paste job.

The theme doesn’t need to be complicated.

If the bride’s a teacher you could talk about what they’ve taught you over the years (from how to down a jaggerbomb to how to hunt down a vaguely decent bloke).

Play with her character and see what theme you can create!

You can keep your maid of honour speech as short as you like but don’t go over eight minutes.

If there’s a best man speech too you might want to keep it to six mins each (though never agree to less time than the bloke!)

Finally, when it comes to speeches, remember no one ever said ‘if only it were longer’.

Once you write your first draft, edit it down to half the length. We promise it will make it a hundred times stronger.

Lots of online sites can estimate your duration based on your wordcount.

A confident delivery is half the battle.

Make sure your friend has checked the acoustics of the venue and has hired a mic if necessary (you wouldn’t believe how many speeches are ruined simply because the guests can’t hear them).

Try to memorise the speech but don’t be afraid to use notes on the day (your brain will be scrambled).

Remember to smile. It’s scientifically proven to be infectious and scientists know stuff.

More advice on how to delivery your speech like a pro on our blog.

Speech Do's

Introduce yourself

Remember there will probably be people at the wedding you’ve never met. Explain how you know the bride.

Practise your speech and film it on your phone

Watch it back, ignore the unflattering lighting and spot where your speech can be improved.

Talk slower than feels natural

It’s what those authoritative people do to make themselves seem more intelligent.

Use witty quotes

It’s not plagiarism if you quote the source. Check out our Maid of Honour Quote inspo.

Do a bit of research

Get inspired by other Maid of Honour Speech Videos.

Speech Don'ts

Don't thank anyone

It’s not your job.

Don’t pretend your friend is a princess

She might be in a big white frock but everyone loves her for who she is, whether that’s ditsy, gobby or an absolute loon.

Don't ignore the feedback of friends

It’s always worth testing your speech out on a mate but this also means you have to listen to them. If they don’t get a joke, don’t waste your time explaining it as you won’t be able to do that on the day.

Don't talk over laughter

You’ve worked hard for those laughs – don’t rush them. Always wait until your guests have settled down before continuing with your speech.

Don't drink too much

Well, certainly not before delivering your speech. Contrary to popular opinion alcohol will make you more nervous, not less.

Maid of Honour Speech - let us help you!

If you want to deliver a legendary speech, work with us.

We’re rated ‘excellent’ on Trustpilot and that’s why we offer a DELIGHT GUARANTEE on all our bespoke services.

And, of course, in the world of Zoom, Whatsapp and Death Wish Coffee, we work with clients around the world.

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