There’s so much for a maid-of-honor to do that sometimes it’s easy to forget about the speech. If you have been asked to give a speech but aren’t sure what to include and what not to include then we have you covered!
What is a Maid-Of-Honor speech?
A maid-of-honor’s speech is when the chief bridesmaid makes a toast and provides a few small anecdotes about their relationship to the newly-wed couple. The speech should be short and sweet. Leaving the audience with the feeling that they know the couple better than before the speech started. In the straight world, it’s typically the “best man” who gives a speech but at a lesbian wedding you may not have “groomsmen” and at a gay wedding you may have “bridesmaids” who will make up the wedding party. The configuration of who will give speeches depends on the wedding party – the wonderful thing is that it’s unique to each same-sex wedding.
What should you include in a Maid-Of-Honor speech?
- First things first and that’s preparation. You want to start your speech off on the right foot and that’s by coming prepared! Write your speech way ahead of the wedding. You don’t want to be stuck writing a speech on a napkin last minute!
- Make sure you remember to introduce yourself. It’s no good performing a great speech if they won’t remember your name!
- Ask the bride or groom (depending on who you’re representing) what sort of things they want to be included or not included in the speech. It’s a good idea to be aware of topics they definitely don’t want to be covered.
- Try brainstorming a few ideas for stories that you want to include. You want at least 1 or 2 well thought out anecdotes so you’re not struggling to remember what to say or where the story was leading.
- It’s a good idea to have a general theme throughout the speech. It helps keep the audience engaged and the speech flowing.
- The story of how you met the bride or groom should definitely be included in the speech. Keep it simple though as the audience does not need a detailed description. Something light but highlights how long you have been in each other’s lives.
- Include a story that highlights a trait of the bride or groom that you admire. Instead of saying “so-and-so is a good friend” try to explain a memory that illustrates that trait.
- Compliment the other half. It’s can be awkward if you’re just barking on about how great one of the party is, ignoring the other person’s entire existence!
- Celebrate the couple. Explain the positive changes you’ve seen since they met and give an anecdote about when they first met.
- To round off the speech explain what an honor it is to be there on their special day. Propose a toast to the happy couple and thank them for having you in their wedding party.
What should be avoided in a Maid-Of-Honor speech?
- A definite no-no is to avoid topics such as exes, drugs and alcohol-related stories and “adult” humor. That one time the bride or groom threw up on a police officer in Vegas was hilarious but the reception is probably not the place to reminisce!
- Try to not include inside jokes as you don’t want to alienate the audience. You want to make the audience feel a part of the fun.
- Keep the couple as the main topic of the speech. If you’re going to refer to yourself make sure it relates back to the couple. It’s their day and not yours!
- Limit the number of drinks you have before the speech. You want the speech to be memorable for all the right reasons rather than for accidental slurs and stumbles.
- Only include necessary information otherwise you may find your speech drags on which will lose the audience’s interest. It’s best to keep the speech no longer than 10 minutes long. With that in mind, you should practice your speech in front of someone so you get a raw reaction, tweaking the speech if needed.
- It may be a same-sex wedding but that doesn’t require you to preach for the LGBTQ+ community. Unless the bride or groom has said they are comfortable with you bringing up their sexuality and the audience is appropriate, we would advise against bringing it up.
The basic structure of a Maid-Of-Honors speech
A reliable format for a maid-of-honor speech goes as follows:
- Address the audience
- Thank everyone for coming and thank the previous speakers
- Introduce yourself
- How did you meet the bride or groom?
- A few anecdotes
- Express your gratitude to the couple
- Make a toast in the couple’s honor
- Final few words
An example of a Maid-Of-Honor speech
Below you will find an example of a sentimental maid-of-honor’s speech. Feel free to use this template or as inspiration for your own.
“Good evening everyone. First off, wow what a beautiful ceremony for an even more beautiful pair. On behalf of the happy couple, I’d like to thank you all for coming today to share these special moments together.
For those of you who may not know me. My name is ______ and I was introduced to *insert bride or groom’s name* when we were in our late teens. At the time I didn’t realize that I had just met my soon-to-be best friend. That’s because of their famous, easily misinterpreted, resting bitch-face. I quickly realized his/her/their warmth when he/she/they noticed I had come into class without any lunch and he/she/they then offered his/hers/theirs without any hesitation.
This became a bit of a running pattern with us. Me being completely scatterbrained and *name* being there to pick up the pieces. This was particularly evident on our first holiday together when I left my passport on a random train in Budapest. They flagged down a taxi as quickly as they could. Figured out where the train was going so they could meet the train at its next station stop. And before anyone could have taken the passport, they ran onto it and managed to find it! All the while I couldn’t stop crying and apologizing for being dimwitted. They truly saved the day.
So fast-forward a couple of years and you can imagine how surprising it was when they rang me up one day to tell me that she/he/they had missed her/his/their flight due to meeting someone in the airport lounge. I instantly knew this person had to be incredibly special for *bride or goom’s name* to have missed something as big as a flight! I think my instincts were right because here we are today, celebrating the marriage of those two people! You are perfect for each other in every way and complement each other’s differences. If you would please like to raise your glass and share a toast with the newlyweds. To be able to find your soul mate is a rare blessing, so we thank you for sharing your blessing of happiness with us. Cheers!”
For another example of a speech check out our guide on How to write a best man’s speech for a gay wedding or if you need some AI-inspired inspiration then look no further than We asked ChatGPT to write a maid-of-honor speech for a lesbian wedding.