The honor of being chosen for best man or maid-of-honor at a wedding comes with a HUGE amount of responsibility. If you've ever been one, you definitely know what we mean. Whether the title is familiar to you or not, these tips about the infamous speech you'll have to give at the reception are sure to come in handy.
DO: Introduce yourself
And we don't mean say "I'm the maid-of-honor." Most of the time, there will be guests at the wedding who have absolutely no clue who you are, regardless of how close you are to the bride and/or groom. Take a moment to say how you know the couple. This will give a nice perspective for the listeners!
DO: Congratulate the couple
Right off the bat, if you congratulate the couple, you'll get a nice round of applause from the room which will definitely calm your nerves and set a really positive tone for the speech.
DO: Use an anecdote
Quick stories about the bride, groom, or couple together are excellent for the body of your speech. Keep it to one or two short stories. When you first saw the couple together, the way the couple met, and maybe a light hearted embarrassing story or fun fact about the couple are classics. If you can pinpoint the moment you knew the couple was meant to be, that's the best kind of story. Pro tip: If the moral of your anecdote can relate to the moral of your speech, you're golden.
DON'T: Use inside jokes
We can all agree that's it's no fun when people tell inside jokes in front of us. Don't do that to a ballroom packed full of people.
DON'T: Forget to compliment the couple
Tell the bride she's beautiful. Tell the groom he's a lucky man. Tell them they are a perfect match. If there's one time you should go off-the-cuff, it's when you give compliments. Rehearsed compliments feel disingenuous. Let your compliments speak to the reality of the moment.
DON'T: Be afraid of humor
This is a heartfelt speech, but it doesn't mean you can't throw in a little bit of sarcastic joking or embarrassing facts about the bride or groom.
DO: Hold a microphone
The DJ should provide you with one. Hold it and remember to speak into it. The room will want to hear you and the bride and groom will want your audio to pick up on the wedding video!
DON'T: Be selfish
This isn't a speech about you. It's easy to start every sentence with I, but try your best not to do that.
DO: Limit your alcohol intake before the speech
Sorry. A couple drinks throughout the day is okay, Save the tequila shots for after the toast. Slurred speeches are hysterical but also really bad at the same time.
DON'T: Go off-the-cuff
Write a speech. You will feel more confident than if you don't. Writing down a speech (or at least an outline) will help you steer clear of rambling and saying the things that the signature cocktails told you to say.
The best speakers always rehearse their speeches. Avoid the dreaded "um" and "uh" by reciting it a few times in front of a mirror. Rehearsing will also help you feel comfortable with the speech so you know when to stay strong during the emotional parts.
DO: Have a positive outlook
You got this and you're going to have so much fun! Just remember that this is one of the happiest days of the couple's new life together and that they love you no matter what.