So, you’ve been killing it as a Maid of Honor so far… you’ve already gotten your dress and shoes sorted, coordinated with the other Bridesmaids as well as the Bride’s mum to host a lovely Bridal shower, and planned and executed an amazing Hen-do. You’re feeling confident about the rehearsal dinner and ready for the main event, –except for one thing; you have to write and give a charming toast to the bride, in front of her family, his family and all of your friends… eek!
Never fear… We’ve got some quick tips to make sure you give a brilliant toast on the big day!
1. Brevity is the soul of wit: keep it short and sweet
Of course, a hurried speech of less than a couple of minutes can appear as though you didn’t bother preparing anything at all, but if you ramble on for more than ten minutes you can easily lose the crowd. The gold standard for any speech is between 5 and 10 minutes, but if you know that many others want to give a toast consider keeping it between 3 and 5.
2.Make eye contact with the guests of honor, but also look around the crowd
Naturally, you’ll want to address the bride directly, but looking around at the rest of the room helps the other guests feel more engaged and included. No need to turn wildly or try to look at four different places at once! Just a couple of measured, sweeping glances should do it. This will also help you stay focused in case the bride becomes so moved she starts tearing up at your toast.
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3. Memorise your key phrases and practice, practice, practice!
Reading the key points off a note-card can look like you researched the whole thing online the night before. However, memorising just your main points and then referencing your notes briefly for the rest makes your heartfelt toast seem like the most natural thing in the world. And don’t forget to practice!
4. Positive body language is important
The message is important, but so is the medium! Stand tall with an upright, but relaxed posture, shoulders back, chin up and look out, facing the crowd and…breathe! If you feel nervous, try loosely tenting your fingers. This will steady your hands without locking or tensing them into position. As you deliver the toast no matter what you’re feeling, all anyone is going to see is a poised, confident maid of honour delivering a beautiful speech.
5. Write from the heart!
Think of all the happy, crazy, silly, sad, lovely, scary times you’ve shared with the bride and you’re sure to be inspired! Though, just because you’re being sincere doesn’t mean there isn’t room for amusing anecdotes or a gentle joke! If being funny is not your forte, don’t despair; just be yourself and keep it real. The bride knows you’ve got this, it’s why she asked you to be her Maid of Honour!!
For more tips on how to write a killer Wedding Speech, check out these additional ideas!