HONORARY SPEECHES: GUIDELINES YOU CAN SHARE WITH YOUR BM + MOH
The more weddings you attend, the more you come to realize that not all wedding speeches are created equal. A great speech can paint a beautiful picture of the relationship between the bride and the groom, while a bad speech can have everyone in attendance gasping in shock. Even if your Maid of Honor and Best Man have been amazing up to this point, public speaking is an art that takes practice, so let’s take a look at some important points they can use to keep a smile on everyone’s face rather than looks of pure horror.
The Speech is About the Bride and Groom.
Since weddings bring together friends and family from both sides, there is a good chance that many of the people in attendance will not be familiar with who is giving the speech. A quick, one sentence introduction stating your name and relationship to the bride/groom is all the information guests need, to understand who you are.
What they don’t need is a long speech that is all about you; that’s for your wedding. The whole point of a wedding is to celebrate the bride and groom, so make sure that every part of your speech revolves around them!
Keep it short!
Weddings are organized to run on a very specific schedule, and most of those schedules don’t involve 30 minute speeches, by a MOH or BM going rogue. In fact, we’ve seen wonderful speeches that were short, sweet, to the point and lasted no longer than 1-2 minutes.
That being said, if you’ve creatively crafted a speech that you believe will resonate with the couple you’re supporting, don’t feel obligated to keep it under 1 minute. But, from our experience, we’d recommend keeping it under 5.
Tell a Story
As the Maid of Honor or Best Man, you have shared experiences with the bride and groom that gives you a unique insight into their relationship. Sharing a story that includes both of them, allows the guests to feel included in your relationship and provides a special moment for the three of you to reminisce.
When choosing your story, make 100% certain that it is one the bride and groom feel comfortable sharing (think grandmothers and grandfathers). You may never see these people again, but the couple will! Tie your story together by ending on a positive note that highlights the beauty of their relationship and your overall friendship.
Make a Toast
Public speaking can be nerve racking which can cause people to rush through their speeches. However, when it comes to wedding speeches, none are complete without a toast! So even though it may seem obvious, make sure you raise your glass and end the speech with a toast celebrating the marriage of the bride and groom.
Practice and Preparation is Key
While preparing for your speech, consider the ways you operate best. Would word-for-word notes give you the comfortability needed to knock your speech out of the park? Or, do bullet points give you the flexibility to convey your message while catering to the audience’s energy?
Whichever organization tactic you use, make sure you practice, practice, practice. By practicing your speech, outloud, you’ll usually find things that you’d want to adjust on the big day. Consider delivering the speech to a close friend or video recording yourself, so your nerves are at a minimum come wedding day.
Lastly, we’d recommend running your speech by someone who knows the bride and groom. Then, you can enter into the reception knowing that no jokes will fall flat and those inside jokes, are appropriate for outsider ears.
At the end of the day, you are speaking on behalf of the bride and groom because your relationship has been an important part of their lives. They love you for who are you, so be yourself! Prepare your speech in a way that is comfortable for you and conveys the unique perspective you have on their relationship.
And remember, we’ll make sure to catch you on film! Good luck.
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