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Raise your glass

Speech writing tips for the best man and maid of honor

February 26, 2014
By KAYLA VAN DYNE - Staff Writer ( , Times Leader

WEDDINGS ARE always a chaotic time between the planning and trying to get every little detail right and you, my friend, have been thrown into the middle of this when tapped to be the best man or maid of honor. Good luck!

As the best man, it's your job to host the bachelor party, keep the groom grounded and try not to lose the ring. Maids of honor, your job is a little more hectic. The bride has done most, if not all, of the planning. Most of these plans, you have had a hand in. One of the main jobs is to keep the bride calm and help with all the minor details of the day.

The walk down the aisle is over, the vows were said with no objections and everyone said yes. Now on to the reception and the best man and maid of honor speech.

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This is the moment that could make or break your friendship with the bride or groom and may or may not upset many of the party guests. So when you take the stage, remember these rules when it comes to the speech.

- Do: Practice your speech before the big day. When you know what you want to say, you will be more comfortable and confident and less likely to say the wrong thing. This is also helpful if you are not great at public speaking. Just "winging it" with little to no prep could be a huge risk.

- Do: Introduce yourself to the crowd first. Make eye contact and project your voice. It can take awhile to get everyone's attention, so being confident is important. Thanking the parents of the bride and groom for hosting such a special occasion is also a nice touch.

- Don't: Get wasted before taking the stage. Having a drink before may calm your nerves before all eyes are you but being sloppy drunk and slurring your words is a bad way to start.

- Do: Share a few stories and anecdotes that reflect the relationship of the bride and groom. Whether your tone is sentimental or funny (or a combo of both) just speak from the heart and you can't go wrong.

- Don't: Mortify your friend in front of everyone by sharing embarrassing personal stories, those are better left for the bachelor or bachelorette parties. A sense of humor is great for keeping the crowd engaged; just don't take it too far. Also don't tell inside jokes that guests won't get.

- Don't: Bring up old flames of the bride or groom. This could be a touchy subject for them and you don't want to ruin the day by bringing up the past.

- Don't: Go on and on and on and on. While guests enjoy hearing kind words and stories about the happy couple, keep it short and sweet at five minutes or less. People start to get antsy when they have to sit for too long.

- Do: Conclude the speech with a thoughtful toast to the bride and groom. Raise your glass and ask the crowd to join you in wishing the new Mr. and Mrs. a lifetime of love, health and happiness.

Follow these simple rules and your speech will go perfectly. But remember, this day belongs to the bride and groom, and it is an honor they asked you to be a part of it.



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