How To Write A Meaningful Maid Of Honor Speech

A beautiful speech in four simple parts

After delivering what I consider a bang up Maid of Honor speech, and hearing a number of other wonderful ones, let me share what I consider to be the perfect wedding toast formula:

maid of honor delivering a speech with how to write a maid of honor speech text over it

The Perfect Maid Of Honor Speech, In Four Parts

  • Part 1: I love you both so much.
  • Part 2: A lovely anecdote about the couple’s relationship and how awesome they are. (Try to stay away from something just about about just one of them, but about them as a couple. Talking about primarily on person within the context of their relationship and their love can be lovely, too, if that’s your relationship to the couple.) This should be the bulk of your speech.
  • Part 3: I hope you are always as happy, joyous, and in love as that moment. OR This proves how madly in love you two are. May you continue to be an inspiration to us all. Etc.
  • Part 4: (Actually make the toast.) Everyone drinks!

Keep it short and sweet, and it will be a home-run every time.

A Maid Of Honor Speech Sample

Here is a sample maid of honor speech, using this simple formula:

Stacey and James,

I love you both so much.  Stacey, not only for you being one of my best friends, but for being there for me when being my friend didn’t just involve late night Wal-Mart runs and hours of watching 80’s movies.  We’ve grown up together and I am so very grateful that we did not grow apart. And James, I love you, too, for not only being such an incredible partner for my Stacey, but for being a great friend to me also.  I know you didn’t expect that dating Stacey would include helping her flaky friend after she locked her keys in the car three times in one month, but you are a doll and a gentleman for doing so with a smile and only laughing at me a little.

However, what I love most about the two of you is how you are together. I’ve never seen two people that fit so well in each other’s lives; it’s hard to imagine a time when you weren’t “Stacey and James”.  It may seem to some like you two were just meant to be and that fate put you together, but I think to look at it that way diminishes how amazing your relationship really is.  Having been there from the beginning, I know that what appeared to be seamless was the effort of two people who truly loved one another and were determined to make their relationship work.  They didn’t just magically fit into each other’s lives, they rearranged their lives to make room.  They changed priorities, made time for one another and learned to love each other’s little quirks… like James’s not-so-secret love of male R&B vocalists.  But nothing shows this as much as Stacey, James and the hockey debacle. You see, when they started dating, James noticed that Stacey had a framed Gretsky jersey in her living room.  And, deciding to play it cool, James started asking Stacey if she wanted to go to local hockey games and watching the latest game on TV just so he’d have something to talk about to Stacey the next time they chatted.  Stacey, oblivious to all of this, thought James really liked hockey so she enlisted my brother to teach her more about the game.  Because, you see, Stacey never watched hockey.  The jersey belonged to her Uncle Mike, and Aunt Laura gave it to her as a reminder of him and how he’s watching over her.  Meanwhile, both of these guys are pretending to know more about hockey than they actually do and were starring in their own sports-themed comedy of errors.  Eventually, they figured it out… and by eventually I mean seven months later.  However, once these two worked on their communication skills, they had a new favorite hobby to do together… and further proof that Uncle Mike really is watching over Stacey.  AND, he’s bound and determined that she marry a hockey lover!

And it only goes to show not only how goofy these two are for each other, but how much they truly are committed to being in each other’s lives. Your love makes us smile, makes us tear up with joy and makes us believe in the kind of love cynics would make you feel is impossible. Thank you for being an inspiration and my friends.

To Stacey and James! (everybody drinks)

And that, ladies and gentleman? That’s how a made of honor speech is done. Now seriously. Do us all a favor and don’t mention strippers, mmmkaaayyy?

Alyssa Mooney

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  • LaurenF

    My sister Sam gave a seriously kick-ass toast at our wedding, and it roughly followed this format. It was so awesome that our photographer (the fabulous APW sponsor Elissa R) said that she was “this close to bawling” when she blogged our wedding pics. Of course, Sam and I are twins and she has known my now-husband as long as I have (a decade), so she was at a distinct advantage. Like Alyssa’s sample toast, it was the perfect amount of sweet, funny, and trying to embarrass us just a little bit.

  • Amy

    Wow, my husband is working on a wedding toast for this weekend so this could not have been more timely. I just sent this post to him!

  • Jo

    Now this is a beautiful recipe for a toast.


  • Absolutely try to talk about the COUPLE, not just the half you grew up with. I always feel really bad for the groom (usually) when the bride’s friend from kindergarten spends the whole toast tearfully telling stories of how awesome they were when they were kids, and never mentions the groom at all. My little sis and little bro-in-law gave the toasts at our wedding, and they both rocked it out. It can be done :)

  • This is basically the formula I used! I knew everyone would expect me to weight it toward my sister, the bride and I knew that I would unintentionally, so I very intentionally worked toward talking about my new Brother In Law more. It worked out- it was about even, the toast discussed my relationship with each of them (which I know is very important to both of them– that I was close to my sister’s husband always mattered to her, and that my sister and I are close was one of the things that endeared her husband early on). The three of us are very close, and in speaking of each of them I spoke of the unit of us three. Then I mentioned their life together, and how happy they seemed, but how it was just as happy as I see them every day. They loved it.

  • Fantastic post. Toasts are so overwhelming for most people, but I think this is the perfect format and would help anyone overcome wedding toast nerves.

    Also, I really like the point about making the bulk of the speech about the couple. 90% of the time, toasts I’ve heard are about how the best man/maid of honor loves the groom/bride. It’s a nice sentiment, but the other partner often gets left out. The other 10% that make it about the couple always get my attention.

  • Jo

    Such great advice. This is exactly what my matron and maid of honor did for ours.

    Except they added one little touch. Since my (pregnant) matron of honor had semi-fainted during the (90 degree in October) ceremony, she opened up the toast by swooning AGAIN just as she got up to the mike. And then laughing because it was just a fake. Ha! ha ha ha. Ha. :)

  • SpaceElephant

    The part about talking about the couple and their relationship is so key. At our wedding, very recently, we had one sibling each and our mothers give toasts. My husband’s brother gave a toast that was just a series of stories about my husband, his mom told one story about him. Um, neither one of them really mentioned me at all, until the end: “to X and Y!” And it kind of stung! I know they didn’t mean anything by it, but I can’t help wishing they would have thought to say something nice about ME or US, you know?

    • oh no! been waiting to hear how your wedding went, was not hoping to hear something like that! hope the rest of the day was good.

      • SpaceElephant

        Oh, no, the rest of it was great! In fact, this may have been the worst part! Which, in the long run, is so teensy and insignificant that I even feel bad complaining about it now, except I wanted to provide a cautionary tale for would-be toasters!
        It was a perfect (mostly) day. Am thinking about a grad post as I wait for my pro pics.

  • Hah. I love that the sample toast involves a framed hockey jersey… I do think this is really helpful. If everybody would read this post, it would probably cut down on the number of confused, awkward obligatory toasts from people who don’t really know what they’re up there to say.

  • Molly

    Maybe it’s because I just got engaged 2 days ago, but that fake toast made me tear up. I hope people have just-as-nice things to say about us at our wedding!

    • Jess

      Congrats!!! It is a very exciting and emotional time.

      Now, nearing the end of our engagement (and the formal beginning of our marriage), I’m glad I’m making time to just enjoy being engaged.

      A friend of mine told me to make sure we relax and find the fun in being fiancees (believe it or not, I’m actually becoming fond of that term). It only happens once, and it’s over much more quickly than you think.

      I’m sure you will be overwhelmed with the love of your friends and family, and they will write toasts that make you sob like a well-crafted Rom-Com!

      And thank god for APW, no?

    • I’m not recently engaged and the fake toast made me cry!

  • Vee

    That hockey story really made me tear up a little. Hahaha! Hello, hormones.

  • Kyley

    Aww, and that’s even the lovely photo at which I gave the speech to inspire such a recipe! Did Emily tell you, or is APW just super psychic?


    • meg

      APW (or me, in this case, as I selected the photo) is super psychic.

  • Becks

    What if you’ve only met the groom twice? How do you talk about the couple?

    • Kyley

      In that case, talk about your friend within the context of her relationship. You can tell a story about knowing her when she was head over heels the first time they met, or sometime she got on a plane to surprise him, or how excited she was to tell you about when her then bf/fiance did x, y, or z…Just think of some moments you’ve had with your friend that had to do with her relationship.

  • emmyjane

    I totally nailed this in my speech at my bff’s wedding a few years ago. Earlier in the week, I spent a long time trying to think of something embarrassing to say about her (thinking it would be funny) but couldn’t come up with anything! We were such good kids. Anyway, love this advice. Thanks!

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  • francine

    my best friend got married this weekend and i was so incredibly nervous about making a toast… writing and public speaking aren’t my thing! i used your formula and had many people come up afterwards and tell me that it was a great toast. thank you soooooo much for this tutorial!! seriously it took a huge weight off of my shoulders!!!

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  • This is very helpful for anyone stressed about writing a wedding toast!

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