Being asked to be a maid of honor is, of course, an honor (hence the name!), but the title also carries some responsibilities. While some tasks, such as planning a bridal shower and/or a bachelorette party are technically considered kind gestures rather than requirements, there are other things that will be expected unless you are told otherwise – giving a wedding toast is one of those things. For the average person, this is not an undertaking that happens often, so it’s understandable if you are nervous. Public speaking is a common fear, after all. If you have no idea where to start and could use a little guidance, read the tips below to help you write your toast.
- Keep it short. Possibly the most important advice you could receive. Speaking out loud will always feel longer than reading a short speech, so while you want to offer at least 90 seconds to the newlyweds and their guests, you really don’t want to go much longer than two minutes or the toast will quickly feel like it’s dragging on.
- Introduce yourself. Not everyone in attendance will know your connection to the bride, so briefly making that clear will give your speech context.
- Be inclusive. While you’re here for your best friend, you should be sure to acknowledge her new spouse and their relationship as well – after all, that’s what brought everyone here!
- Stay sober… mostly. Maybe a glass of wine will help you to stand up in front of a crowd, but you definitely don’t want to be drunk while giving the toast. It’s never a good look.
- Be true to yourself. Don’t feel pressure to make everyone cry if you’re not very sentimental, and the same goes with trying to make guests laugh if that’s not your wheelhouse. The bride knows your personality.
- Keep it clean. However, if your natural way of speaking tends to include a lot of innuendo and profanity, try to tone it down for the occasion. You don’t want to embarrass the newlyweds in front of their families!
- Don’t wing it. Even if you’re a master of improvisation, you need to at the very least have bullet points of what you want to talk about. You never know when your mind might blank, and plenty of people start rambling when they’re nervous.