How to Write a Best Man or Maid of Honour Speech
Being asked to be the number 1 support person on your friends special day can be a blessing and a curse. You get the social value and validation that you are in fact, their ride or die homie but you also get the pressure of delivering a speech that is supposed to be meaningful, funny, personal and positive.
For some people this is awesome, for others it invokes a panic attack. My ex girlfriend who I am still good friends is one of the latter kinds of people. She messaged me in a panic freaking out about an upcoming bridesmaid speech she had to do so I sent her the following tips below to use as a framework. But before I share, take heed of my 2 rules.
Rule Number 1
Stress less and enjoy your night. No matter what happens as long as you have written something from the heart then no one will give a fuck. No one is judging you on your speech, they're just happy to hear about the bride and groom and your relationship with them. If you want a drink then have one, if you know you get sloppy then ask if you can do your speech a bit earlier. But if you follow rule 2 then hopefully it won't matter if you are a bit tipsy or fuckin bliiiiiinddd.
Rule Number 2 Type out your speech, practice read it and aim for about 5 minutes or less. This makes sure that if you do enjoy yourself a bit too much then there is some hard black and white words written by sober you. It also prevents any hard to read rushed writing as well and most importantly directionless rambling that you get by those that "Wing it"
Winging it is a terrible idea. You'll forget important things to mention and can end up in the vortex of vodka not making any clear points and ending with "what else can I say? I loveee youu guys!"
WRITING THE SPEECH
Here is the skeleton points that if you write a little bit on each part then you will accidentally have a full speech. You can omit or add anything you desire, these are just guidelines.
INTRODUCE YOURSELF Introduce yourself and how you know each other. Everyone loves a good origin story. Thank them for choosing you and comment on how incredible the day has been (Hopefully).
SHARE YOUR FIRST MEMORY OF THEM This does not have to be complimentary. It's actually funnier when it's not. So be real and authentic. If you knew this person was going to be your wingman forever then talk about it. Think about what your first thought about them was and share it with everyone.
THE SPECIAL MOMENTS OVER YOUR FRIENDSHIP These could be funny, deep, crazy or just something between you both. What you don't wanna do is treat it like a 21st speech and bring up the time you fucked hookers in vegas or did coke in the VIP lounge with a Justin Bieber.
WHAT THEY MEAN TO YOU Here is the part to be publicly vulnerable and mention why you value their friendship. Be Specific. We don't wanna hear "you mean the world to me, I don't know where I'd be without you!" It may have been at a low point in your life or they've celebrated the highs with you. Either way, something from the heart means so much more than the generic statements. Something more along the lines of,
"When I was feeling unsure about quitting my job you were the person that was in my corner. I'll never forget the support you gave me and when you told me "You're a shit welder anyway, might as well go be a film maker! or (insert motivational quote here)"
5. YOUR FIRST MEMORY OF THEIR PARTNER
People sometimes forget to shout out the partner of their friend. It is their day too. If you like them it's way easier but if you don't like their partner, remember the day is about them not you. If your first memory of them sucks then don't bring it up. Instead just highlight what they've done for their newlywed and how they make the newlywed feel.
6. SAY SOME NICE SHIT ABOUT THEM TOO
If you like them then this is easy. Again if you don't then see the above point. They might work hard for their family or be great for their partner. There will be something you can be positive about.
7. HOW HANGING OUT WITH THEM BOTH MAKES YOU FEEL
If you love spending time with them as a couple talk about it. Mention some of your favourite past times together or talk about what they are like when they are together. Do they bring the party? Are they awesome to have dinners with? Or are they the couple that do chin ups off the roof at their own wedding like my friends. (See pic! We Hang out!) If you find yourself repeating steps 5 and 6 then amalgamate this all into one. Can also add how they make each other better as a nice closer to this section as well as any hopes for their future.
8. FINISH WITH A CHEERS
There will be loads of cheers throughout the night but who gives a fuck! More cheers means more booze and nice words being said. You can finish on a quote if you like but personally I'm over the common oversued ones. See if you can find something specific to the couple or to your friendship. If you have a saying you use a lot, make this toast a unique one that is going to be different to the parents or other speakers. If it was to my podcast cohost for example, he always says "classic" so I would have a "classic" toast. Find your own classic!
Having a professional MC is always the way to go if your couple is feeling stressed or don't want to worry on the night. Maybe you could get them a unique gift and book me as a wedding present to the couple? Feel free to contact me and check my availability.
If you need help writing your speech, I am available for hire to assist you. Contact me for my rates and information.