How to Write A Wedding Speech

When I was asked to be my big sister’s Matron of Honor (Maid of Honor), I was ecstatic! Of course, yes! However, I had a looming twinge of “OMG, I have to write a speech” lurking within. The thought of summarizing what Danielle meant to me seemed impossible, plus she wrote a beautiful speech for my wedding. I wanted to do a good job for her.

I tried searching a few things on the internet for ideas/tips, and didn’t really come up with too much. So I sat down and thought about it more, then came up with a “Ultimate Wedding Speech Formula” that I think really helped. I wanted to share these 10 wedding speech tips in case it helps a fellow MOH, plus list out my speech so I’ll have it stored to remember.

  1. MOH Wedding Speech TipsKeep it around 3-5 minutes. People tend to get distracted after that.
  2. For me, it was easiest to write the middle of the speech first, then add the intro and conclusion after.
  3. Beginning – Introduce yourself. How are you related to the Bride?
  4. Personalize it – Tell at least one detailed funny or heartwarming story that is personalized about the Bride, such as what it was like growing up with her. Make sure it’s not all inside jokes that nobody in the audience will understand!
  5. What about the Bride makes you love her? What are some of her personality traits? How has she helped you, and what does she mean to you?
  6. Don’t forget the groom! How long have you known him? How did things change after the Bride met her future husband? Tell a personalized story about the groom or details about why they’re perfect together.
  7. Add something interactive if it makes sense. Include a relevant prop, or ask the audience or Bride & Groom to do something. This makes things more memorable and engaging.
  8. Look towards the future – Now that they’re married, what do you wish for the happy couple? End with a toast, quote, or piece of advice for the couple.
  9. Don’t forget to end the speech with raising your glass and asking everyone to toast to the Newlyweds!
  10. Practice! I practiced wearing heels (I know it sounds silly, but helped!), practiced in the mirror, practiced in front of my friends and hubby, and of course didn’t forget the hairbrush microphone. 🙂

I didn’t want to blank out, so I brought up a piece of paper with the speech written on it. Note cards wouldn’t really work because you’ll be holding a microphone and maybe drink, so I made sure my speech was condensed to one sheet of paper. Because I practiced, I didn’t really need to look at it that much. I tried to remember key points, and tell the stories in my own voice rather than reading word-for-word, so they were more authentic. Here I am giving my speech:

Maid of Honor giving wedding speechObviously I’m looking out at the guests in this shot, but another important step is to really look at everybody you’re addressing. Pay attention to your body language, and make sure to look at the Bride and Groom.

So here it is, the speech I gave at my sister’s wedding:

Hi Everyone, my name is Kristen. Many of you know that I’m Danielle’s sister and the middle of the three Barnhart daughters. I’m thrilled to be Danielle’s Matron of Honor on this special day. Many of you know Danielle as a friend, family member, or co-worker, so I wanted to let you in on what it was like actually growing up with Danielle from my perspective.

Growing up, I was an awkward little girl with glasses and braces. You know, the “creative” type. Luckily, I had an older, beautiful and talented sister to look up to. Danielle was smart, popular, and gifted in piano, tennis, and dance. Although I’m sure there were times where the 5 year age gap deemed me her “annoying little sister,” she was always looking out for Lauren and I. I eagerly accepted her hand-me down clothes even if they had holes or stains, and loved when she took the lead at teaching us stuff such as how to do a cartwheel, or putting on a fashion show starring us and all the neighborhood kids.

As we got older, I probably drove her a little crazy with stealing her clothes. I remember this one time specifically when I stole her new shirt to wear to school. She went to school earlier than me, so getting it on was pretty easy. But because I came home after her, I had to bring one of my shirt’s to throw on over hers before I got home so she wouldn’t notice. I thought it was genius, but somehow she figured it out and a big fight broke out. Okay, I know I was in the wrong, but because of Danielle’s generous nature, she only locked her closet for ONE day after that. Again, always watching out for her sisters.

Looking back now, it’s apparent that she really paved the way for Lauren and I because she was so successful in her milestones and wanted us to be as well. We followed in her footsteps with piano, tennis, dance, and becoming sorority sisters. I even went to the same college as her, and she opened our eyes to the world of designer fashions. GOOD LUCK, Chris. 🙂

I’m sure many here know that Danielle’s been a great role model to not only us, but many others ranging from the “cool babysitter” to the caring dance coach. After Danielle’s years on the Orlando Magic dance team, she actually coached a professional dance team I was on. It was there that she later introduced me to my husband, Gary, who also worked for the team. My future would not have been the same without the help of Danielle.

Over the years, our relationship has grown to more than just sisters. I turn to her as my mentor, the one I can lean on for advice and support, or simply if I’m looking for a shopping buddy. We understand each other, and truly are best friends. Danielle, I am SO incredibly lucky to have a sister like you. Thank you for always listening, being a great example, and just being there.

I didn’t know Chris until they started dating, but I’ve come to find that he is the perfect match for my sister. Chris and Danielle both have that kind, thoughtful, generous nature about them, and are very family-oriented. And come on, he can play the piano better than us! Chris’ methodical thinking balances out Danielle’s impulsiveness, bringing out the best in each other. It’s incredible to see a girl from the midwest find her sole-mate from Virginia in Florida, and their wedding story proves of fate as well. She always had a crush on Chris in college, and says she wouldn’t have passed her business class without his help. Years later after graduation and random occasions of bumping into each other, the stars aligned and they finally had the opportunity to try things out. Obviously it worked, and although he’s been a part of the family for awhile, I’m happy to officially call him my brother!

Danielle and Chris, please hold each other’s hand. [hold hands]. I’m so excited to see what this next chapter in life brings you, and I’ll leave you with this one piece of wisdom. One of the best things in the world is when someone you love holds your hand. I wish you a lifetime of happiness, love, and hand holding through thickness and thin. Congratulations, I love you both. Let’s raise our glasses to the bride and groom!

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