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Maid of Honor Speech Writing Prompts

Maid of Honor Speech Writing Tips and Prompts

This post could probably be entitled “creative writing tips” because that’s really what writing a speech is all about—with the caveat that whatever you write needs to sounds natural when spoken aloud. Since getting started is usually the hardest part, I’ve compiled a list of maid of honor speech writing prompts that will help you organize your thoughts about the bride and groom and focus your speech. I’ve also written on how to format your speech and some maid of honor speech do’s and don’ts, if you’re looking for more info.

To start writing a speech, I am a firm advocate of just vomiting out whatever enters your mind (from your fingers, not your mouth). Other people would call this “stream of consciousness” or “spontaneous writing,” but “word vomiting” is just as apt. The whole idea is to not worry about choosing the right word or turn of phrase. You want to focus on ideas rather than word choice. Organization and finesse can come later. What you need to start are the broad strokes. Sometimes I don’t even write full sentences. I just jot down phrases or words that enter my head. I skip around. I leave my thoughts unfinished. I just get something out there. Don’t worry if what you’re writing doesn’t make sense. Let yourself go.

Once you have all those words down, read over what you’ve written. What has potential to be expanded? What catches your attention? Do you see some of the same words and ideas coming up again and again? Sometimes getting out your thoughts shows you the shape of what you want to say. To give you a really good example, when I started writing this post I thought it would be a step-by-step guide to writing a maid of honor speech. But as I was word vomiting (don’t worry, I feel fine now), I realized that I was focusing a lot on the barriers that keep us from starting to write a speech and how we can overcome them. So I modified my idea, organized my thoughts and turned this post into what you see today.

Still struggling? Here are a few tiny tricks I use to help with my writing process and some general advice on maid of honor speeches in particular.

1. If you get stuck on a word, or find yourself slowing up as you grasp for a particular concept, just type “TK” and move on. TK is a editing term that means “to come” (don’t ask about the K instead of a C, I don’t know). TK is really useful because it frees you to keep writing, but you know you need to come back later and find that perfect word.

2. Sometimes your brain needs a warm-up. If I’m struggling with writing, I like to tackle a simple task or mental problem. I feel like it gets my brain organized and ready to think without all the creative frustration that can come from writing. So for example, I might work on putting together a shopping list or read a blog post by a writer I admire. Endless scrolling on Instagram or catching up on Real Housewives won’t encourage your mind to be active. Quite the opposite—those activities are like pause buttons for your brain waves.

3. Resist the urge to use or modify a canned speech from the internet. Resist, resist, resist! 95% of the ones I have read are horrible—like truly cringe-inducing. The number one thing you speech should be is personal and there is no way you’ll get that from a template.

And here are your writing prompts. Use these to get you started. Hopefully these ideas will help you find the nugget of a story or idea that will lead to the perfect speech.

Maid of Honor Speech Writing Prompts

What words best describe the bride?

What words best describe the groom?

What words best describe their relationship?

How did you meet the bride?

How did the bride and groom meet?

What did they do on their first date?

What did you think of the groom when you first met him?

What’s your favorite story about the couple?

What do you admire about their relationship?

How did the groom propose?

What are some of the highlights or milestones of their relationship?

What were some of the challenges they faced in their relationship?

What’s your favorite story to tell about the bride?

Is there a story that epitomizes the bride?

Is there a story that epitomizes their relationship?

What hobbies and interests, like and dislikes do the couple share? How has that enhanced their relationship?

What hobbies or interests, likes or dislikes do they differ on? Has that led to any funny stories?

Have they tried to introduce their spouse to something new? Has it succeeded or failed (hopefully in spectacular fashion)?

Tips for writing your maid of honor speech, with lots of writing prompts to get the ideas flowing


Photograph by Christa Nicole Photography.

The Ultimate Maid of Honor Speech

In my experience, a maid of honor toast can go two ways: funny or sentimental. We sort of luck out in that way. The best man basically has to be funny. It’s expected of him. But if stand-up comedy is not your thing, you are off the hook. You can be totally sweet and heartfelt and people will love it. If you can make a crowd laugh though, go for it! Stick to what you’re good at and you’ll end up with a speech that feels genuine and that you’ll feel comfortable giving. I try to create a good balance of funny and sweet, so my personal approach is to open funny and then slowly progress to sweet, ending with heartfelt well wishes for the couple and a big hug (tears optional).

Your toast basically has three elements: a beginning, middle and end. Here’s a general outline to get you started.

The Beginning

Start by introducing yourself and share how you know the bride. Say “For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Caitlin and I’m the bride’s sister/best friend/sorority sister/former roommate.” This may sound like a boring opening, but unless you know every single person at this wedding, it’s important to mention who you are and your relationship to the bride. You can mention how long you’ve known each other if the number is impressive (don’t say “I’ve known the bride for one year”) and quickly tell the story of how you met if it’s funny or cute.

I find this is a nice soft opening. It’s personal and you can usually work in a laugh. If the story of how you met isn’t doing it for you, the intro is also a good time to throw in some stories about being her maid of honor or to mention how honored or excited you are to share this day with her.

After your introduction, it’s also nice to work in a thank you to the bride’s parents if they are paying for the wedding. It’s not required, but it’s a nice touch. You can say something as simple as “And I want to extend a big thank you to Mr. and Mrs. Jones for hosting this amazing celebration!”

The Middle

The middle of the speech is understandably the hardest. This is where you need to decide what you want to say today. Be advised: It is ok for these things to be short. Try to keep your speech at 5 minutes maximum. Any more and the crowd is going to get restless and start murmuring amongst themselves and storming the buffet. Take some time to think about the kind of tone you want to set with your speech. Jot down words that describe the couple or remind you of stories you might tell. It can be helpful to choose a framework for your speech. Here are some ideas to help organize your thoughts and get your started.

  1. Tell the story of how the bride and groom met or how he proposed. Not everyone at the wedding may know theses stories and if there’s something especially touching or funny about them, it can be a great way to focus on the couple and enhance their day. At Marisa’s wedding, I told the story of their proposal. Marisa broke her wrist on their skiing trip and almost didn’t make it to the top of the mountain where Justin planned to propose. He had to lure her up with the promise of waffles and nutella. I told the story, then ended by telling Justin that I hope he always shows Marisa the support he gave her that day and that I hope Marisa always goes to the top of the mountain—even if there’s no nutella that day. You can use stories from the couples’  relationship as examples of why they’ll have a great marriage. In my opinion, this is the best recipe for a great speech.
  2. Format your speech as “the three reasons Tiffany is right for Mark, or Mark is right for Tiffany.” Continue reading