Monday, February 17, 2014

a Maid Of Honor Speech - Dos And Don'ts

There are a few things to do (and not to do) to ensure your Matron of Honor Speeches is a roaring success. It's easy to get carried away when you start thinking about your upcoming Bridesmaid speeches . If you are not careful, you can start imagining a room full of people cheering and giving you a standing ovation. The trouble is that if you start thinking like that, it will almost certainly end in tears (not just your own!).

The main areas of uncertainty are...

1/ Should I use humor?
2/ How long should the Maid of Honor Speech be?
3/ How should it relate to the other speeches?
4/ How should I deliver it?

Because of the way a wedding is structured, your speech will have to be made after several others. You will have no idea beforehand how this will work out. The previous ones could be short and successful or long, boring or controversial (plus anything in between). You need to have a fairly flexible approach to this or you could end up copping a load of flack (through no real fault of your own).

1/. What About trying to make people laugh. Is that a good idea?

Are you funny (I mean do other people find your story telling funny)? You may want to use a humorous speech but find that the previous one caused offence and people are not in the mood for another attempt just right now. In this case you may need a back up, toned down speech. Keep the emotion but miss out some of the funny (let's face it, embarrassing) content.

The other thing to think about is that you probably know the bride and groom (particularly the bride). Much better than their parents. What you think is a mildly embarrassing story could be mortifying to the family (I don't have to go into too much detail here do I?). It's also possible that a previous speech has stirred things up a bit and yours will only fan the flames.

2/ How Much Time should I Take?

You may have to follow several other speakers who have overrun time wise. The other speeches may have been boring and overlong. The wedding guests may be thinking "Oh no. Not another speech. I wonder how long THIS one is going to be?" It's best to keep it short and sweet. Remember, this is the Bride and Groom's day, not your audition for a talent show!

3/ Make sure it fits in with the rest of the speeches.

Just giving your prepared speech regardless of preceding ones could be problematic. You could be interrupting the smooth flow of the ceremony if you present your prepared speech as is without taking into account what went before. Who knows, someone may have stole your best jokes or stories?

There's always an exception and you may be lucky enough to follow a lousy or egotistical speaker who will make you look and sound brilliant.

4/ The delivery. When even the most well laid plans can fail.

Please, please do not touch alcohol until after you've delivered your speech. With all the emotion of the occasion, you'll find it's got loads more power than normal!

Many people recommend a couple of drinks beforehand to make you less nervous before your speech. That's OK but there is a world of difference between being "calm" and "legless"! On my blog I mention a wedding where the maid of honor was "well oiled" by the time it came to deliver her speech. Trying to deliver it without notes she froze (literally). Whilst all the guests thought she was pausing for effect and waited for something very poignant, she had forgotten her lines (and most likely, where she actually was!). After the best part of a minute, the Bride's father realised what was happening and put her out of her misery.

Just remember, what seems funny after a couple of drinks can be mortifying when watching the wedding DVD in the cold light of day (time and time again). If you are going to make a successful Bridesmaid speeches , keep it short, from the heart and stay sober until after you've made it.

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