There are not many people in this world who actually enjoy standing in front of a group of strangers and pouring their heart out. It tends to be an uncomfortable situation for the speaker, and yet that uncomfortableness and vulnerability can make the speech even that much more sincere, especially if it’s a maid of honor speech. Tradition will point to the fact that these speeches are full of joy, tears and emotion. But there is no one way to have a maid of honor speech. Here at Val Vista Lakes in Gilbert, AZ, we’ve seen many variations on the traditional MOH speech, and each one is amazing and unique in it’s own way.

I’ve read many MOH toast tips on a variety of websites. Most of them suggest serious, heartfelt, almost performance-type speeches. While there might be a few of you out there whom find this idea exciting, most maid of honors probably find this terrifying. You don’t have to put on a performance in your MOH toast. In fact, all you have to do is be yourself. Which brings us to our first tip:

1. Beeee Yourself: One of the most important tips that I can provide to you, after hearing and watching hundreds of MOH’s wedding toasts, is to be yourself. No matter what you want to say, how long or short you want to stand in front of everyone, if you are able to stay true to yourself you will do just fine. If you’re nervous, allow yourself to be nervous. If you’re worried about how people will respond, forget about it! Imagine it’s just you and the wedding couple, or even you and your best friend, and no one else in the room. Then have a conversation.

2. Plan Ahead: In any aspect of our lives that brings us fear and anxiety, it’s best to plan ahead and practice, practice, practice. You don’t want to sound rehearsed, but it will make you feel more confident about what you’re going to say if you can run through it a few times. Here at Val Vista Lakes in Gilbert, AZ, I’ve seen the best of MOH toasts and the worst of MOH toasts. And of some of the worst MOH toasts I’ve seen they had a few things in common – one of which was a lack of planning. Don’t get up there without a script, or at least a complete idea of what you’re going to say. In the weeks, even months, before the wedding, start jotting down some ideas of what you’d like to talk about.

3. Short and Sweet: While you might take this MOH toast as your moment in the spotlight – your moment to voice your undying love for your best friend and the wedding couple – be sure to keep it short and sweet. Take everything that you want to say at this wedding and bottle it into about 2 minutes or just a few, short paragraphs. Even a two-line MOH toast with a beautiful quote can make all the difference and might be all that you need. Yes, this is your moment, but it’s really still their moment, so don’t steal their thunder.

4. Bases to Cover: There are a few items that should be included in the maid of honor wedding toast. These items include a Thank You to the wedding couple for inviting you, and everyone else, to their amazing Gilbert wedding. Secondly you’ll want to try and include a personal story about either the couple or your best friend. Thirdly, it’s always nice to include a marriage tip or some advice on wedding bliss. And then to end the toast you’ll want to call everyone to raise their glasses to toast the beautiful wedding couple.

5. Don’t Drink: As someone who has been in the wedding business for quite some time here at Val Vista Lakes in Gilbert, I can’t stress enough the importance of soberness for your maid of honor toast. Seriously, do NOT attempt to make this speech if you’ve had one too many. Of course, there are many MOH’s who will need a bit of liquid encouragement, but DO NOT overdo it. We all have a friend or relative, or have at least heard a story, about a best man speech gone terribly wrong due to alcohol. Don’t let that be you! Trust me, it won’t end well.

So there you have it – some of the best MOH toast tips that I can give you based on my many, many years in the wedding industry here at Val Vista Lakes. What tips do you have?