Maid of Honour speech structure

It can be a chicken and egg situation. Do you think of your Maid of Honour speech structure first or the material? My answer? It doesn’t matter. The key thing is to ensure you’ve got lots of good material to work with. If you start by thinking of your structure, this will prompt ideas. If you come up with ideas first, you can then shape it into a structure.


  1. Have more material than you need then choose the best
  2. Ensure the structure is clear and simple

Or the other way around!

What makes a good Maid of Honour speech structure?

Try to create a natural story arc. Start with an icebreaker or two (see my blog post for examples) then tell the story of your relationship through a series of anecdotes or milestones in the bride’s life.

How you know each other

If you’re sisters, let everyone know if you’re older or younger. Either way, you can joke you’ve somehow got the worst of it! If you’re friends, you have an origins story. Did you meet at school or work or socially? You can mention some first impressions or how the bride was quite different at that time.

Stories from the early years

A simple Maid of Honour speech structure is to keep things chronological. So, whether you’re related or friends, start with some tales from the early years. This could be borrowing clothes or beauty products or nights outs in your teens or twenties. Was the bride a wise head on young shoulders or was she the Princess of Parties?

Remember: even if you want to your speech to be quite sincere, keep your first stories light and full of fun. Heartfelt after humour goes best.


You might wish to cover some firsts in her life. Examples include: first job, a big promotion, first holiday away together without parents, her first car, first hangover, etc.

The groom

It’s your chance to give your – or share the bride’s – perspective on the man of the moment. How excited or intrigued people were when she met him. Oh, and how excited or intrigued she was…!

The build up to the big day

You could now share any tales about choosing the dress, the venue or the bridesmaids’ outfits. Was it like a laser-guided military operation? Or perhaps it was in danger of taking over everyone’s lives.

The hen do

Like the stag do in a Best Man’s speech, this is not obligatory. Every story needs to earn its place. Don’t feel the need to cover it if it was a pleasant evening in the pub. Or even if it was a wild weekend. Key moments from your friendship are more likely to trump a night on the town.

Being there for you

Towards the end is a good place to include the most heartfelt stuff. The change in tone will tell the guests the speech is reaching its emotional climax… and the end too.

What sort of things could you include? Well, it could be any quick story exhibiting her great qualities. Then there’s the tear-jerker moment. If you were in a lift and had only 20 seconds to tell a stranger all about your amazing friend or sister, what would you say? Distilling your friendship into a few lines will have more effect than a few paragraphs where you wax lyrical.

Wishes and the toast

You’ve sung the bride’s praises. Now it’s time to revert to the couple themselves. Tell them both how much they mean to everyone in the room and how you all wish them the very best for the future. You might want to use a quotation from a poet or author. It could even be a line from one of her favourite music artists, TV shows or films.

“As the philosopher Phoebe from Friends once said….”

Then ask everyone to raise their glasses with a toast to the bride and groom. Your good work here is done. You can now fully relax and enjoy the wedding!

Final thoughts

Keep your stories quite short. Two paragraphs is a good length. If you have a longer one, place it towards the end. The snappier ones will help you build momentum to this set piece. Aim for a balance between the sincere and the silly. It’ll keep the guests fully engaged as they won’t want to miss a good joke.

And finally – your speech is a celebration of your friendship, so try to make it as fun as you can. If you make her laugh and tug a heartstring, she’ll remember it for ever!