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Does The Maid Of Honor Give A Speech? [Do They Have To?]

The Maid of Honor plays quite the integral role; with a lot of duties before, during and after the wedding. But what about when it comes to the speeches? It is common to think about the fathers or the best man here, but does this responsibility traditionally extend her way? I spent some time looking into the etiquette and expectations of this special toast and will be sharing all that I found here today.

So, does the Maid of Honor give a speech? It is conventional for the Maid of Honor to give a speech, and it is generally accepted that they will do so. However, it is not compulsory, and if a Maid of Honor was not comfortable or would prefer not to, may decide and request that it does not go ahead. Instead, either the speech can be skipped altogether, or another bridesmaid can be asked to give a speech during this time.

Wedding speeches are the opportune moment for those close to the bride and groom to provide some sentimental words and to equally entertain and amuse the guests.

While we often think of the best man embarrassing the groom with a few funny stories, we tend to forget or fail to consider that the Maid of Honor can contribute during this time.

The speeches in many ways serve as the connection between the formal wedding ceremony and the start of the reception and evening celebrations, so they are an important part of any wedding day.

Let us now take a closer look at the main responsibilities and duties of the Maid of Honor. We will also be looking at what the typical Maid of Honor speech should include, how long it should roughly be and what the options are if the Maid of Honor did not feel comfortable in standing up in front of the guests in this way.

What Does The Maid Of Honor Do?

The Maid of Honor is otherwise known as the ‘chief bridesmaid’. Selected and identified as being the closest member of the bridal party; it comes as no surprise that this is usually a sister, female relative or the best friend of the bride.

While as the name suggests, it is definitely an honor, there are a number of responsibilities and duties involved.

Perhaps the main ones being:

  • Taking a lead role in the planning of both the Bacherlortte party and the Bridal Shower
  • Attending and supporting wedding dress selection,
  • Supporting the wedding planning process, in accordance with the requests and desires of the bride,
  • Helping the other bridesmaids, ensuring they are kept informed and up to date and getting the group together,
  • Helping the bride with any specific tasks, like creating or sending save the dates or wedding invites
  • Helping select the music at the wedding reception.
  • Prepare and give a speech during the reception,
  • Being there to support the bride throughout the wedding day; helping her get ready, keeping her looking at her best
  • Dancing with the bride and other members of the bridal party,
  • Getting photos and ensuring everyone comes together for them to be taken.

As you can see, the Maid of Honor has their work cut out in the months leading up to, and during the day itself.

The speech is a big part of their traditional role; whether you have a Maid of Honor able or willing to give one.

What A Maid Of Honor Should Say?

A Maid of Honor should do all that she can to give a memorable, meaningful and personal speech. That often means a lot of preparation, practice and thought . But what exactly are the kinds of things that should be said.

Some of the best Maid of Honor speeches include:

  • Introduction to who they are and how they know the bride
  • A highlight reel of the special or favorable moments, experiences they have shared with the bride and/or groom,
  • A heart-warming or positive story of the bride and/or groom as a couple,
  • Celebrate the couple; why they are perfect for one another and why they will have a long and happy future with one another.
  • Conclude with a toast.

Of course, speeches are very personal and can be very different depending on the personalities involved.

What a Maid of Honor should say is somewhat flexible; where they can make it their own. That being said, the best speeches celebrate the friendship with the bride and the marriage.

How Long Should A Maid Of Honor Speech Be?

A Maid of Honor speech should be as long required for the sentiment to be delivered. This is typically around the 2-5 minute mark.

However, it can be longer or shorter depending on the content, what would like to be said and the enthusiasm of the speaker involved.

It is always important to remember however, that less is more. Longer speeches tend to lose the interest of the audience which of course, not the desired effect.

What If The Maid of Honor Does Not Want To Give A Speech?

While it is customary for the Maid of Honor to give a speech, it may be the case that they do not feel comfortable in doing so.

Standing up in front of a large group of people is daunting, and for some of the more shy and reserved types, is not something that they may feel they will be able to successfully do.

In such cases, preparing in advance comes strongly advised. As is practicing in front of a smaller group at the rehearsal dinner or even consulting a professional speechwriter to help.

That being said, if the Maid of Honor still does not want to give a speech, and requests that they do not to the bride, their wishes should be respected.

Nobody should or needs to be forced to do something they do not want to do, especially on a special occasion such as a wedding day.

In such a case, there are generally two options to take.

  1. The Maid of Honor speech is skipped altogether,
  2. Another bridesmaid gives a similar speech,

Either way, it is important that everybody feels comfortable so that the speeches are a memorable part of the day for the right reasons.


The Maid of Honor is not there to make up the numbers; instead being a very important member of the bridal party whom must do all that they can to ensure the bride has the most special of days

Whether or not that includes a speech will differ.

While it is definitely the norm for a Maid of Honor to stand up and bestow their blessings to the bride and groom, it is not a mandatory part of the day.

Thankfully, there are alternatives if this is not something that everyone is comfortable and confident with.

Ultimately, the Maid of Honor speech is only one small part of a long and eventful day. While it is always nice, whether or not it goes ahead will not make or break the day.

Besides, there is always the best man speech that seems to take the focus anyway.

Wondering who else may have to give a speech? Then my following articles may be of interest:

Want to learn more about the Maid of Honor? My following guides may be of help: