Step by step help, a maid of honor speech template to use, and a speech example
By: Susan Dugdale | Last modified: 08-24-2022
Understandably many women feel a little bit nervous about writing a maid of honor speech for their sister!
After all, this can be a daunting task. You love your sister. The last thing you want to do is embarrass her, or her wedding guests, on her big day. But what do you say?
What are the right words to reflect your relationship with your sister? How do you sincerely share the happiness you feel for her and her new husband-to-be?
And where, on earth, do you begin?
The answer is here. The good news is that it's straight forward, and simple. Not hard work at all.
How to start your sister's maid of honor speech
How to brainstorm: the process from generating ideas to selecting the best ones to use, step by step.
The five parts of the speech template with explanatory notes and example text:
More MOH resources: 2 more maid of honor speeches, poems and readings...
Grab a piece of paper, a pen, and start with a brainstorming session to collect up the stories and ideas you think you might like to share.
Then follow each of the five steps in the maid of honor speech outline that form the speech template below.
You'll come out the other end of the process with a short, simple and sincere speech: one that really does honor your sister on her wedding day. Read the example speech and see for yourself!
The best way to begin writing the perfect maid of honor speech for your sister is to collect your thoughts together. And the best way to do that is to brainstorm.
The brainstorming process is very simple. Jot down ideas about what you think you want to touch on in your speech, just as I've done in the image above.
Allow yourself complete freedom to explore as many potential topics as you can and, as much time as you need.
Recall fond memories. Remember shared experiences: the good times, the hard times and the funny times. Think about her best qualities: the ones you admire her for.
Do not edit yourself! Put down whatever comes into your mind. Don't stop to worry about whether it's good, bad or appropriate. You'll review it later, and definitely don't stop to check your spelling!
You do not need to write full sentences or paragraphs: just notes. You want enough words to trigger your memory about what you thought would be a good idea to say and that's all.
If you run out of paper, get another piece. Keep going until you can genuinely think of nothing more.
Next you will pick the best of these ideas and organize them into the 5 sections of the template below. This will give your speech a logical structure: a clear beginning, middle and end.
Obviously the tone: whether the speech is funny, amusing, sentimental or sincere, is something you'll decide for yourself. That's governed by the stories and ideas you choose to share and the language you use to express them.
This example maid of honor speech is based on the notes from the brainstorm image above.
The text of the speech is split into five parts: one for each of the required sections. As you scroll down the page you'll see it in the green call-out box under each section's explanatory notes.
In the introduction it's customary to identify yourself because there may be guests who don't know you and don't know you are the bride's sister.
Next you welcome the guests to your sister's wedding reception, thank the happy couple for letting everyone share in their day, and then you thank your sister for the privilege of being her maid of honor.
(I've added a story too: to make it more interesting and bring a smile!☺)
What a day, Mary!
Remember when we were kids, how we dressed up in Mom’s old party dresses? And how we used to put a white table cloth on our heads and march around, singing, “Here comes the bride, fair fat and wide.”?
Good evening. My name is Jennifer, and this beautiful woman, this stunning bride: the antithesis of “fair fat and wide”, is my beloved little sister.
As little girls, we laughed ourselves silly over that game. Now here we are twenty-five years later.
Not laughing. Mary’s not wearing a table cloth. And this time it’s for real.
It's a great honor to be asked to speak. Thank you.
Thank you too, to all of you, for coming to share this special day with us. Especially Frank’s family.
We know Mary adores you, almost as much as she does us. It’s wonderful seeing our families all together to celebrate this marriage.
Next, you could share a short story: something humorous, or anecdotal, about the bride from your childhood memories. This will give the audience a picture of your relationship with her, and also set the tone for the rest of the speech.
Whether you choose to write something funny, serious or sentimental, the most important thing to remember is to be genuine.
The pair of us, share thirty years worth of loyalty and love: with an occasional sisterly quarrel thrown in. The usual sort of thing. Her snitching my favorite pair of jeans, without asking, and looking better in them, when we were 17 and 15 years old. A bit of phone snooping...Nothing major. Certainly nothing a bossy big sister couldn’t handle.
We shared a bedroom for a long time. That means you go through cycles of liking, loving and loathing each other. Sometimes all at once.
The jeans was definitely loathing.
The way she took my side over not eating Brussels sprouts was sisterly solidarity. Mary and me united against parental cruelty! I liked that.
But what was truly excellent, was our bed time stories: the ones we told each other. As soon as Mom turned off the light and closed the door, we’d pick up from where we left off the night before.
A favorite was the classic tale of a prince (handsome) arriving in the nick of time to rescue the beautiful damsel in distress, from some dastardly fellow, or a particularly nasty situation.
(We rejected stories about girls having a fabulous time up to their elbows in grease rebuilding a vintage car in the garage. We wanted lace, lots of it and happily ever after, down the aisle.)
In our stable of handsome princes, the handsomest prince of them all, the one we both swooned over was Darren. Darren was a super-super man created for us, by us. He was brave, brilliant, strong, just like Dad, and let us do whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted. (Not like Dad.)
Did he ever go out to work? Nah. Did he ever tell us we had to rescue ourselves? No chance.
Darren was always there. Always ready. Always had time and always, always knew what to do. Darren was masculine perfection.
I can’t remember the exact moment when this fine fellow left.
But I do know Frank had quite an act to follow.
This next section focuses on who your sister was and what she was doing before she met her new spouse.
For example, maybe your sister was busy focused on her career and never really gave enough time to finding a best friend and life-partner.
Or perhaps she was having a good time travelling the world when she found her match.
Or did she fall for her good friend, the guy next door whom she's known since she was eight.
There are a couple of things to watch out for.
The first is to be mindful about sharing anything that could be embarrassing for either your sister, her new husband, or your family members and friends. (Past relationships are generally off limits.)
In addition, please don't fall into the trap of sharing a tale or something about your sister that no one can relate to except for you and her. If you do that you'll find yourself looking at puzzled faces.
When my sister dreams, she dreams big, and then she makes it her business to have them come true.
High school was followed by college which was followed by the career she’s always wanted: to be an editor and read for a living. The pinnacle of bliss for a 'booky' girl! A job enabling her to bask in the afterglow of a successfully relocated sentence terminal: aka a period or full stop.
I’m proud of what she's achieved, how she balances her life, somehow making time for everything. She's graceful, organized and appears, unrushed. (A trick I need to learn!)
Mary’s a good person, a great friend and my role model.
Then along came Frank. Was it true love at first sight?
Next, transition to a paragraph about your sister and her husband. How did they meet? How has the groom changed your sister’s life?
You can talk about how inspiring their relationship is to you or share a humorous story involving your sister and new brother-in-law.
This part doesn’t have to be very long. It's necessary because it brings your speech into the present. A good way to conclude this portion is by formally welcoming the groom into your family.
Did she swoon? Was she in a ghastly situation: a set of parentheses too many? And nowhere obvious to put them? You’ll have to ask her yourself.
What I’ve learned about Frank over the last six years...
(Yes, six years! And you all thought it was tough waiting for her to get to the church. 10 minutes. Diddly-squat, compared to what she put him through!)
What I’ve learned leaves us in no doubt he’s earned her hand in his.
This man loves books just as much as she does. Hard to believe, but it’s true. Both of them live by the wisdom: when in doubt go to the library. You’ll find the answer to everything there.
Some people do bar crawls. These guys do libraries. And book stores, and book rescues: tatty, out of print treasures from street stalls.
He’s kind. He’s thoughtful. He loves walking in the country side, chocolate, and his dog, a golden lab called Fido.
We think Fido was the clincher, with dark chocolate close behind. Plus books, his ability to listen, to laugh...
In short to be there for her, day after day, night after night, page after page, chapter after chapter.
There are many possibilities for a conclusion. You could end with a quote, a joke, some spiritual advice, a toast or simply say, congratulations. Do try to keep with the tone you’ve set in the rest of the speech and end with what feels most appropriate for your sister.
Darren? Pooh! He’s been well and truly replaced by the real and best thing. We couldn’t possibly imagine a better partner for her. They're a perfect match.
Ladies and gentleman please join me in congratulating Mary and her handsome prince Frank. May they continue to share their love story for many, many happy years.
I have other pages which you may find useful. For instance: