We’ve all seen our fair share of less-than-endearing wedding speeches. You know, the ones where the maid of honor can’t stop crying long enough to read what’s on her paper or when the best man downs two (or ten) drinks too many before someone hands him the microphone. Yes, these are the things wedding nightmares are made of, but they can be prevented…for the most part.

Whether you’ve been asked to speak at a wedding or you’re the one who did the asking, here are three things that all Maid of Honor and Best Man speeches should include.

1. Give the guests some context.

Everyone wants to know who you are and why you’re a wedding celebrity, so appease their curiosity. How do you know the bride/groom that asked you to be a part of the day? What is your relationship like with him/her? Did you play a role in their love story? Add any funny or interesting stories that you want to include during this section, but keep them to a minimum. No one is interested in hearing every detail from “that one time in college…”

2. Spend the majority of your time talking about their relationship—not yours.

This speech, although it might feel like it, is not about you. It’s about the friend/family member that asked you to play a big role in their big day. You have a unique insight as the Maid of Honor/Best Man, and people want to hear about it. Spend time talking about the ways that this relationship has made the bride a better person. Mention the biggest changes you’ve seen in the groom because of his relationship. As one of the closest relationships that the bride/groom has, you’ve probably seen things that others haven’t, so be sure to include some of those sweet insights.

3. End with a meaningful toast.

Most speeches end with a simple toast to the bride and groom, “Here’s to Kyle and Lyndsay.” And while keeping it simple is totally fine, coming up with a meaningful way to end your speech is even better. Think of a specific wish you can make for the couple in this moment. For example, if they’re coffee lovers, say “Here’s to abundant love and many more shared cups of coffee.” A little personalization can go a long way.

If you have any other suggestions for Maid of Honor/Best Man speeches, let us know on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

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