Photo: Jill Thomas Photography
Although it's only a few minutes, your maid-of-honor toast can be crazy nerve-wracking: It's a momentous task for a very important occasion. But don't freak out! It's surprisingly simple to make it memorable and magical.
Inform everyone of how you know the bride and groom in a sincere and personal way: You have been a fixture in the bride's life for years, but there will definitely be a lot of people at the wedding who haven't met you yet. Begin with your name and your first heartfelt memory with the bride.
Keep the body language focused and movement to a minimum: All eyes will be on you in this very moment, so make sure your presence is felt. You will most likely have a mic in hand, so stay in place and come across as focused and ready.
Talk about the moment you knew the groom was "the one": Fiancés are definitely a part of the friend circle long before they pop the question. Share the instant when you knew the groom was the right man for your BFF.
Be yourself: It's a stereotype to fill a maid-of-honor toast with melodramatic moments and the "happily ever after" bit, but that doesn't come so easily for everyone. Just be yourself and fill your speech with your favorite personal touches — that's the reason why the couple loves you anyway.
Keep it short: This is not a State of the Union address — aim for three minutes.
Make sure any quote you include is a perfect description of the bride and groom's love: Literature has provided us with so many amazing quotes about love, so if you want to use one, make sure it feels right for the happy couple.
Approach the toast with focus — know what you want to say and how you'd like to say it: This speech isn't something you can wing in the moment. Jokes are fine, but write everything down and run through it a few times before the big day.
Don't let your tears get the best of you: It's expected that you will shed a few tears at a wedding, especially when it's your closest friend tying the knot. A celebration of love will stir up sentimental feelings, but try your best not to get hysterical. Practice your toast a few times and concentrate on staying poised.
Add individual flair, but do remember this is not your special day: The maid-of-honor position is quite coveted, but do not to get wrapped up in the power of it all. This day is about the couple, so keep your toast centered around them — leave any points not related to them out of it all.
Remember to finish with the toast: The tender moment must end on a celebratory note, so lead the entire room in raising their glasses and giving their blessing to the bride and groom.