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Your maid-of-honor speech is your chance to light up a room filled with wedding guests, good-smelling flowers and lots of hors d'evours with a good laugh. But figuring out what to say and how to say it, in your speech, to get a good chuckle out of the crowd, can be tough. Here are seven tips for making your maid-of-honor speech a laugh-out-loud wedding moment.
1. Keep It Short
The longer your speech, the more opportunities you'll have for people to start losing attention and missing your joke lines. Start the speech off on a funny note and you'll capture the attention of the audience for a minute or two.
2. Pause After Delivering a Joke
Whenever you say a joke, be sure to pause for a few seconds afterward to let the audience laugh. When you tell a joke and then immediately start speaking right afterward, you won't give people a chance to laugh or even understand what you're about to say next.
3. Stay Original
Avoid using clichés or stealing famous or common jokes. The more original you are with your humor, the larger the chance you'll get your audience to laugh. If they have heard a joke before, they won't find it as funny this time.
4. Don't Use Inside Jokes
You and the bride may have shared some incredibly funny moments that still make you laugh out loud to this day. If the joke or the situation is something other wedding guests would have to be there to understand, avoid using it in your speech. If people don't understand the context behind a situation or a joke, it will go over their heads.
5. Poke a Little Fun
It's okay to make a little bit of fun of the bride, maybe for her childhood taste in movies or music, but keep it light. Don't say anything that would embarrass her or make her feel uncomfortable.
6. Listen to Inspiration
When you're writing your speech, the best way to get in a funny-zone is to watch or listen to stand up comedy. Have a routine playing in the background as you take to the page and write the speech.
7. Practice Reading It Beforehand
The more times you practice your speech before the wedding day, the better it will sound when you read it for real. Rehearse the speech in front of non-wedding guests too in order to see if your jokes do well with them.
Jen Glantz is a "Professional Bridesmaid" and the founder of Bridesmaid for Hire. She's the author of All My Friends Are Engaged and frequently wears old bridesmaid dresses to the grocery store and on first dates.