Writing the perfect Maid-of-Honor Speech

My best friend Bernice is getting married. I don’t specifically recall the logistics of our dream weddings when they were  girlishly discussed over the past 12 years of our friendship, but I’m pretty sure it was a given that we would hold big right-hand-maid titles in each other’s weddings. And finally now that the time had come, I was to be her maid of honor.

That’s right, bitches. Maid of Honor.

Now I’ve never been anyone’s maid of honor before. The very term held a quality of grandeur to it, but quite honestly after the afterglow of this bestowed title wore off, I was left scratching my head. As a nuptial newbie, I was a little curious as to exactly what was a maid of honor and what did this title entail?  I wanted to be absolutely sure that I was totally ready to take on this position. After some research, I dug up some loose definitions:

* The maid of honor is usually “the primo position among the bridal attendants. The bride has chosen you most likely because she considers you her closest and truest friend”. Check.

*The duties of a maid of honor depend the bride and her needs, this role could be anywhere from extremely involved, to simply being there to emotionally support her, listen to her and reassure her when she is anxious or stressed.” Check.

*In addition, older definitions of maid of honor seemed to indicate a “maiden that was single and/or unmarried, and was usually young.” Yeh. Check and Check.

They might as well have put my picture beside those definitions.

Now that we have established that I’m the perfect man maid for this job, let’s move on to the real matter of this business: the maid of honor speech.

Having had zero experience in being maid of honor and even lesser experience with speeches, I’ve been taking on this task being done to perfection with much gusto. After all, she is my best friend.

I won’t make you read my unwritten speech right now but let me tell you a little about my bff. Bernice and I met in Grade 8. Our parents were friends first and we bonded over our mutual love for Spice Girls. She loved Posh Spice’s ten storey platforms, I loved Baby Spice’s pin straight blond hair. We both loved Irish and Canadian boybands. She loved the gorgeous Irish boys of Westlife; I loved the grungy Canadian boys of The Moffatts (keep your judgements to yourself).  We both wore glasses, her hair was impossibly long and mine was impossibly short.

And later on, when life got serious, she became an Occupational Therapist, helping people physically function with dysfunctional limbs; I became a Kinesiologist helping people exercise their dysfunctional limbs. We were different and yet the same.

Bernice has always been one of those go-getters who knew exactly what she wanted in life and went for it. And it was this quality that she possessed that brought my maid of honor duties down to the simple task of just being her best friend…and making the wedding toast. So here I am, coming up with a game plan for this task.

I recruited the help of a handy maid of honor speech guidance counsellor–youtube. After reading many sample speeches and watching countless youtube videos, I realised a few things about wedding speeches:

– It is very hard to be funny while making wedding speeches. You either look like you’re trying too hard to be funny or it ends up being more of a roast toast, which then makes you look like a douchebag who’s trying too hard to be funny.

– Unless you are a heartless puppy-killer who hates the bride, the groom, raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, crying while making a maid of honor speech is about as sure a thing as breaking your face while trying to fly off a 10 storey building. Or breaking your foot while trying to hop like a bunny in a blanket.

– Wedding speeches needed to be short enough so people won’t fall asleep face first into an REM cycle in their dessert bowls but long enough so you don’t look like some stupid schmuck who only showed up for the free food and open bar.


Well all this seemed simple enough. But where did that leave me? I wanted this to be special. I prided myself at being able to write anything, but somehow mere clichéd words strung along in a sentimental sentence was not good enough. If I was going to write a cliché speech, it would have to be the best damn thing I’ve ever written in my life. It then occurred to me and my impossibly high perfectionist tendencies that I could employ one of the biggest wedding clichés to aid my clichéd words: a photo slideshow.

It was perfect, right? Pictures to supplement my funny comments. Also, wasn’t a picture worth a thousand words anyway? I probably wouldn’t even have to talk. But then I realised two things:

1) Photo slideshows are cop-outs.

2) Bernice would kill me if I showed the world our highschool photos. Actually, let me speak for myself…I would kill myself before I showed the world our highschool photos.

This is the closest thing you will see to a highschool photo of us.

As Bernice would say “…but we were so small and ugly in highschool”. Sure, our highschool photos have been shared and viewed by a select few on Facebook, namely our over-zealous highschool friends. But majority of our University and post-University life has been dedicated to destroying and/or untagging ourselves from these photographic crimes.

Yeh. No slideshow happening there.

So I guess my words for now would have to suffice. Because what exactly do you say to the sister you always asked for on her big day?… to the one who grew up with you and shared your troubles. The one who you shared your deepest secrets and dreams with over a Baskin Robbins milkshake. And the one who saw  the best and worst of you and still thought you were the bees knees.

The truth was that I had to accept that there was going to be nothing I could say to encompass how I really felt about her. (Although, I might use that little schpeel I did above). My mere cliché speech would have to be enough for now and maybe she would be happy with just that.

So here’s the game plan that I think can work for me and could probably work for all you other aspiring maids of honor out there: Probably nothing you say will come close to what you actually mean to say. Hollow wedding clichés barely scratch the surface, but they are what you have to work with. If you were beautiful in highschool and didn’t have a visible unibrow then all power to you; you can lean on a decent slideshow.

But for the rest of us, let’s take these clichés and make them into the best darn maid of honor speech EVER. The kind that barely begins to explain how happy and excited you are for her. The kind in which you are unable to express the joyous and yet bitterweet feeling you have. The kind that inspires the gals to shed happy tears and the guys to talk about their feelings.

After all, it’s the least we can do for our sisters and best friends….second of course to holding their dresses while they pee. (which I REALLY don’t mind doing, Bernice)