funny wedding toastsYou’ve spent hours agonizing over the perfect anecdote, been up all night finding the ideal quote, and have tripled-checked your purse to make sure you haven’t forgotten your notes. The reception has kicked off, and it’s now time to deliver your maid of honor speech for your best friend on her wedding day – here are some proven tips, tools, and tactics for doing so!

Tip: Practice makes perfect.One of the most important tactics for delivering a maid of honor toast is to practice, practice, practice. Read your speech out loud to yourself (or to the bridesmaids!) a few times before the big day. By practicing often, you can further familiarize yourself with the very personal content that your wedding toast will be sure to include, which ensures that you don’t begin to choke up or cry when you reach an especially touching anecdote – you don’t want your mascara to run too much! As with all public speaking, the more you practice your toast aloud, the less likely you’ll get tripped up by the words on the big day.You want to be able to relax and celebrate with your best friend, not be overwrought with nerves!

Tools: Pack the essentials. As maid of honor, your relationship with the bride is a special one, and you will both likely become emotional when a personal anecdote or memory is recounted in your wedding toast. This is great! But it also means that the tears may begin to flow, so make sure to pack your purse with the necessary tools. Waterproof mascara is an obvious choice when doing your make-up. If you’re getting your make-up done by professionals, still make sure to have your own tube on hand – that way, you can touch-up your eyes during the day and still remain relatively smudge free during the ceremony and reception. Tissues are also an essential item, but make sure to dab – not rub – your eyes if the tears start. This keeps make-up smears to a minimum – an important consideration when there are professional photographers (and numerous Instagram-ers!) present. Tissues can also be used to ensure your teeth are free from lipstick stains – everyone will be able to see your pearly whites while you give your toast, so make sure they are sparkling!

Tactic: Stay dry. While this tip could refer to the importance of antiperspirant (another essential you should be sure to pack!), it is also a reminder to refrain from drinking before toasting your best friend in front of a crowded reception hall. After the wedding ceremony and a marathon session of picture-taking, cocktail hour and the reception open bar might be tempting, but remember that you have all night to throw back gin & tonics or chardonnay. It’s easy to accidentally overindulge after what has already been a long and busy day, and you don’t want to find yourself unable to walk straight before you’ve given your wedding toast! Remember that you will be standing during your speech (likely in heels!) and will be speaking to a large audience – abstaining from alcohol will ensure you can stand up straight and not slur your words. You and your best friend have seen each other at your worsts, but make sure you’re at your best for her wedding!

Tactic: Focus on the bride. While all eyes will be on you during your maid of honor toast, remember that today is about your best friend. Your speech will likely contain anecdotes about the two of you together, but refrain from telling any stories that might embarrass or upset her – the guests should be laughing with her, not at her! When delivering your toast, try to maintain eye contact with her and the groom – you are speaking to them and celebrating their relationship together. This tactic also helps with your delivery: while it’s expected that you will have your wedding toast written down, try to look up as often as possible. This will help you project to the guests and ensure that your best friend hears everything you have to say!

Tip: Have fun! A wedding is a happy occasion, and you should take this opportunity to celebrate your relationship with your best friend. If you find yourself tense or nervous, a great tip is to find a quiet place before giving your speech and slowly read through everything once more. This ensures everything is fresh in your mind, and gives you a bit of time to collect yourself before standing up in front of a crowd. Take a few deep breaths, smile, and enjoy yourself! Your best friend loves you no matter what, so have fun toasting her with your fantastic maid of honor speech!

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