Karen Fratti
Updated Mar 30, 2017 @ 1:33 pm

Your best friend’s wedding is a very big deal and as Maid of Honor, you might even be more nervous than they are about the big day. Maid of Honors have a lot of responsibility on wedding day. There’s the endless primping and picture taking, helping to herd the other bridesmaids from ceremony to reception, and in some cases, helping your friend out of her wedding dress every time she has to pee. And then, of course, there’s the toast. You can be the best public speaker in the world and still not know exactly how to give an amazing Maid of Honor speech at the reception that will bring happy wedding tears to everyone in the room. Because let’s just be honest: That’s the goal.

We all know that wedding toasts are tough and the fact that almost every romantic comedy has a scene in which the Maid of Honor or Best Man gets too drunk to stand up straight and embarrasses the happy couple with their speech isn’t exactly encouraging. (Don’t worry, that won’t happen to you, we pinky swear.)

The pressure is real, but don’t psych yourself out before the big day. Remember, this wedding is all about your bestie and their new spouse and there’s no way you can actually “ruin” the toast. Whether you decide to go full-on funny or get sappy and sentimental, with a little preparation and confidence, you will definitely nail your Maid of Honor speech. Here’s how.

Don’t put it off.

We know, we know, it’s super hard to not procrastinate for some people, but you don’t want to wait until the limo ride to the ceremony to put together a toast. Sit down and write a first draft a few weeks beforehand and then do what great writers do — wait a few days and edit it. Ask a friend (maybe one who’s not going to the wedding) to read it and tell you what they love about it.

Keep it simple.

There’s nothing more awkward than a super long speech at a wedding. People want to dance, eat, and get the party started. If your toast is more like a tome, try to cut some words out so things don’t start to get weird. You want to celebrate your friend and your friendship and also welcome what their new spouse has brought to her life. Tell them you love them, congratulate them, and cheers. Easy peasy.

What happened in college stays in college.

You definitely want to share a personal story or anecdote about your friend and how much you adore them. But remember your audience. Low-key roasting is fine, but maybe save ~that~story for another time. You don’t have to go through your whole history together.

Save the props.

Unless you’re Taylor Swift, don’t turn your toast into a song and dance routine. Some people can pull that kind of stuff off, and if you’re one of them, croon to your heart’s content. We can’t wait to see the viral video of how awesome it was. But if you’re not a pro (or your friend didn’t ask you to do a dance number), sticking to a simple speech is way more likely to succeed.

Write it down.

This is totally a personal preference but for less experienced public speakers, writing your speech down and reading from it is definitely the way to go. Hey, even Hollywood stars bring prepared notes for their acceptance speeches most times. Just remember to look up now and again.

Have a plan.

If you’re really nervous about speaking in front of people, it’s okay to tell your friend that you’d like to pass the speech-duty onto a bridesmaid that does better in front of crowds. They’re your best friend, so they’ll surely understand. And they might be just as relieved as you are to hand it over to that one friend in the squad who knows how to work a room.

Stay sober.

At least a little bit. It’s totally fine to have a drink with everyone as the party but if you have to wait to give your speech until later, stick to one glass of wine or something light and make sure you eat something. You don’t want to be too tipsy when you speak in front of everyone. It never ends well.

It’s hard to know where to start with a Maid of Honor toast, but as long as you keep it personal and simple, you’re going to do fine. Everyone loves the bride’s best friend.