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You Asked: I am Afraid to Speak at my Best Friend's Wedding!

You Asked: I am Afraid to Speak at my Best Friend's Wedding!

Dear Sugar--
I am the maid of honor in my best friend's wedding this Summer and am already having extreme anxiety about my toast. I have known the bride and her entire family most of my life, but am not at all comfortable with public speaking. While I know it isn't mandatory for the maid of honor to speak at the wedding, I really want to toast my best friend and her husband. Can you give me any tips or advice on what to say and how to calm my nerves? --Speechless Sophie

To see DEARSUGAR's answer

Dear Speechless Sophie--

Public speaking can be extremely nerve wracking, so I understand why you are already feeling the pressure. You are right; it isn't mandatory for you to speak, so I applaud you for putting your fears aside so you can say a few words to the bride and groom.

While it is customary for the maid of honor to speak at the wedding, if you feel more comfortable talking in a smaller, more intimate setting, ask the bride how she would feel about you making your speech at the rehearsal dinner instead. If standing up in front of all the guests is making you extra weary, perhaps you could collaborate with another bridesmaid and toast the couple together. Another option is to ask the best man to stand next to you while you speak for moral support.

There are no rules when it comes to speeches, so don't feel like you have to wow the crowd. Keep it short, sweet, and show your personality. If you feel more comfortable reading a pre-written speech, be sure to make eye contact and have most of your speech memorized. No matter when or how you choose to deliver your speech, the most important thing to remember is to speak from the heart. Since there will no doubt be a lot of toasting going on, perhaps a little champagne will help take the edge off, but be sure not to have too much to drink! Good luck.


Join The Conversation
lickety-split lickety-split 10 years
how about something like "i have so many wonderful memories of being with mary and her family over the years. now mary and ted will create memories of their own in the family they make together. here's to families, to love, to memories, to today and to a life time of tomorrows. i love you both." smile and speak from your heart :)
grl-in-the-world grl-in-the-world 10 years
Just say something sweet about what a wonderful friend _____ is and how glad you are to see her so happy with the man of her dreams. Then do a little congratulatory toast're finished!! Good luck and have fun celebrating your friends special day :)
honeysugar28 honeysugar28 10 years
These are all great tips. The only thing I can add is to remember to smile before you talk it kind of relaxes your face and you won't be so nervous. I'm sure you'll do a great job with the toast!
PrissyLilBadAss PrissyLilBadAss 10 years
Let the best man give a speech first to warm up the crowd. Keep your speech short and simple and try not to sound too much like a Hallmark Card, just talk about a favorite memory and wish the couple well. I'm sure you'll do just fine! Good luck! "Party like a rock star, pound like a porn star, play like an all star!"
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 10 years
Prepare like you would for a class presentation. Write the speech out how you want it to go, or make a list of main points. Practice reading it out loud. Get a friend or family member to be your fake audience. Then when the time comes you feel prepared and not be as nervous.
Marci Marci 10 years
Controlled gives a good piece of advice. Just focus on the bride and groom and soon enough, the rest of the room will fade away. Good luck!
controlledspin controlledspin 10 years
If it's any consolation, I am going to be the bride, and I am also terrified to be in front of people. ;) I think once the time comes, it will be okay. Just focus on the bride and groom and ignore everyone else there.
kendalheart kendalheart 10 years
Good luck!!!
SU3 SU3 10 years
Great advice from both Dear and missnomi! I totally agree! I think it's wonderful that you are preparing a speech and I also think it's perfectly normal to be nervous about speaking in front of people. Be yourself, tell your friend how happy you are for her and her new husband... and I agree, it doesn't have to be this HUGE perfect speech - as long as it comes from the heart! :) Very wierd, but Wedding Crashers came to mind after reading this. LOL :)
missnomi missnomi 10 years
o, and, of course: keep breathing. I find it helps to concentrate on deep breathing right before I have to deliver a speech, plus it takes my thoughts off my worries. And (one last thing, sorry I am so chaotic), make sure you are well prepared. Think your speech through, learn it by heart so you don't have to fidget with papers (trembling hands...). And by learning it by heart I do not mean word by word, but just try to practice what you want to say and ways to say it (this is also why a short speech is better).
missnomi missnomi 10 years
First of all, I think it's great that you still want to toast your friend, even thought you are nervous! Other people, like the other guests, will probably also find you very brave for doing so. In my experience, there's no need to feel nervous, you are not a professional so you are allowed to make mistakes. Just keep it short, if you find yourself very selfconscious about it, just say so: " Gosh I am so nervous for doing this, but I absolutely wanted to toast you guys". Do not expect yourself to deliver a fullblown one-woman show: it is the thought that counts! Good luck!
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