Congratulations. You’ve been
saddled honored with the title of maid of honor or best man. That means you get to plan the bachelor/bachelorette party (that’s pretty fun), help keep your buddy calm (that’s easy, just hand them a cocktail) and run interference on the new in-laws (again, just hand them a cocktail). And, most importantly, you also get to make a big speech at the wedding. For some (read: theater types, ex-debate team captains and general extroverts), that’s the best part. But for everyone else, writing a heartfelt-yet-funny speech and delivering it in front of a hundred-plus crowd of people is right up there with heights and spiders in the “Fear Hall of Fame.” While we can’t help calm your nerves (that’s the cocktail’s job), we can help you write a speech. Here, an easy, fill-in-the-blanks, Mad Libs-style template for any wedding speech—just make sure you hold off on making the most of the open bar until after you give it:
Hi everyone. Thank you all for being here to celebrate [couple’s names]. If you don’t know me, I’m [your name], or [drink name] [on the rocks/up], if you ask the bartenders. (Pause for laugh.) I’m the [bride’s/groom’s] [relationship to bride/groom], and I have the pleasure of being the [best man/maid of honor].
I met [name of bride or groom whose wedding party you are in] way back in [year you met]. We were young and innocent then—at least I was (Pause for “oooooh!”). I could tell you some stories, but then [name of bride or groom] wouldn’t let me speak at [his/her] next wedding. I’m joking, of course. These two are meant for each other. But before I talk about [couple’s names], I want to talk about [name of bride or groom] before [he/she] met [name of bride or groom].
[Name of bride or groom] has always been a [complimentary adjective] friend—always there for me, whenever I was in trouble or sad or, as is most often the case, thirsty and in need of a drinking buddy. (Pause for light chuckle.) There was one time, way back in [year], when I was [insert instance of personal struggle you were going through]. I called [name of bride or groom] and I didn’t even have to ask. [He/She] was there in a flash, carrying a [item of comfort] and [another item of comfort]. I think [he/she] even canceled a date that night just to be with me. You can thank me later, [name of bride or groom who your friend is marrying].
But getting back to the newlyweds. I remember the first time [name of bride or groom] told me about meeting [name of bride or groom]. [He/She] couldn’t stop gushing about [him/her]. Honestly, it was a little annoying. (Pause for chuckle.) But I knew right then and there that they were going to [clichéd phrase about how they’re going to be together forever]. They complete each other. [He/She] makes the [couple’s favorite cocktails]. Then [he/she] drinks them all. [He/She] gets a little tipsy. Then [he/she] carries [him/her] home and makes [him/her] [favorite drunk munchies]. [He/She] makes a mess eating said [drunk munchies]. Then [he/she] cleans it up. It’s true symbiosis.
But seriously, I couldn’t be happier for these two. Getting to know [name of bride or groom whom your friend is marrying] has been a joy. [He/She] is everything I could have ever hoped for in a mate for [name of bride or groom whose wedding party you are in]. To know the two of them together is to know true love. And I can’t wait to see where their life together is going to take them—though I have a hunch there will be a few bars involved along the way. (Pause for laughter.)
So please, join me in raising your glass or glasses—I see you out there double-fisting [name of known group lush]! To the happy couple! And just to remind everyone, my drink of choice is a [name of drink from start of speech], in case you want to congratulate me on my amazing speech by buying me a round. Cheers!