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When it comes to writing a maid of honor speech, there are a thousand and one questions you probably have. And if we had to guess, we’d say “how long should a maid of honor speech be?” falls somewhere in your top three. Lucky for you, we have a little bit of insight into this puzzle.
Having given not one but two different maid of honor speeches (and having witnessed dozens more), we feel pretty confident that we have the answer you are looking for. Unfortunately, it’s not as straightforward as you may have hoped.
See the thing about being a modern maid of honor is knowing that no two journeys are the same. What may work for one of you, may not work for the next. That’s why when giving our honest advice and personal opinions, it’s important that we make that very clear.
That being said, we will attempt to answer this question as succinctly as possible. To do that, we’re going to break it down into three separate parts.
1. What’s the length of a typical maid of honor speech?
On average, your typical maid of honor speech will fall in the 3-5 minute range. This time table serves to ensure that the speech remains “short and sweet” as opposed to long-winded and rambling. More importantly, it subconsciously forces the speaker to pick and choose the most important talking points, so as not to include every little detail.
2. What if my speech is longer than 5 minutes?
That’s ok! The 3-5 minute range is no hard-and-fast rule, simply a loose guideline. We personally feel that anything under 8 minutes is perfectly acceptable as long as you’re confident that your story warrants the extra time.
Also keep in mind that your delivery is a huge factor in the overall length of your speech. Be sure to practice speaking slowly and clearly, timing yourself only when you’ve found your perfect tempo.
3. How can I decide if my speech is too long or just right?
To help you determine if your speech it too long, first answer these three questions:
- Have I accidentally repeated myself in any way?
- Am I telling inside jokes that only the bride and I will understand?
- Am I taking up too much time by talking about myself?
If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, consider shortening your speech to leave these additions out.
Next, go on to ask yourself this:
- Are all of my anecdotes necessary to the overall picture I’m trying to paint?
- Have I spoken of the bride and groom’s relationship as much as my personal relationship with the bride?
- Does my delivery flow seamlessly without any awkward or uncomfortable transitions?
If all three answers are a yes, you are good to go!
Our final thoughts…
If you’re still unsure, or simply want a second opinion, practice delivering your speech to someone who does not know the bride and groom. Ask for their honest feedback- Were they able to understand everything you said? Did you seem rushed or flustered in your delivery? Were they bored during any point or wishing it was over?
Having the straightforward answers to these questions can help you determine the length of speech that works best for you!
I’ve done some serious research on maid of honor speech writing courses and Sarah Rogers’ “Chameleon Champion” is BY FAR the best there is. Her in-depth 3-step process details all the top secret techniques for a guaranteed standing ovation! Want to know more about it?