Your Wedding Speech Doesn’t Have to be Terrible

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maid-of-honor-giving-speech460x300If your life is anything like mine, then your refrigerator has gone from being the place you chill your food while it goes bad to a place you proudly display all your wedding save the dates and invites. Look how many friends I have OH HOLY CRAP, I’M NOT GOING TO BE ABLE TO AFFORD MY METROCARD FOR THE NEXT SIX MONTHS.

Attending a wedding is usually a several hundred dollar commitment. I personally love a party that celebrates love and feeds me, but I also appreciate a little understanding from the wedding party that I just drained my savings to celebrate your day. Which is why having to sit through an awful wedding speech is extra insulting.

If you find yourself in the position where you have to give a speech to a room full of people who had to stop dancing and eating to listen to you, it’s certainly a lot of pressure. But that’s no excuse for giving a terrible, offensive, and confusing speech. Here are some simple DON’Ts to abide by for when your turn comes.

DON’T rehash the bride’s slutty 20s. I know you think your job is to give a cute, funny speech, but she’s sitting there dressed in white, so let’s just for today pretend she’s a saintly woman. Don’t bring up all the nights she spent dancing on bars, don’t bring up the Wall Street guys who used to take you guys out when you were young fashion students living it up in the city. Her mom is sitting right there, her brand new in-laws are two feet away – my God, do you HATE her?! Just keep it tame!

DON’T mention 9/11 unless it’s REALLY relevant. DO NOT invoke this horrible day in our nation’s history to create a false sense of “our friendship is important because we were both alive on this day.” I shouldn’t have to tell you guys this but…trust me, I do.

Before you read your speech, imagine someone doing this exact same speech about you at your wedding. Would you want to kill them with your bare hands afterwards?

DON’T rattle off a bunch of inside jokes that only you and the bride or groom will understand. Write him or her a nice card and include them there. It’s not a speech if only two of you understand what you’re talking about – it’s just a two-person conversation you’re shouting into a microphone.

DON’T mention either of their past relationships, for several reasons. One, we don’t want to highlight the fact that relationships can end, including this marriage. And who wants to think about their exes ever, let alone on their wedding day? No one, you idiot! Even if your point is “Look, now that’s all behind you! You have each other!” just make the same point, but without mentioning their failed relationships of yesteryear.

DON’T reveal that the real reason the bride loves the groom is because he buys her expensive stuff and that the real reason the groom loves the bride is because she’s hotter than he is. Even if we all know this to be true, don’t even make a joke about it because a joke isn’t funny if it’s actually an awful truth.

DON’T joke about how you didn’t really like the bride/groom at first. Ugh, so uncomfortable. Why do people do this?! Even if you claim you’ve come to love them, we know you’re a filthy liar and that you can’t stand them so much that you couldn’t help but mention it passively in your speech and that it’s killing you that your friend is marrying a monster. If you’re making a speech at their wedding, it’s officially too late! Better take another swig of champagne and stuff those emotions deep down, partner!

DON’T highlight the fact that you are sad and alone but you’re really glad your friend is not. We know you aren’t glad. We know you’re resentful. And now we know we aren’t going to sleep with you because complaining about your own life in a speech that is supposed to celebrate someone else is not an attractive thing to do.

Look, it’s as simple as this: before you read your speech, imagine someone doing this exact same speech about you at your wedding. Would you want to kill them with your bare hands afterwards? Then maybe it’s time to take another pass at it!