In the context of the British Monarchy, a maid of honor refers to a junior attendant of a Queen in royal households. Traditionally the Queens of England used to have many maids of honor. In the common perspective a maid of honor refers to a relative or close friend of the bride, who serves as her right hand woman on her big day. The tradition came to American wedding ceremonies from England. The maid of honor is entrusted to perform certain duties, such as selection of the wedding dress, keeping the bridal ring in her custody until the time of exchange, keeping the bride in the best of form throughout the event and finally, but not excluding many other duties, giving the maid of honor speech. Originally the maid of honor used to wear a dress very similar to that the bride’s with an intention to ward of the evil through concealing the identity of the actual bride, but the custom has changed.
1. Jennifer Gabrielli’s maid of honor speech
Jennifer Gabrielli gave an outstanding maid of honor speech at her elder sister Nicole’s wedding. The ceremony was held at the La Costa Resort in California. The ceremony was attended by more than 200 guests. Gabrielli wore a black hoodie over her blue bridesmaid’s dress. Instead of the traditional speech, she gave her speech as a rap to the tune of Eminem’s Without Me, after she had customized and tailored the lyrics to suit the occasion. She said, ‘I memorize songs faster than I memorize speeches, so in school anything I had to memorize I’d make it into a song and sing it in the class … it was better for me personally to write a rap that I’d remember than write a speech … and I didn’t want to get up there and get nervous and forget everything or start to cry …’ Her speech included, ‘Guaranteed you’ll grow that family tree, pretty cute babies we can all agree. You know Nicole wants 30 or more, too much to pay for so Blake said four.’
2. Pippa Middleton and Prince Harry
Pippa Middleton was the maid of honor of her sister Kate Middleton, while Prince Harry was the best man of Prince William. Pippa Middleton’s frock was designed by Alexander McQueen and it was described as ‘heavy, ivory satin-based crepe, with a cowl front and with the same button detail and lace trims as the Bride’s dress.” Her frock attracted hot search at Google due to her exhibited bottom. Prince Harry remained keenly interested in Pippa throughout the ceremony, and both Pippa and Harry posed a warm embrace together. The wedding speech is delivered mostly by the maid of honor or the best man of the groom but there is no hard and fast rule for it. Prince Harry gave a touching speech and referred to his brother as ‘dude’ quite a few times during his address.
3. Sarah Chatto, Princess Diana’s maid of honor
Lady Sarah Frances Elizabeth Armstrong-Jones, commonly known as Sarah Chatto, is the daughter of Lord Snow Down and Princess Margaret and she is the niece of Queen Elizabeth II. She was the chief of the five maids of honor at the wedding of Princess Diana to Prince Charles in July, 1980. Other maids of honor with her were 13-year-old India Hicks and 11-year-old Sarah-Jane Gaselee. The former recalled that just moments before the ceremony, the princess encouraged hicks to help with her 25-foot-long train, and the latter recalled the day Diana asked her to be her maid of honor. Gaselee said, ‘I remember Diana giving me a piggyback ride when she asked me.’ None of them recalled or mentioned the text of Sarah Chatto’s maid of honor speech.
4. God save our gracious Queen
Before the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, Duke of Norfolk, the Earl Marshal sent letters to six girls aged 17-23 years, inviting them to serve as the Queen’s maids of honor at her coronation. They were all unmarried daughters of Marquesses, Dukes and Earls. The Queen’s maids of honor included Lady Anne Coke, Lady Jane Vane-Tempest-Stewart, Lady Moyra Hamilton, Lady Mary Baillie-Hamilton, Lady Jane Heathcoat-Drummond-Willoughby, Lady Rosemary Spencer-Churchill, and the Duchess of Devonshire. It was their duty to carry the 5.5-meter–long, hand-woven and lined silk and velvet robe, attached to the shoulders of the Queen’s dress. The ceremony obviously did not require any speech of the maids of honor as the predominating sounds all around were the lines from, God save our gracious Queen.
5. A famous Irish maid of honor speech or toast
A traditional Irish wedding toast is so famous and popular that it had been extensively utilized in the modern day maids of honor speeches with little modifications to suit the ceremony. It comprises of the lines:
‘May you never lie, cheat or drink. But if you must lie, lie with each other. And if you must cheat, cheat death. And if you must drink, drink with us for we all love you and wish you both the love and happiness of which you deserve.
May all your ups and downs be between the sheets
Health and a long life to you.
A child every year to you.
And if you can’t go to heaven,
May you at least die in Ireland.’
6. Another famous wedding toast
Another famous wedding toast includes:
‘Here’s to your coffins
May they be made of hundred-year-old oaks
Which we shall plant tomorrow.
May you both live as long as you want, and never want as long as you live
May the best of your yesterdays be the worst of your tomorrows. (to the bride)
May I see you grey
And combing your grandchildren’s hair.’
7. An Apache wedding toast
Apache are the Native Americans, including six Apachean speaking groups and their wedding toast includes:
‘Now you will feel no rain, for each of you will be shelter for the other.
Now you will feel no cold, for each of you will be warmth for the other.
Now there is no more loneliness, for each of you will be companion for the other.
Now you are two persons, but there is only one life before you.
Go now to your dwelling place to begin the days of your life together.
May your days together be good and long upon the earth.’
8. A conventional maid of honor speech
‘Good afternoon everyone, for those of you that don’t know me, I’m Catherine and I’m a friend of Gemma’s from school … Now Gemma has grown into an amazing woman. It is an honor to know the person she has become, and to have stood beside her today as her bridesmaid and friend. … She is a fantastic friend ‘ loyal, patient, generous, so here we are … Gemma and Stephen’s wedding. They have made it … over four years together and stronger every day … I think you will all like to join me in this wish: To Gemma and Stephen Donnelly. May you live forever in love, and may love live forever in you.
To Gemma and Stephen.’
9. Amber’s Maid of honor speech
‘My name is Amber … When Lori first asked me to be her maid of honor I felt delighted …. Now, Dell, I have some advice for you. 1. Lori, can you put your hand on the table? Dell, can you place your hand on top on hers? Now that you are married this will be the last time that you will have the upper hand. 2. Whenever you are wrong, admit it. … Never forget the two most important sayings … ‘You’re right, dear’ and ‘Okay buy it.’ … Your wedding day is just the start.
To many hopes and dreams
Congratulations to Lori and Dell’
10. Lord King, be of health
History of the British king Vortigern is not clearly known. Whereas a few opine that he married a girl 30 years younger than himself, another group has a different opinion. It is said that a woman who was in the presence of the king expressed a simple sentiment saying ‘ Lord King, be of health.’ The king was inspired and by the end of the day asked her hand and married her. The event is considered the origin of the warm sentiments of health, love and life at wedding speeches.
A typical maid of honor speech is composed of a brief self-introduction, a few words of thanks for the guests, a brief but nostalgic recall of her relationship with the bride with some interspersed funny notes about her, her knowledge of the affair of couple, ending with wishes and toasting. The rapport between the bride and her maid of honor is an attractive feature of a wedding ceremony and especially so for the groom.