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MoH speech

blacksand

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 31, 2010
Messages
889
Hi ladies,

What are your thoughts on having the MoH make a speech/toast at the reception?

My situation is this:

My matron of honor is my cousin. She is amazing. She lives in Florida (I'm in NJ), and she still managed to organize and throw an amazing bridal shower for me. She is the best. When she got married, I was her maid of honor. At one point before her wedding, I wondered if I should make a speech at her reception. But my mom said it wasn't very traditional for the MoH to make a speech, and since no one had asked me to, I was not expected to do so. I didn't. No one seemed upset, and I didn't get the impression anyone had been expecting me to. But I still feel a little guilty. I kind of wish I had insisted on making a speech to tell her how much she means to me. I think I should have at least asked her what she wanted, but I never did. I just did what my family told me to at the time, when I didn't really know much about weddings. Now, the thing is, at every wedding I have attended since then, the MoH has made a speech. It may not be very traditional, as my mom says, but it seems to be de rigeur these days. I was at a wedding this past weekend, and the MoH made the most beautiful speech. It brought tears to my eyes. FI turned to me and asked "Can you imagine how you'll feel when [my MoH] does this for you?" I told him I didn't think she was going to make a speech, and he was dumbfounded. He said he has never been to a wedding where the MoH did not make a speech, that it is weird if the MoH doesn't say anything, and he thinks we should just ask her to prepare one. I don't think one asks for these kinds of things, and I especially don't think it's appropriate to ask when I never did this for her. I would love for her to say a few words, and I wish I could go back in time and do the same for her. But since I can't, I feel like I should just accept that we won't have a MoH speech (and that's fine, because my MoH is amazing in other ways). What would you do?
 

StacylikesSparkles

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 8, 2011
Messages
1,304
I was a MOH for my cousin and just assumed I had to make a speech, so I did. Everyone loved it. For my wedding, I had 2 MOH's and they both made a speech. Like your FI, I haven't been to a wedding where no speech was made my the MOH...that said, DH's brother was the best man at our wedding and made NO speech. Before this, I had never been to a wedding where the best man just sat there...I'm still a little bitter about this! Opps..tangent! Every wedding is different, so who knows.

I definitely wouldn't ask her though, as that could be perceived as tacky. If she wants to, then let her. I do think it's a lovely gesture and absolutely adored the speech from my best friend and the one given by my cousin was hilarious and brought back a ton of memories that I had totally forgotten about. Hopefully she says a little something for you! :)
 

aviastar

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Oct 5, 2010
Messages
1,190
I disagree with Stacey; ask her to prepare something and choose a time in the course of the evening for speeches. I was Maid of Honor for my best friend a year ago and she asked me to prepare something (which I totally appreciated because I wouldn't have thought of it and then she would have been let down, but it didn't occur to me that MoH give speeches!) and then at a certain point during dinner the DJ handed to mic over to the Father of the Bride and he then passed it to the best man who then passed it to me. Everyone was prepared, there was no guessing about when or who, no unexpected rambling toasts from tispy groomsmen, no pressure on people to come up with something on the spot.

There is no standard for this at weddings anymore, so people don't know what to expect or prepare for. We specifically passed it around our bridal party that there would be NO toasts or speeches, and please don't take it upon youself to start some. My sister and her husband did not want any either but they didn't really tell anyone that, they just didn't plan for a space during the reception for them and I fielded several questions during the evening about it along with the recommendation that they not just stand up and start talking. Take the guess work out of it- let people know your preferences.
 

blacksand

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 31, 2010
Messages
889
Haha, thanks for the advice ladies. You sound just like me and my FI going back and forth on this. He says I should ask her and set the expectation, and I feel like it's tacky to ask, but I see his point. He says she should have asked me to make a speech at her wedding, and then there would have been no awkwardness. It's true...if she had asked me, of course I would have been happy to, and I would have been grateful to be given some clear direction. I'm still not sure if she wanted me to but thought she shouldn't ask (in which case I let her down) or if she just didn't want me to. I feel awkward bringing it up, because I'm still a little worried that I disappointed her all those years ago and she just didn't have the heart to tell me.

FI says I should make a really kicka$$ speech at the rehearsal dinner to thank her for how awesome she has been, and to make up for never making a speech at her wedding. Then I won't feel so guilty if she makes a speech at mine the next day.
 

StacylikesSparkles

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
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Messages
1,304
blacksand|1350417090|3286496 said:
FI says I should make a really kicka$$ speech at the rehearsal dinner to thank her for how awesome she has been, and to make up for never making a speech at her wedding. Then I won't feel so guilty if she makes a speech at mine the next day.
Whatever you decide about asking her, THIS is perfect! It will totally ease your conscious a bit...smart guy you've got there!
 

gem_anemone

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 21, 2011
Messages
682
It's becoming more popular for the MOH to make speeches in my area. I can't remember the last wedding I've been to where the MOH did not make one. If so it has been at least 7 years or more. To me, it's becoming "tradition" for the MOH to do a speech. My MOH and one of my bridesmaids did a speech together. It was lovely :)

My opinion on your situation is that just because you didn't do a speech for her doesn't mean that she can't do one for you if she wants to. I think you could ask your cousin if she would like to make a speech, but leave it as optional if you feel guilty about not having done one for her. I'm surprised that at your cousin's wedding it wasn't all decided before the day whether or not the MOH (you) were going to give a speech. I think it is important to decide who is speaking beforehand, so they can be prepared. All my speakers knew full well in advance that they would give speeches at my wedding. I would be very hesitant to give the mic to someone who was unprepared. Ordinarily, people are not very good at giving "fly by the seat of your pants" speeches, so I would not have expected that at my wedding and actually would have been against it.
 

gem_anemone

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 21, 2011
Messages
682
blacksand|1350417090|3286496 said:
Haha, thanks for the advice ladies. You sound just like me and my FI going back and forth on this. He says I should ask her and set the expectation, and I feel like it's tacky to ask, but I see his point. He says she should have asked me to make a speech at her wedding, and then there would have been no awkwardness. It's true...if she had asked me, of course I would have been happy to, and I would have been grateful to be given some clear direction. I'm still not sure if she wanted me to but thought she shouldn't ask (in which case I let her down) or if she just didn't want me to. I feel awkward bringing it up, because I'm still a little worried that I disappointed her all those years ago and she just didn't have the heart to tell me.

FI says I should make a really kicka$$ speech at the rehearsal dinner to thank her for how awesome she has been, and to make up for never making a speech at her wedding. Then I won't feel so guilty if she makes a speech at mine the next day.
I just saw this. I highly disagree that it's tacky to ask! I think it's tacky to EXPECT it if someone declines, but not tacky to find out one way or the other. When you're putting on a semi-public performance in front of an audience I think that everyone involved should be clear on what is expected of them.

That said, I think it's tacky to accept the role of maid of honor or best man and not offer to give a speech if the bride and groom ask...
 

StacylikesSparkles

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 8, 2011
Messages
1,304
gem_anemone|1350474208|3286938 said:
My opinion on your situation is that just because you didn't do a speech for her doesn't mean that she can't do one for you if she wants to. I think you could ask your cousin if she would like to make a speech, but leave it as optional if you feel guilty about not having done one for her. .
This makes more sense, in my book. Make it optional and no pressure. If she wants to, awesome, but if she doesn't then she isn't obligated.

gem_anemone|1350474570|3286941 said:
blacksand|1350417090|3286496 said:
That said, I think it's tacky to accept the role of maid of honor or best man and not offer to give a speech if the bride and groom ask...
True! I LOVED giving the speech for my cousin and felt really excited about saying something to her in front of everyone on her big day. It was a special moment! :)

Who in their right mind accepts being a best man and doesn't write a damn speech? I was actually really sad for the hubs because he said that he would have loved it if his brother gave a speech but since his brother surely didn't prepare one, that he wasn't going to force him to give one...boo! Honestly though (and a bit off topic) I was so bummed by how little the groomsmen did for DH. Here I am getting a ton of help from my ladies and the groomsmen (with the exception of two...out of seven) didn't do jack.
 

aviastar

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Oct 5, 2010
Messages
1,190
I don't think it's tacky to ask either! And I love the thank you speech at the rehearsal dinner idea!

Our wedding was such a small, fairly non traditional affair, speeches would have been out of place anyway. And I didn't technically have a MoH, just bridesmaids. But I know my sister would have done a wonderful job if I had asked her to. Like Stacy, I was far more concerned about the groomsmen- they certainly would have spoken and it certainly would have been embarrassing and awkward and generally awful. DH agreed; we love these guys, but we have known all of them since middle school and public speaking is a bad idea!

I've also been at some weddings recently when anyone could just step up to the mic to say something- enter long, rambling, weird speeches made by random people. This is what I would like to avoid more than anything; if you don't set it up in advance you leave it open to be something you don't want- either someone doesn't give a speech when you had hoped they would or someone does when you really wished they wouldn't!
 

StacylikesSparkles

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 8, 2011
Messages
1,304
aviastar|1350505534|3287262 said:
I've also been at some weddings recently when anyone could just step up to the mic to say something- enter long, rambling, weird speeches made by random people. This is what I would like to avoid more than anything; if you don't set it up in advance you leave it open to be something you don't want- either someone doesn't give a speech when you had hoped they would or someone does when you really wished they wouldn't!
It's funny you mention the open mic style. My MOH and best friend mentioned that her bf's (future husband) family does this and she is really interested in having this kind of thing. I'm hoping it will be more funny than awkward, but it would be the first wedding I've been to where something like this happens...I'm kind of curious about it now! :)
 

aviastar

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Oct 5, 2010
Messages
1,190
StacylikesSparkles|1350558652|3287670 said:
aviastar|1350505534|3287262 said:
I've also been at some weddings recently when anyone could just step up to the mic to say something- enter long, rambling, weird speeches made by random people. This is what I would like to avoid more than anything; if you don't set it up in advance you leave it open to be something you don't want- either someone doesn't give a speech when you had hoped they would or someone does when you really wished they wouldn't!
It's funny you mention the open mic style. My MOH and best friend mentioned that her bf's (future husband) family does this and she is really interested in having this kind of thing. I'm hoping it will be more funny than awkward, but it would be the first wedding I've been to where something like this happens...I'm kind of curious about it now! :)
I just couldn't handle this, probably having more to do with my own anxieties than anything, but...just no, I just couldn't. And I know myself well enough to not try and talk myself into it!
 

StacylikesSparkles

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 8, 2011
Messages
1,304
aviastar|1350570567|3287803 said:
StacylikesSparkles|1350558652|3287670 said:
aviastar|1350505534|3287262 said:
I've also been at some weddings recently when anyone could just step up to the mic to say something- enter long, rambling, weird speeches made by random people. This is what I would like to avoid more than anything; if you don't set it up in advance you leave it open to be something you don't want- either someone doesn't give a speech when you had hoped they would or someone does when you really wished they wouldn't!
It's funny you mention the open mic style. My MOH and best friend mentioned that her bf's (future husband) family does this and she is really interested in having this kind of thing. I'm hoping it will be more funny than awkward, but it would be the first wedding I've been to where something like this happens...I'm kind of curious about it now! :)
I just couldn't handle this, probably having more to do with my own anxieties than anything, but...just no, I just couldn't. And I know myself well enough to not try and talk myself into it!
Lol..well the way you explained yourself, it makes total sense why you wouldn't do it...no need to be even more anxious on that day, ya know?!

In truth, I'm REALLY looking forward to speaking for her...hopefully I'll be in the wedding (I'm pretty positive about that lol), but I just want to be able to say how fabulous she is!
 

Haven

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 15, 2007
Messages
13,166
It's tacky to ask someone if she wants you to give a speech at her wedding? Especially someone with whom you are close enough to stand up as her MoH? I don't think it's tacky at all to ask, I think it's considerate and it shows that you're thinking about your duties as her MoH.

I've given speeches at wedding receptions and at rehearsal dinners as the MoH. I'm happy to give it whenever the bride wants me to give it. They've always asked me about giving them, I've never had to ask, but if I'm close enough with someone to be her MoH, I hope I'm close enough to ask about something as innocuous as whether she wants me to give a speech or not!
 

PintoBean

Ideal_Rock
Premium
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I think it's considerate to ask. If your MOH is shy and wants to give a speech, she has time to practice and prepare. If it is too much for her to handle speaking in front of a crowd, then this is an opportunity for her to decline and you'll have time to find someone else. Just some things to think about... :)
 

StacylikesSparkles

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StacylikesSparkles|1350411883|3286443 said:
I definitely wouldn't ask her though, as that could be perceived as tacky.
I'm feeling like I need to defend myself as just about everyone has had a comment about this. My view is that if I were a bride and my MOH didn't make a speech but then asked me to make one for her, I would be kind of miffed, like 'hey, why couldn't you have done this for me?'. BUT as I mentioned, making the speech for her at the rehearsal dinner will probably make up for that, as well as appease your conscious for not giving her one (since you mentioned feeling badly about it).

Also, I said perceived, not that I thought it would be tacky. Scheesh.
 

blacksand

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Messages
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No need to defend yourself, Stacy, I totally understand and agree, and that was precisely the original question here: Is it tacky to ask someone to do something for you that you never did for them? That's exactly the point, though I appreciate the discussion in general.

gem_anemone said:
It's becoming more popular for the MOH to make speeches in my area. I can't remember the last wedding I've been to where the MOH did not make one. If so it has been at least 7 years or more
If it helps, MOHs wedding was exactly 7 years ago! Funny that you should come up with that number. I wonder if it was just "on the cusp" so to speak.

I guess the issue is that I still don't know whether she wanted me to make a speech or not. I worry that I let her down. I was young, it was a family wedding, and I did what my family said I should do. But I hate thinking that I may have let her down. I've been afraid to ask because I didn't want to stir up any negative feelings from all those years ago. But we are both grown-ups, we are family, and we love each other! I guess I just have to put on my big girl pants and talk to her about it.

Thanks for the advice, everyone.
 

gem_anemone

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blacksand|1350651973|3288510 said:
If it helps, MOHs wedding was exactly 7 years ago! Funny that you should come up with that number. I wonder if it was just "on the cusp" so to speak.
Haha yeah spot on!

It seems like we're all in agreement that MOH speech wasn't done that much back then and she didn't ask you if you wanted to make a speech back then, so I personally don't think there would be hard feelings brought up in asking her how she feels about it now.
 

Clairitek

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I've been the MOH twice and made speeches both times. I never thought that I might NOT make a speech at the wedding. My two MOHS (they're sisters) each made a speech at my wedding and they were great. Like others, I've not attended a wedding that the MOH didn't make a speech. I don't think it would be tacky at all to ask her if she plans on making a speech.

I was especially touched at my friend's wedding when she stood up at the rehearsal dinner and told me how much I meant to her (like you're thinking of doing for your cousin). I bet your cousin would really appreciate that. Totally took me by surprise and was really lovely.
 

blacksand

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See, now I just feel bad! I'm sorry, it was a family wedding and my family told me not to make a speech, so I believed them. But with all of you saying you've never heard of an MoH NOT making a speech, now I just feel like I'm a terrible person. :(
 

StacylikesSparkles

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blacksand|1350918790|3290183 said:
See, now I just feel bad! I'm sorry, it was a family wedding and my family told me not to make a speech, so I believed them. But with all of you saying you've never heard of an MoH NOT making a speech, now I just feel like I'm a terrible person. :(
NO WAY!! You listened to your Mom and while Mom's are awesome, they aren't always right. Just make sure to give a killer 'thank you and you are wonderful' type speech during the rehearsal dinner :)
 

blacksand

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I just wanted to update and say that I finally put my big girl pants on and actually asked my cousin about this. Yay, I'm a grown up now!

She said that she also thought it was traditional for only the Best Man to make a speech, which is why she never asked me to. She hadn't really heard of MoHs making speeches at the time when she got married. So Mom was right, and I didn't mess up. I didn't let anybody down. Yay! She also said that she has since noticed lots of MoHs making speeches at weddings, and that she was wondering if I was going to ask her. She did say that she feels a bit nervous about speaking, mostly because she's afraid she'll start to cry (awwww). I told her she absolutely does not have to if she's not comfortable with it, and swore that I wouldn't be offended if she didn't want to. But she said she would be honored to say a few words, and would just try to keep it short and sweet so she doesn't have time to be too nervous.

I love her. I don't know why the heck I was so afraid to broach this subject with her. I'm updating to remind everyone to talk to the people they love rather than let weddings be such a source of tension and worry. Just communicate! I learned my lesson. Thanks for all your advice along the way.
 

gem_anemone

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I'm so happy you got that taken care of and now you know how your cousin feels too. Awesome!
 

StacylikesSparkles

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blacksand|1352772008|3304913 said:
I just wanted to update and say that I finally put my big girl pants on and actually asked my cousin about this. Yay, I'm a grown up now!

She said that she also thought it was traditional for only the Best Man to make a speech, which is why she never asked me to. She hadn't really heard of MoHs making speeches at the time when she got married. So Mom was right, and I didn't mess up. I didn't let anybody down. Yay! She also said that she has since noticed lots of MoHs making speeches at weddings, and that she was wondering if I was going to ask her. She did say that she feels a bit nervous about speaking, mostly because she's afraid she'll start to cry (awwww). I told her she absolutely does not have to if she's not comfortable with it, and swore that I wouldn't be offended if she didn't want to. But she said she would be honored to say a few words, and would just try to keep it short and sweet so she doesn't have time to be too nervous.

I love her. I don't know why the heck I was so afraid to broach this subject with her. I'm updating to remind everyone to talk to the people they love rather than let weddings be such a source of tension and worry. Just communicate! I learned my lesson. Thanks for all your advice along the way.
Best outcome ever! Awesome! :) :appl:
 

blacksand

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Messages
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Thanks ladies! I feel silly now for carrying that around for so long. It's been 7 years since her wedding and I never talked to her about it. It's just one of those things where the longer you don't talk about it, the harder it becomes to talk about it. But the whole thing was in my head, apparently, and I was just being dumb for 7 years. So much easier to just talk about these things.
 
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