Thursday, August 15, 2013

My Maid of Honor speech

It seems so funny that at age 23 I'm already a "matron," so I've been using "maid of honor" and "matron of honor" interchangeably.

So, my speech. Let me start by saying that I'm a true procrastinator and normally I never plan ahead. But this was different. I started working on my speech almost two weeks in advance. I rehearsed it in front of every member of my family, individually, and I even nerdily recorded myself reading a draft of it so I could play it back and see what I needed to work on.

Why was this time different? For one thing, I'm the writer of the family, so I felt like I had a reputation to uphold. I also feel very nervous about public speaking, so I figured being well-prepared would calm my nerves. Most of all, I wanted to really express how I felt about Matt and Lillian. I love Lillian so much (and now Matt too), and I wanted my speech to do justice to that.

Coincidentally wearing matching outfits when she visited me last November
My goal with my speech was to make someone cry. I mean, that's the sign of a good speech, right? :) And sure enough, one of my aunts told me afterward that the speech made her tear up. "It's what a parent wants to hear," she said.

So now that I gave you that introduction... the speech is after the jump (and you can also listen to my embarrassing recording of it, per my friend Laura's request—apologies in advance!).

 Maid of Honor Speech

For those who don’t know me, I’m Theresa, Lillian’s twin sister. It’s an honor to be with you tonight. Many thanks to our lovely parents for hosting. [That got a lot of applause!]

I’m going to start with a story that my parents tell about Lillian and me when we were babies. The two of us shared a bedroom, but we had separate cribs. Every morning when we woke up, the first thing we would do was crawl to the end of the crib to see if the other one was still there.

Every morning, we were shocked to see each other. But we were also completely excited.

I don’t remember this happening, but I definitely believe it. Because it’s been 23 years and I still feel excited every time I get to see my twin.

Lillian is one of the most adventurous person I’ve ever meet. How many people do you know who have hiked Spain’s famous Camino de Santiago? Or who have ridden a camel across the desert of Morocco with a band of Bedouin nomads?

Lillian, being your twin is so much fun.

When we were growing up, we used to love making up elaborate adventures for our Barbie dolls to go on. They always involved lots of excitement, and they always ended with a wedding. [That got a lot of laughs from people who knew us growing up... seriously, we were obsessed with weddings.] We always loved a good love story.

For whatever reason, I usually made up the stories, and Lillian starred in them. There was nothing I loved more than to come up with the most magical, perfect love story for her, with the perfect hero for her to marry at the end.

In all those years of playing pretend, I never could have come up with a hero more perfect for her than you, Matt. I never could have imagined a love story more perfect than "a girl from Notre Dame meets a guy from Yale."

I remember when Matt and Lillian met three years ago at a conference in Annapolis. They hit it off and kept in touch over the following year, but they didn’t reconnect until a year later when Matt came to Chicago and we met up for dinner with him and his friend Elliot, who you may recognize as his best man.

I noticed that Lillian and Matt were really hitting it off. After dinner Matt asked if we wanted to keep hanging out. But for some reason we decided to go home.

In the car as we were leaving, Lillian admitted I was right. She was hitting it off with Matt, and she really liked him.

Matt lived in Texas at the time, so I knew they might not get to see each other again for a while.

So I told her to text him and see if he still wanted to hang out.

She didn’t want to at first, she felt shy, but finally she took my advice. She and Matt spent the rest of the night talking. And they kept the conversation going after that night, until finally they started dating. So I like to think I helped write that love story a little bit too.

And now, if you’ve seen them together, you know that the conversation between them never ends.

Matt is perfect for Lillian in so many ways. They share a love for intellectual discussion, and Matt can always make her laugh. Honestly he can make anyone laugh, and his humor can turn around even the most stressful situation.

When Lillian was having a hard time deciding how to decorate for the reception, Matt suggested decorating with cheese.

And there’s the time Lillian went to visit Matt’s school in Texas. For some reason, his students became completely convinced that she was actually Taylor Swift.

Most of all, I know that Matt has a heart of gold. From day one of their relationship, he’s always made Lillian so happy.

When we were little, I was the one making up Lillian’s make-believe love story. And all I wanted was to give her the perfect one.

Even though it’s been a long time since we played with dolls, there’s still nothing I want more than for Lillian to be happy.

Now Matt’s in charge of that. And there’s no one more perfect for it.

May you always be thrilled to be together—although hopefully you won’t be surprised to see each other when you wake up in the morning. [That line brought down the house.]

I wish you both the best of adventures, and a love story that never ends.

To Lillian and Matt!

Audio recording can be found here: MOH speech. Just to warn you, I recorded this in a moving car (on our way to the wedding rehearsal, in fact) so there's some background noise. Also, Frank told me that my original introduction was "too stiff" so I toned it down for the final speech. :) And if you choose not to listen to it, I will be more than ok with that!


  1. What a beautiful speech! A lovely toast to your sister and her new husband :)

  2. Such a great speech, thanks for sharing! I'll be giving one of these soon at my best friend's wedding and hope to make everyone cry too :)

  3. Tess- it was so much fun hearing your voice! A lovely speech- may God bless you, your sister, and your husbands! :)

  4. I can read between the lines and understand you love for you sister from this lovely weeding speech. It remembered me the time of my brother's weeding. My speech was also same like you. What a lovely time we had together.. Miss My brother...!!

  5. This story reminded me of the time I had to give a speech at my daughter's wedding. The Big Day was almost here and I still couldn't believe how quickly the years had flown by. I felt so many emotions, from sad to happy and everything in between. There was so much to share and so many things I wanted to put into words. I just had no idea of where I should even start and I sure did not want to let my daughter down on the day which she would remember forever. Plus, I hated speaking in public and English was always my worst subject at school. Fortunately, I got a little help with my speech and it made all the difference.
    I delivered a spellbinding father of the bride speech that created awesome memories that will surely last a lifetime. By the way, if anyone is interested, this is the website that helped me deliver the speech and literally saved me from total humiliation in front of all my family and friends:
    Hope it helps anyone reading this!