Father of the Bride
As the father of the bride it is important to sit down with your daughter as soon as possible after she has announced her intention to marry. There are traditionally 5 main duties attached to your role as father of the bride these are outlined below. It is essential that you discuss these with your daughter so that she is aware of what you are willing to offer but also to let her know that you are approachable and will not be offended if she chooses not to be traditional. Be aware that many couples are choosing not to be traditional nowadays, this is nothing personal just a changing of the times. Let her know that you are happy to go along with whatever she chooses, she will need your support in these matters especially if her mother does not agree with her choices. We have listed the traditional duties below and have also put together a check list together with some advice for the speech.
The father of the bride traditionally has the following duties:
- To Pay for the Wedding - this is becoming less and less expected as couples have begun to pay for it themselves.
- To Walk his daughter down the aisle.
- Father daughter dance.
- To make the First Speech at the reception - we have provided some help with this below.
- To help reduce stress and to be a diplomat during planning - this involves everything from taking over the talking to wedding suppliers to reminding the mother of the bride that it is her daughters special day not hers. You will need to apply a certain amount of diplomacy for this duty keep an eye on your daughters stress levels and step in when needed.
In the majority of cases the father of the bride will be expected to wear a specific suit. These are usually hired from a menswear specialist and will require you to get measured up before the wedding to ensure that you have the correct size. It is also a good idea to check whether the suit comes with shoes as many hire shops do not rent shoes out with their suits any more. If you need to supply your own shoes for the event you will need to make sure they are smart, clean and polished.
- Comment on the day, use something positive to engage the audience, ie the beautiful venue, or lovely weather.
- Thank any other contributors to the wedding and any guests that have put in a lot of effort to be there.
- Move the focus back to the couple by welcoming the groom to the family.
- Show you daughter how proud you are of her.
- Use a story here either relating to her childhood or how the couple met.
- Wish them luck in the future.
- Toast the couple.
Your speech should be fairly short but personal and in your own style. By all means search the net and get ideas, but try not to copy anything directly (if you do be sure to amend the names). If you prefer to pad it out a bit from just the essentials listed above, you could add another story about your daughter growing up. It is also quite traditional to add in some advice to the couple for their future together. This can be funny, serious or even a quote from a poem etc.. Whatever you do if you are divorced or in a difficult marriage be very careful not to lower the tone. Remember this is your daughters happy day!