Congratulations to you and your daughter. It’s going to be one of the happiest as well as a saddening day of your life.
The moment you became the father of a daughter, you know one day you would have to give her away. The day is finally here. As your daughter is going to get married, you are getting ready to play the role of the father of the bride perfectly. I know it would be like riding a emotional roller coaster, but as a father you must be poised and help your daughter through these hectic days.
Apart from writing the checks, walking down the aisle and making a speech at the reception, a father of the bride has a lot more to do in his daughter’s wedding.
Now we are going to turn our focus on to the big and little tasks that you are supposed to deal with as the bride’s dad. But before that let’s watch and revisit an unforgettable moment.
“I realized at that moment, that I was never going to come home again and see Annie at the top of the stairs, that I’d never see her again at our breakfast table in her nightgown and socks. I suddenly realized what was happening: Annie was all grown up and leaving us. Something inside began to hurt.” ~ George Banks (Steve Martin), Father of The Bride (1991)
Duties and Responsibilities of the Father of the Bride
You pay the bulk of the wedding expenses. However, often the couple also contributes their shares, especially when they want some extra details or when they are looking for an exotic wedding or reception venue and so on. It all depends how deep your pocket is. Usually, fathers would be prepared for this day and happy to spend for it.
If you aren’t the sort of dad who’s happy to just sign the checks to pay the bills, you might be participating in all the planning for the wedding. As an experienced person your inputs could help the couple a long way. Even if you aren’t the one who’s paying for everything, you might help your daughter and his fiancé to plan an appropriate budget for the wedding.
While doing all these you would obviously consult your wife or partner and work together so that everything you do is well-coordinated.
Your next duty is most probably the most important of them all. Dressed in a black tuxedo, you would be walking your loving daughter, the bride, down the aisle. Soon enough you’d be giving her away to be her husband-to-be. It’s a moment of pride and a moment you are going to cherish for the rest of your life.
Soon after the wedding ceremony is over, you along with the mother of the bride would have to play the role of the chief hosts at the wedding reception party. During the wedding reception party you have three important duties to carry out.
Firstly, you need to welcome and greet all the friends and family and make sure that they would have a great time at the reception.
Secondly, toast the newlyweds. But before that you would also want to say a few words about your daughter, son-in-law, and their marriage in your father of the bride speech.
And lastly, the father-daughter dance. It’s the second dance of the day/evening after the newly wedded couple’s first dance. If you don’t consider yourself as a good dancer, you might want to take lessons from an instructor well ahead of the wedding day.
Well, that’s pretty much about the father of the bride’s duties. Now let’s focus on one of those duties that you might find a bit difficult to go about. I am talking about the wedding speech that you are required to deliver at the reception.
“There comes a time in every wedding reception when the man who paid for the damn thing is allowed to speak a word or two of his own” – Rwan Atkinson [Watch Video]
Father of the Bride Speech
Traditionally the father of the bride happens to be the very first speaker to deliver a wedding speech at the wedding reception party.
Obviously it is going to be both a thrilling as well as a heart-wrenching moment for you, as you realize your little lady is all set to enter a new phase in her life. Being the father, you’re supposed to play a critical role during the wedding. It’s probably the most significant of them all. Almost every woman dreams about her wedding day since the day she understands the significance of wedding in one’s life and as her father you would want to help her by all means in making her dreams fulfilled. And that’s mostly what your father of the bride speech should be centered on.
Father of the bride speeches offer an excellent opportunity for the bride’s father to share your feelings and just what your daughter means to you. A lot of guys would freak out whenever they start thinking about making a speech but, it’s not something that can’t be accomplished. In fact, I have seen several fathers who admitted that they are afraid of public speaking, giving decent father of bride speeches.
It’s a good idea to start setting up your speech far ahead of the wedding day. It gives you sufficient time to get ready and guarantee that you mention everything that you desire to share. However, for those who have put it off until the day before the wedding, don’t panic. Instead try to part yourself from all other activities and focus completely on your speech. You still have some time to pull off a reasonably good speech if you could stay calm. It could turn out to be an overwhelming course of action for you but it’s definitely worth it because your daughter should surely appreciate the effort.
Now, you might be asking, “Where do I start from?” Well, I see that you are already on your way – you’ve already started to think about your speech. That’s the very first and probably the most important step you would ever need to take to make a speech. So, what’s next?
Create a list of all the topics you want to mention in your speech. It includes the message you want to convey to your daughter and the man you expect to live the rest of her life with. This is the moment to speak about the qualities that make her exceptional, the best moments you have lived with her, your dreams for her future and of course everything else that makes you very proud of her. When you include topics like these in your speech it becomes a lot more touching. Don’t forget that you don’t get a chance to praise your daughter in front of all your friends and family every day.
A very effective way to get the ideas for wedding speeches like these is to learn from others. You are going to find example speeches on the internet that you could try. Watching other people giving their bride’s father’s speech on You Tube and other video sharing sites is also immensely useful. I think it’s needless to warn you not to use those samples word to word. Use them to get the ideas and compose your own speech based on those ideas.
Writing the speech has to be the next step. Don’t ever think for a moment that you’d be able to wing it. That’s a huge mistake a lot of people tend to make and eventually end up screwing up not only their speech but also the mood of party. To make the composition effortless you could jot down the main points of the speech and then elaborate on those points.
Start your speech by a simple introduction. You can even start by telling a humorous remark. Next, being the formal host of the reception, you should warmly welcome all the guests to the wedding. By the way, remember that you would be speaking on behalf of your wife, the mother of the bride, as well. So, don’t forget to mention her and her contribution to the family whenever you get a chance.
Now, this is going to be the meat of your speech. You should praise your daughter enough and express how happy and proud you are for her. Make a trip down the memory lane and share with the audience a couple of fond memories you have shared with your daughter during her childhood days or maybe when she was in her late teens.
It’s a big day for your daughter as so for her fiancé. Mention the groom enough and tell him how happy (even if you don’t exactly happen to be) you all are to welcome him to your family. This would make your daughter happy and your son-in-law comfortable. Remember the day your daughter introduced her beau to you? Is there anything funny about it? You can share it in your speech if it’s not too awkward.
Also appreciate the contribution of the groom’s family as well as the individuals who helped with all the provisions and arrangements. Give thanks to the groomsmen, the bridesmaids and the rest of the bridal party.
Toast the newlyweds at the end of your speech. Toasting the bride and groom is a part of the tradition and the perfect way to wind up your speech. Since you have already made a speech, a simple toast should suffice.
Well, that’s approximately how you should create a father of the bride toast but you still need to deliver it in front of the guests (and maybe that’s precisely the reason why you’re here reading this article). Well, as we already know, this could be a huge issue. The answer to this issue, however, is simple. So, simple that you might dispute it. Practice. Practice and only practice could make it possible for you to deliver the speech fluently. Hope you understand why I recommended that you should start with the preparation as early as possible. So be prepared and have a great time at the reception.