Preparing Your Father Of The Bride Speech
The father of the bride speech is usually the first speech at the wedding reception, and welcomes the guests with a toast to the newly wed couple.
Dan Stevens (right) has prepared a comprehensive guide to preparing a father of the bride speech (click here), including 20 examples of speeches, a selection of jokes, quotes and one liners to draw on, around 100 popular toasts to choose from and additional confidence building help with getting ready to deliver father of the bride speeches.
As the father of the bride you have a special place in your daughter's wedding ceremonies. Not only does the father of the bride traditionally "give away" his daughter during the wedding service, he is also the traditional host for the wedding reception. Fortunately, that does not always mean you have to pay for everything - society, at least in western countries, now mostly accepts the costs will be shared among the newly weds and their families.
As the traditional host at the wedding ceremony, you may find yourself also acting as the wedding master of ceremonies, though the wedding MC's role may also be taken by the best man or someone among the families and friends who has a special talent for this role. Although it can be expensive, celebrity and society weddings may engage a professional wedding MC.
What are the key elements you as the bride's father should include in your father of the bride wedding speech?
Because you speak first, your words set the tone for the reception. You want it to be a happy celebration, so your first task is to break the ice and help put the guests in the right mood. Some positive comments about the wedding ceremony, the bride, the weather or the venue, and the like touches on shared experiences, and usually helps to get the attention of your audience. Speak about things that everybody has an opinion about, and they will want to know what you think too. You want to get heads nodding and a buzz of conversation as people make comments to their neighbors.
The next thing most fathers of the bride will do as host is welcome the guests. With two sets of family and friends usually meeting each other for the first time, a few acknowledgements and introductions are traditionally given. It's customary to mention the leading members of the wedding party and the senior family members, and to comment on any special guests, or guests who have traveled some distance to be present. People like to put faces to names they have heard.
As host, your next key task is to speak about the reception, and build some anticipation for what is to come - a little tension-building about what the best man might be going to say, comment about the groom's speech and mention of any special wedding reception entertainment, for example. This is a chance also to put people at their ease, by clarifying what will happen and when, and any special arrangements there may be for the reception, such as moving to another room to eat, seating plans, the band and singers providing the music, where to find the dancing floor, the cutting of the wedding cake, or whatever may be appropriate.
The father of the bride will often use his speech to say a few special and personal words in public about his special daughter at this important step in her life. Every father takes a different approach. Recollections of past events and a little humor, and how important his daughter is to him and to her mother, are typical topics. Often, the father of the bride will offer some fatherly advice to his daughter or the couple, either with a personal comment or by drawing on a famous quotation, piece of verse or the words of a song, for example.
The wedding reception is all about the newly wedded couple, and the final task of the father of the bride speech is to place the focus firmly on them by proposing a toast to the wedding couple. Finding the right words to say when making this toast is one of the key tasks when writing the father of the bride speech.
Every father of the bride will vary his approach around these key elements of the typical father of the bride speech, and make his own speech unique.
Most fathers will have just one or two opportunities to make the father of the bride speech, and few will be able to claim much experience for the task. It helps to have a stock of examples to draw on when preparing your own speech. It also helps to have some ideas of well proven father of the bride wedding toasts ready to choose from.