Updated: Jul 8
You’ve got the questions and we’ve got the answers! When it comes to the father of the bride speech (and responsibilities) we’ll bet you have plenty of queries. You’ve come to a trusted source. We’re capital P passionate about all things weddings, and we aim to educate and inspire all you fathers out there. We’re tackling some of your most pressing questions with pithy and delightful answers that will leave you well equipped for the special day.
Does the father of the bride make a speech?
Does he ever! This is often one of the most anticipated speeches of the wedding, and rest assured your daughter is excited to hear what you say. Expect tears of joy and laughter on her part.
Does the father of the bride give a toast?
Absolutely! You are getting everyone comfortable, reflective, and festive. Get everyone involved in a participatory toast!
What are the duties of the father of the bride?
You’re a pivotal part of the day’s success and you have a few key responsibilities:
You will be expected to attend family meet and greets with the spouse’s family. Whether you’ve met them before or not this is an opportunity to get to know your new in-laws and create a common bond.
Walking your daughter down the aisle. Get ready for the waterworks as this is one of the most special moments of the wedding, and your life.
The father-daughter dance. Typically you and your daughter will have a dance not long after the bride and groom’s first dance. Many weddings have the father-daughter dance immediately after the first dance. Typically you and your daughter will request a specific, special song.
Times have changed and you are no longer expected to foot the bill for the wedding. But if you are able to, or want to, pitch in, by all means it will be appreciated.
If you have relatives or family friends in town you may be informally tasked with showing them around, taking them out, or hosting them at your home.
Helping with the menu, location, or any executive decision making that your daughter requests your opinion on.
A killer father of the bride speech, of course!
When does the father of the bride make his speech?
At the reception, in most cases. This speech is typically the first one given, and is highly anticipated. It is often emotional and touching, and sets the tone for the rest of the evening. As the first speech it is doubly important to thank the guests and raise the first toast.
How long should a father of the bride speech be?
We love a bit of creative licence and freedom, but a word for the wise: the reason most authorities suggest 3-5 minutes for a speech is because it works. Works how, you ask? It keeps everyone completely engaged and invested, while still imparting valuable sentiments and sharing a cheeky story or two. The last thing you want is to have people getting up to go to the bar during your speech - drinks are good and all, but we want your speech to be better.
Who does the father of the bride thank?
The father of the bride speech traditionally involves a few very important mentions. Thank the guests for attending, thank your son-in-law’s family and parents, and acknowledge their participation in the wedding or their job raising a wonderful son. Thank your daughter’s new spouse and welcome him to the family - ideally with eye contact for a personal, poignant touch.
What should a father of the bride speech include?
You definitely have some latitude here, and shouldn’t feel constricted by a standard template by any means. But etiquette does require a few things from you, namely a gracious and warm show of gratitude to the guests and a wrap-up toast. In the space between you can tell anecdotes about her life and childhood, share some of her most admirable qualities, or provide an overview of her accomplishments. Describe what she means to you and what impact she’s had on your life. And don’t forget a compliment or two for her new spouse and his family. Some thoughtful wisdom will never fall on deaf ears, either!
How to write a good father of the bride speech?
View it like writing a short story - you want all the elements there: plot, character development, themes, symbolism. Parse your memory for your favourite memories, and her proudest accomplishments. Plot them on a piece of paper and try to identify the common threads between them. This way you can write a compelling speech that ties in various aspects of her life without sounding long-winded and disjointed. We recommend writing multiple drafts, and including at least 3-5 special pointers about your daughter’s life, character, personality, and quirks.
How to start a father of the bride speech?
The best speeches begin with an extension of gratitude for all of the guests in attendance, and an acknowledgement of all the guests who travelled internationally or out-of-county to attend.
How to end a father of the bride speech?
Before the toast you should create a memorable and stirring conclusion to your speech. Tie in the various anecdotes, jokes, and praise you’ve showered your daughter with into a beautiful one-liner or thoughtful, symbolic comment. We also love when a father of the bride ends his speech by imparting his own hard-earned wisdom on the new couple, and wishing them many beautiful years together. Offer them the most heartfelt sentiments and ensure you are addressing them directly so they can feel the impact of your words.
Does the father of the bride match the groomsmen?
All you fashionable fathers will be happy to hear that there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to your wedding apparel. You can match the groomsmen if you so choose but you don’t have to follow their dress code to the letter. It is usually suggested that the father of the bride matches the colour scheme of the wedding party, or incorporates touches like a lapel flower.
Does the father of the bride get a gift?
This is at the discretion of your daughter and her spouse of course but generally it is good form to get both fathers a gift as a token of appreciation. It may be a fragrance, a high quality whiskey, or perhaps cuff links or a suave tie.