Weddings have existed for thousands of years in one form or another. In the past, as the one footing the bill for the wedding, you as the Father often would have welcomed your guests to your home for a joint reception and celebration, where you’d have thanked them for attending and give a speech in the couple’s honour.
Of course, times change, and so do traditions. Now, both sides might split the cost of the wedding, or they might split it three ways. You can take a deep breath and casually wipe that sweat from your brow. Anyone notice? Good. You’ve got this.
Modern weddings can be very different. Today’s bride might walk herself down the aisle, she might wear a dress that isn’t white, and she might even skip the exchange of rings and put the focus on handwritten vows. What hasn’t changed is that she’ll still want to celebrate with her family, and she’ll still want her dad to play a special role.
That’s where the Speech comes in.
Father of the bride speeches gives you the chance to share some laughs, make your daughter blush and offer some fatherly advice. And what Father doesn’t love to show off a bit of worldly wisdom? That’s practically the definition of a father!
How to Construct Your Speech
Normally the Father’s Speech is the warm-up for the two main acts, and a good father’s Speech does exactly that, get’s everyone comfortable, relaxed and in a great mood for the comedy banter the best man will soon be throwing at the groom.
Writing a formal speech can be a difficult thing, but sticking to the principle phases will make your Father of the Bride’s Speech easier to write and deliver on the day.
While you are the Father of the bride, you won’t have met all your guests, and not everyone will know your name, so make sure you introduce yourself. Your introduction is also the perfect time to get in a quick joke to relax both your audience and yourself.
Welcome all your guests and thank them for making their journeys to be with you. Also, thank those who have helped in bringing the fantastic day together.
Formally welcome him to your family and fire a few good-natured jokes at his horribly young and broad shoulders. Also, welcome the groom’s family and thank them for their assistance in the wedding arrangements.
As well as being the perfect time to warn the groom about what he’s really let himself in for, you can tell a few stories about your daughter. Compare the funny little girl she once was to the beautiful woman she has become. This is also the perfect time to tell her just how proud you and her mother are and how much she means to you.
As well as using some fine quotes (you’ll find hundreds in our speechwriter app) as elder statesman and having raised your own child/children it is traditional for the Father of the bride to impart a few words of wisdom to the newlyweds. You might want to offer something sincere and heartfelt or throw in some funny advice.
The Father of the bride will normally close his Speech by making a toast to absent friends. Check with the groom or his family to see if there is anyone who can’t be present who deserves a special mention.
How Do You Write That Speech? Follow These Five Steps
You may be a whiz with the mitre saw or a superstar with your fishing tackle, but that doesn’t mean you know how to write a wedding speech. Are those beads of sweat making their unwanted comeback yet? Relax. We’ve outlined the five steps you need to take for a father of the bride speech that shows off your personality and gives the happy couple one more reason to smile.
Before You Write, Outline
The easiest way to become overwhelmed is to face a blank page and have no idea where to begin. Save yourself the stress and start with an outline of possible topics. This way, you’ll simply need to brainstorm as you go, following the structure of the Speech and filling in the words section by section.
You’ve been out of school for a while now, possibly a few decades, but you have worldly wisdom, right? This means you don’t want to make the task feel like some school assignment the uptight Mrs Sampson used to give you on a Friday afternoon. You want it to be an enjoyable experience, something you look forward to giving when the Big Day rolls around.
The most common Father of the bride speeches start by welcoming everyone; then they give praise and support to the couple, share anecdotes and advice, and conclude with a loving toast.
We’ll discuss each of these sections below so you have a better understanding of how you could approach your own Speech. Of course, it may be the most common way to write a wedding speech, but it’s not the only way to write it. Show off your personality! You know you best, and you should never feel forced to write a speech a certain way. Now, onto the next steps.
Start With “Welcome and Thank You”
The first thing you should do is acknowledge your guests and thank them for coming to this happy celebration. Your guests are the ones who fill the seats and fill the room (or tent if you have an outdoor reception). Without your guests, your beautiful daughter wouldn’t have nearly as many people offering their love and support while she walked down the aisle.
Then again, you might not have such an anxiety attack if there weren’t so many guests present. Fewer guests, fewer eyes on you! If you’re feeling nervous about speaking in public, make sure you practice, practice, practice. Out loud, too, because we’re pretty sure you won’t have an audience of telepathic guests. But you never know.
Show Your Support of the New Couple
Next, you want to give praise and support for your daughter and her spouse. Regardless of whether you fully approve of her spouse, you need to be supportive of your daughter’s choice. After all, this is her life, not yours. If she’s happy, you should be happy for her.
If you’ve been saving up a special present, this point in the Speech might be the ideal time to share it with the new couple. Whether it’s money toward a down payment, a family heirloom you want to pass on, or an item you handcrafted in the wee hours this past month (remember your skills with the mitre saw?), that present will mean a great deal to two people starting their lives together.
Share Stories and Wisdom
Now is the fun part. You get to laugh maniacally as you dish out plenty of embarrassing, cringe-worthy stories about your little girl. Remember the time she ran naked through the house? Remember how in high school she stumbled home one night and threw up all over your favourite slippers?
Oh, those were the days. But you know we’re joking, right? This is not a time to roast your daughter. It’s a time to share her good traits and show how they helped shape her into becoming such a fantastic woman.
This part might take a bit more time since you need to reach back into your memories to pull out stories about your daughter. Did she ever put on a fashion show for your family, complete with crazy hair and makeup? That shows her creativity. Did she ever invite a neighbourhood kid to your house because he was lonely? That shows she’s caring. Did she ever you get the picture.
You can also focus on events the two of you did together, or ways you shared your wisdom and watched her learn from the experience. Maybe you worked on a project for school, where she needed to build a 3D house plan or a medieval armour set. How did you help her use her creativity to construct something? And don’t say that you did it all yourself. Don’t boast. Give her some credit!
Wrap Up and Give a Toast
Here is where you’ll circle back to the new couple and raise a glass to their future. Toast their relationship and encourage your guests to join you in wishing them the very best for the years ahead. If you’re still married, you might want to include a line or two of marriage advice. If you’re not married any longer, there’s no need to bring that up. Focus on how well the two of them complement one another and offer them your love. Raise a glass, and then hand that mike to the next in line.
Five More Tips for Success
The above steps sound simple enough, right? And yet, so many fathers still manage to give a speech that leaves their daughters cringing or their relatives fuming over some obtuse comment. Yes, you might not like your brother Kurt or your great aunt Mildred, and you might have gone through an unpleasant divorce a few years back, but none of those things has anything to do with your daughter’s wedding. So swallow that comment, focus on the happy couple, and keep things positive.
Here are five tips to help you write one the best Father of the bride speeches of them all.
Don’t Talk for Too Long.
You know how sometimes people tend to drone on and on while the audience develops that glazed look as they try to stay attentive? No? Well, it’s true.
You don’t want to bore your guests because they’ll remember this day for a long time, and you might not get an invitation to the next family wedding. Rambling speeches become awkward for everyone, as do embarrassing speeches. Aim for an absolute maximum of 10 minutes, although 5 to 8 is even better.
Don’t Drink Before Your Speech.
Drunken speeches are a big no-no. Alcohol tends to lower your inhibitions and self-control, and before long, you might end up revealing some family drama that’s best kept out of the limelight. You might even hurt yourself from stumbling over microphone cords or table legs. So skip the loose lips and accidental slips, and wait until afterwards to drink.
Don’t Rush Through It.
Nothing says “This is the last thing I want to do” like rushing through a wedding day speech. Trying to rush could also make you stumble over words or say the wrong word entirely. It looks sloppy and uncaring. Make sure you practice your speech a few times – and yes, reading it to your bulldog Bowser is fine for one of those times. Not all them!
Do Look at Your Daughter
It’s likely that you’ll forget some of your Speech when you’re up in front of the crowd, but you should never read off the page word for word. Look at your daughter. Look at her spouse. Show your love through your gaze and let them know they are special. Making eye contact is an easy way to engage with your audience, and it will help you relax as well when you see how your words have such an impact.
Do Have Fun Up There
Love to be the centre of attention? Perfect. All eyes are on you. What if you prefer to surround yourself with a few close friends, not hundreds? You don’t want to look like you’re about to wilt from fright, so you need to bring in the humour. Nothing breaks the ice like a humorous joke or funny anecdote, so make sure you have one or two up your sleeve, should the moment call for it.
About the Father of the Bride Speech.
In essence, the Father is giving away his daughter after helping to raise her since she was born. Understandably, delivering the Speech can be an emotional time.Don’t worry. This website shares some tips that will help the Father of the Bride survive this Speech and give a beautiful, heartfelt message in the process. Although it’s called the Father of the Bride Speech, the Father might not be present or able to deliver the Speech.
In cases like this, the Speech is usually delivered by the mother of the bride. However, another member of the family can give this Speech instead of the mother.In fact, my wife’s mother delivered the so-called Father of the Bride Speech at our wedding.
The Speech lasts between 3 and 5 minutes.The Father of the Bride Speech is typically, but not always the first or last of the reception speeches.If delivered first, this Speech tends to welcome everybody to the wedding and set the tone for the other speeches to follow.If delivered last, it welcomes everybody to the wedding and marks the end of the speeches. In this case, the Father of the Bride Speech can be a transition to the continuation of the reception.
The purpose of this Speech is to talk about some of your past moments with the bride and share the happiness that you are feeling for the bride, groom, and this milestone in their lives.