This one's for the dads who have likely been looking forward to this day for their whole life! And yet, now that the day looms closer - you're probably feeling the pressure as the father of the bride speech sits with you. This is one of the most highly anticipated, and often most tear-jerking speeches at any wedding, and one that your daughter will likely remember for a lifetime - no pressure then! Father of the bride speeches are known for being. Fear not, we've got you covered. This father of the bride special wedding blog is packed with tips.
1. Prepare your thank yous!
Your first duty in the father of the bride wedding speech is to welcome the guests and thank them for coming. This is when a list might be useful - you don't want to forget about the relatives who travelled across the world to be here, or the people that mean the most to your daughter. Don’t forget the mother of the bride. Even if you are no longer together, this is an important day for them and one for which you must put differences aside, whatever they may be. You can also mention loved ones who can't be there today and those who have sadly passed away but who are still at the wedding in spirit, and no doubt an important part of the day.
2. Don't forget the in-laws
You should devote part of the speech to the groom's parents. Remember that although they don't traditionally get to make a speech, today is just as special for them as it is for you. Try to find something personal to say about everything they do for their son, and the bond that's developing between you and them. This all adds to the feeling of warmth that the father of the bride's speech should create.
3. An ode to your daughter
Once the thank yous are behind you, it's time to dedicate the majority of your speech to the star of the show – your daughter. Rather than pulling some generic soppy words that could have come from a romantic comedy, it's down to you to dig deep and find something personal and unique about her. Talk about her as a little girl and the woman she has become. What stories can you share that highlight her most special qualities? Pick the ones that have always stood out in your memory, and that are likely to get the rest of the room nodding along in agreement, laughing out loud or reaching for the tissues. As the father of the bride, you're fully entitled to be the proudest guy in the room. Without turning on the embarrassing dad mode too much, mention some of the moments you're most proud of. This doesn't have to mean listing off her educational and career achievements - it's the little moments of pride that you think really highlight her character. It's possible that half of the room know the groom far better than they know your daughter, so now's the time to introduce them to her best qualities.
Keep in mind that along with their new partner, a whole new family of in-laws and possibly a few work colleagues will be present, so now's now not the time to remind your daughter of moments passed that she'd like to forget about, however humorous they might seem to you. If there's something you're on the fence about saying, put yourself in her shoes - would you want your in-laws and colleagues to learn that about you?
4. Welcome to the family
Although you might have a million things to say about your daughter, don't forget to say something about their new partner. This is a chance for you to officially welcome them to the family. Be positive and offer your thoughts on them as a couple, and what the next chapter brings for them as newlyweds.
5. Closing the speech
And finally, close with some parting wisdom. Forget the audience, this is a moment that your daughter will relish forever, so a great time to say, from the heart, what she means to you. Final tip for father of the bride: Avoid marital advice and mentioning exes – these subjects never go down well!
So there you have it - a quick guide for your father of the bride speech. Remember to be yourself and don't force anything. If you're a natural comedian, you'll probably get a few laughs, but don't try hard for them - there's no need to pepper your entire speech with punchlines. The most important person in the room, your daughter, wants her dad to be his genuine self rather than putting on a show.
Most of us are not natural public speakers, so there is no shame in admitting that you are nervous and don't know where to start when it comes to writing your father of the bride speech. If you'd like some extra support and learn to be a more effective communicator, check out our bespoke wedding speech course packages
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