Traditionally, the bride’s father is the host of his daughter’s wedding. Daddy reserved this right becuase he used to be the one who paid for the wedding. Although this is not always true today, it remains the custom at most weddings.
Typically, the father of the bride is expected to give the opening speech and propose a toast to the newlyweds at the start of the wedding reception. He will often continue as the master of ceremonies.
Here are five key steps to a good father-of-the bride speech:
1. Set the tone: The father opening speech should create a celebratory atmosphere and help the guests feel at home. A good way to achieve this is to crack a joke, talk about the lovely bride and the lucky groom, discuss the wedding ceremony… if all else fails, there’s always the weather!
2. Welcoming words: The bride’s father extends a warm welcome to all of the guests. It is traditional to introduce any special guests, especially the groom’s family and any guests who have gone to some trouble to get to the wedding. Absent guests who are important to the bride or groom but who couldn’t make it to the wedding are often mentioned. A loved grandparent or other relative who may have recently passed on is often spoken about at this point.
3. Generate anticipation: Now is the time to create some excitement about what will be coming up during the reception. Dad can mention who will be speaking next, what entertainment is planned for during the reception, and events planned for later. Your guests will feel more relaxed knowing what is about to happen.
4. Be proud: Fathers usually want to share some heartfelt sentiment or fond memories of the bride, their daughter. There are many ways to express your love. Telling stories, touching or humorous, about your daughter, the first time meeting the groom, or quoting poetry are popular approaches. Don’t be afraid to shed a few tears!
5. Propose a toast: Finally, to draw the guests’ attention to the newlyweds, it is customary for the bride’s father to raise toast to the bride and groom. Including words of love, marital advice, and blessings will make this one of the most meaningful moments of the entire wedding.
Few fathers have much experience at public speaking, so you may feel nervous about making such an important speech. Try to relax and inject your own style of humor and emotion into your presentation. You can search online for professionally prepared speech outlines, examples of father of the bride speeches, and checklists of things and people that should not be overlooked. You can also find popular wedding toasts, jokes, quotes and poems to spice up your address. Not only do such resources save time preparing the speech, they’ll also boost your confidence and give you a forum to truly express yourself.
Always remember, the best way to keep the guests’ attention from wavering (and to ensure a hearty applause at the end) is to keep it short and sweet!