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Father of the Bride - Ettiquette, Duties, Responsibilities, Speeches

The proud Father of the BrideTraditionally, the one thing a father of the bride needed was deep pockets.  Today, the bride’s father has a bigger role on the wedding day. The wedding is the passing of responsibility of his grown daughter to her new husband.  It’s a symbol of tender sentiment as the bride’s father escorts his daughter down the aisle and hands her to the groom.  This is just one of the duties a father of the bride is responsible for during the course of planning the wedding.  From hosting before wedding events to escorting everyone to the door at the end of the reception, the father of the bride has a major role at his daughter’s wedding.


Your daughter’s getting married and all you have to do is pay the bills...Ah, think again.  There’s more to it than that.  Your father of the bride speech will be the easiest part of your daughter’s wedding.  It makes everything else you have to do a breeze!  Your main responsibility is a mediator and peacekeeper as well as debt settler.

Just What are the duties and responsibilities of the father of the bride?

Here’s a quick run down of what you will need to do before the wedding.

  • You’ll have to sign most of the checks for wedding expenses, including the reception and the ceremony.
  • Scout for possible wedding locations
  • Play host for the before parties such as engagement and rehearsal dinner
  • Taking care of the out-of-town guests such as picking them up at the airport, seeing them to their hotel, giving directions, see they get to the church or place of the wedding, etc.
  • The father of the bride is the errand boy seeing to the last minute details like making sure the father of the groom, best man, groomsmen all have their formal wear, making sure the cake is delivered, etc.
  • One of the biggest responsibilities is to keep the bride, groom, and guests calm and focused and not letting emotions get out of control.  It’s very easy for emotions to run amok at this time.  Keeping them under control is your job.

Here’s a list of your duties on the day of the wedding :

  • Taking care of the small problems on the wedding day
  • Getting the bride to the wedding ceremony – on time
  • Walking the bride down the aisle
  • Traveling with the bride’s mother to the reception
  • Stand alongside the bride and groom in the receiving line
  • Making the first wedding speech
  • First dance with the mother of the bride
  • Dance with the bride

Here’s a list of ‘things’ you should volunteer for :

  • Calling potential services/suppliers for the wedding
  • Help with addressing the invitations, flowers or blowing up balloons
  • Use your influence on the bride to keep her calm
  • Keep the mother of the bride in tow
  • Being the advice giver – you just may have a few good words and wonderful ideas for the wedding party
  • Being the time keeper on the wedding day –it keeps everyone on their toes
  • Be the last one to leave the before parties – just to make sure everything is paid for and guests are on their way home safely
  • Be the bartender – a few sips will keep everyone’s emotions in check

Writing Father Of The Bride Speeches

As the father of the bride, you are the official host of the wedding and reception.  At the reception, you greet the guests, provide introductions, and mingle with the guests and escorting everyone to the door when it’s time to end the reception. AND you’re the first to start the speeches at the reception.

So, on top of everything else you do, you’ll need to write your father of the bride speech.  Somewhere before the wedding, start jotting down little anecdotes and memories you want to use in your speech.  They can come from your daughter’s childhood or memories you cherish from planning the wedding.  

Your speech should be sincere and emotional or it can be lighthearted and warm, it depends on your personality, the bride, groom, and the setting.

Although, you might find it easier to get your teeth pulled, writing a speech for your daughter’s wedding is not all that hard.  You don’t have to do a comedy act or fall apart in tears; if you speak from your heart then your daughter will be happy.

What to put in your Father of the Bride Speech

It depends on your personality, situation, your lifestyle and the way things are in your life on what you put in your father of the bride speech.  If you write down your thoughts as they occur then when it comes time to putting it all together, your mind won’t go blank. 

That’s what normally happens when anyone has to write a speech.  They’ve been thinking about it for so long that when the time comes to actually put it on paper, the mind blanks out.  This is normal.  Even professional speaker have the same problem.  They carry a notebook to jot down thought as they happen and you can do the same thing. 

Keeping a little black book of amusing, touching or sentimental things that happen or when you think about your daughter growing up will help jog your memory when you put your speech on paper.  And you should put it on paper!  It helps set it in your mind and helps when practicing your speech.

Here’s a quick list of how your speech should go :

  • A quick introduction of yourself, and thank you for coming
  • Interesting and amusing thoughts about your daughter before she met her new husband
  • How you remember your daughter when she was younger
  • Wishes you have about your daughter and her new life
  • A few advise tips on marriage – not too many, just a few
  • End with a thank you and a toast for the happy couple

Father of the bride speeches are just a small part of being the father of the bride.  Everyone is always happy to see the father escort his daughter down the aisle and hand her to the groom.  It the most touching symbol of a wedding.  Shouldn’t your father of the bride speech be as touching?

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For better understanding of the father and daughter chemistry during a wedding I would urge you to watch a few wedding movies that portrait the relationship. Here's a list of my all time favorites -

The last one is more of a mother daughter relation but I believe, as the father of the bride, you too are going to love it as much as I did.

Father of the Bride - Etiquette, Duties and Speeches


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