So, your daughter’s getting married and its been a whirlwind. You’ve discovered the cost of weddings has changed since your own. You’ve dealt with your daughter’s fits when things haven’t gone the way she expected (well, my father had to do this.) You’ve gone to stag do’s, waded through RSVPs and you’ve walked your daughter down the aisle. Your work is done, right? Wrong. You have a speech and, as you’re the first one up, it’s up to you to set the tone. Here are some tips to creating a memorable father of the bride speech.
Make it heart felt and personal. Focus on your daughter. After all, no matter what anyone else thinks, your little girl is the most important person on this day. Talk about how you’ve felt watching her grow up and how you feel now you are handing her over to another man.
Anecdotes are always good. Any funny, charming little moments from her childhood that show personality traits everyone will recognise are great to share. Also, your proudest memories of her and her achievements.
Two things, though. One, don’t embarrass her. Two, keep them clean. After that, anything goes.
Don’t forget the groom though. You have just gained a son-in-law, so welcome him to your family and acknowledge his parents. You don’t have to do much more than that, the responsibility of embarrassing the groom is the best man’s job.
You have experience on your side which is more than the groom and best man have. If you have any words of wisdom on how to excel at married life then now is the time to share them. There is a scene in Stranger Things where one of the young characters asks his father what he does if his mother is wrong and the father replies “Son, your mother is never wrong.” Wise man.
Be funny but not too funny. In many ways, you’re the warm up act before the groom’s speech. You don’t want to peak too soon and give the best man no chance of finishing on a high.
Keep an eye on time. Speeches are well and good, and everyone expects them, but no one wants a great breakfast ruined by a speech that goes on long after it should stop.
Make sure you pick someone to record it. From experience, weddings are so fast and afterwards there may be gaps in memories. I don’t remember my own dad’s speech, only that it was moving. Not a problem, I thought, my uncle had a camera, he was filming at the breakfast, he must have it. When I asked my uncle, he had gotten so caught up in my dad’s speech he forgot to record it. I have a paper copy, but it isn’t the same.
Checking the wedding videographer has your speech on their list of things to record, or asking someone else to do it, only takes a moment and gives a lifetime of happiness.
And that’s all there is to it. Just talk from your heart about how much your little girl means to you and how proud you are of her on this day, and you’ll be fine.