Father of the Bride traditions are steeped in history and date back for centuries or more when it comes to their daughters getting wed. In years gone by, the wedding day marked the move of the daughter from her father’s family into her groom’s, while today weddings are more often viewed as the joining of two families, instead. With weddings constantly evolving, we look back at the Father of the Bride traditions that you should still keep and those that are open for change.
Three to keep
- Getting you to the church
It’s up to you whether you think your dad will enjoy being around you as you all get ready in the morning, but when the time comes for the big reveal and your trip to the altar, he should be by your side. Make sure your dad is there to take you to your venue – it’ll be a magical chance for you both to reminisce and prepare for the commitment you’re about to make! Don’t forget to get these 11 super cute Father of the Bride photos, too!
2. Walking you down the aisle
This tradition goes back to marriage meaning the exchange of a daughter from her father’s family to her groom’s, which is why fathers traditionally walked their daughters down the aisle, otherwise known as giving them away. If you’re lucky enough to have a good relationship with your dad and still have him around, then let him steady your nerves as you step down the aisle – it’ll be a moment you never forget. And, if you really can’t decide, you can always have your mum walk with you on the other side, too!
3. Greeting the guests
In the receiving line after the wedding, the bride’s parents usually take pride of place. While we love to see the whole bridal party – parents from both sides, the bridesmaids and groomsmen and, of course, the newlyweds themselves – getting involved, this is still a lovely way to make your dad feel special on your most special of days.
Three to change
- Footing the bill
Cue Fathers of the Bride around the country breathing a huge sigh of relief – you’re officially off the hook. Tradition might have it that the bride’s father pays for the wedding, but more and more couples are saving themselves with the groom’s parents also often pitching in, so don’t panic. While the bride’s parents are likely to still contribute, they don’t have to handle the entire wedding cost alone, which is probably good news as the average spend on a wedding continues to rocket!
2. Giving a speech
We don’t mean ditching the speech completely, we just mean making it exactly how you and your dad want it. If you love tradition, then uphold them all, but if the thought of public speaking has your dad squirming, there are so many alternative options for him to consider: keep it as simple as raising a toast, share printed copies of your speech with guests, film it ahead of time to take the pressure off, whatever works best for you. If you want some expert advice, these tips for a flawless Father of the Bride speech will be your best friend.
3. Leaving last
Now that the Father of the Bride isn’t responsible for paying suppliers, they don’t need to stay until the very end of the reception anymore. This is great news for many dads who might prefer to turn in a little earlier than their partying couples, especially as carriages at midnight is increasingly becoming taxis at 3am!