Fathers of the brides are no longer shackled by out-dated etiquette but there’s certainly more pressure on you dads to be funny. Here, the Speechy experts reveal the new father of the bride speech rules.
Father of The Bride Speech Rules For 2018
The biggest trap fathers fall into is thinking they need to thank people. That’s actually the groom’s job. That said, it pays to mention your daughter’s new in-laws and you should acknowledge the role the bride’s mother has had in her upbringing.
If you’ve split up from your daughter’s mother and you both have new partners, the politics of your speech can be more complex. Of course, the situation is the hardest for your daughter, so even if the relationship between you and your ex is strained, try to be generous in your acknowledgement of your daughter’s mum and step-dad.
Do NOT get sucked into thanking the venue, the caterers or people who’ve travelled far. It’s not your day and, quite frankly, too many thank yous becomes boring. Remember the bridesmaids will be thanked by the groom (and maybe even the best man) so keep your gratitude succinct (and dance with them later).
Do your research
Gather your intel and call in back up.
Get other family members round a table and brainstorm. Think about the great (and funny) times you’ve shared with your daughter. Think about her why she makes you laugh. We guarantee your daughter’s siblings will be a great source of material, as well as her mum.
It’s also worth asking your daughter to give you the low-down on who exactly is coming to the wedding. If you know her yoga buddies and the groom’s rugby mates will be there, it’s easier for you to select your stories and tailor your humour to suit.
Of course, increasingly there are guests who have English as their second language so be conscious not to alienate them with a speech full of wordplay.
Cut the clichés
All dads think their daughters are ‘talented’ and ‘beautiful’ so think about the unique qualities which make your girl a little bit wonderful.
No one wants a list of her career achievements or a rundown of her educational qualifications; they want recognition of the character traits which make her a great friend. Whether she’s gobby, a bit ditzy, or just a little bit nutty, celebrate your daughter for the awesome individual she is rather an idealised version of her.
These days, all speeches need to be entertaining and funny. You don’t have the-best-man-pressure but you still need to be making everyone chuckle from the get-go.
Of course being funny is not about finding wedding gags on Google. Being funny is about finding the right things to tease your daughter and son-in-law about – whether it’s their love of quinoa, their addiction to Game of Thrones or their inability to do any DIY without calling you first.
Prove, don’t tell
Rather than just say that you love your daughter, talk about the times that you’ve felt proud of her. Reference the moments that stand out and show how much she means to you.
Tell us about how you secretly cried after she left for Uni, explain how you couldn’t eat for a month whilst she backpacked through Asia. Confess that you still worry about her if she hasn’t texted you that day. We guarantee there will be tears.
Resist the urge to show off
Do NOT mention any financial contribution you’ve made towards the wedding – even in jest.
Remember the groom
Yes, your speech is all about your daughter but remember to be nice about her bloke too. Even if there are subtle reservations lurking in your soul, today is a day to celebrate his attributes, whatever they may be. Feel free to do a bit of gentle teasing (especially when you talk about your first encounter with him) but make sure it’s delivered with warmth.
Keep it short
You’re aiming for about six minutes. Remember no one ever witnessed a speech and said ‘if only it was longer’. Even if you feel you have loads of great material, be strict with yourself. Even Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address was only 272 words long!
Speechy can help you craft an awesome speech that will add a special moment to your daughter’s day.
- How to write a flawless father of the bride speech
- Father of the bride duties
- Should you ask the father for permission?