Father of the Bride

7 Top Tips For The Father Of The Bride

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It’s your daughter’s big day, you will want it to go well and avoid any of the mishaps that Steve Martin showcased in Father Of The Bride. You may also be unsure as to what is expected of you on this important occasion and what duties you are responsible for on the big day.

These top tips will help you be the best father of the bride your daughter could wish for:

1. Should I lift the veil?

Who lifts the veil might seem like a small relatively non-important issue, but for your daughter who has been planning this big day for months with their partner, every detail matters. Don’t let the issue of who lifts the veil or when to lift their veil (if they wear one) have you panicking. If they are donning a traditional veil there are two options. Either you lift the veil when giving them away and revealing them to their partner, or you leave the lifting of the veil to their partner, who will lift it just before they kiss once they have been declared married. To avoid confusion it helps to have this discussion with their partner before the ceremony.

2. What about the speech?

Traditionally, at the reception, the bride’s father is the first one to make a speech, followed by the Best Man and the Groom. So your speech will set the tone, however, it is usually relatively short and acts as more of an introduction to the following speeches.

There are a few key elements that help to structure the speech:

Always start with a solid introduction about who you are and a welcome to the guests, crack a joke if you want to help settle a few nerves – the first bit of laughter can help boost your confidence and show you’ve got the guests attention. Next is perhaps the most important topic of your speech, your daughter. Reminisce about a funny anecdotal story, but remember, it is her big day and she might not appreciate you airing her most embarrassing moment.

Try to use the story about your daughter as a way to seamlessly transition into the topic of your son in law. The story can either involve the pair of them or elements of behaviour that remind you of your son in law, or what you think helped bring them together…anything that can help link the two topics. Finally, part with a word of advice and raise a toast to the happy couple.

father of the bride

3. Can I have a drink at the reception?

Yes you can! However, make sure you keep an eye on how much you are drinking. During the reception everyone will want to congratulate you and offer you a drink, these drinks can pile up pretty quick and you want to be able to enjoy and remember the reception. This is a day you want to remember and a chance to catch up about with old friends – don’t ruin it by having one too many.

4. Get involved in the wedding planning

Planning a wedding takes a lot of work and your daughter and future son in law are probably very stressed working out all the details. Offer to help them, from going to florists to look at flowers to attending cake tasting sessions and trying out some of the cake. They will appreciate your input and advice, and it will take some of the stress away as you can act as a mediator should any arguments arise.

5. Keep the peace and help out

From the very start of planning a wedding to the big day itself, tensions and emotions will be running high. Don’t be afraid to step in and mediate as well as offer a listening ear to any worries, fears and issues those in the wedding party might have. You have years of advice when it comes to relationships, now is the time to flex those wisdom muscles.

6. Do I need to practice my dancing moves?

You can if you want, just try to avoid dad moves. Usually there is one point in the night where there is a father-daughter dance and all eyes will be on you. If you want you can discuss with your daughter if there are certain dance styles you might want to try, however a simple waltz step works best both practically and visually and there are simple instructional videos on YouTube.

7. Finally…

Have fun! This is a day that has been months in the planning and it is probably a relief to see it finally arrive. Take a moment to just take it all in as the wedding day is a busy one, from walking her down the aisle, to catching up with old friends and being congratulated, to the father daughter dance and the speech, you will have your hands full! Remember, today isn’t just a big day for your daughter and her partner, but for the entire family and now the extended family.

By Felicity McKee, Excalibur Press