The father of the bride speech is the first of the wedding speeches to be given. In the absence of the father of the bride, this speech may be given by the person who has escorted the bride down the isle at the marriage service, the mother of the bride, the brother of the bride or someone who the bride has specially chosen to make this speech at her wedding.
The father of the bride speech is the one opportunity the father of the bride has on the occasion of his daughter’s wedding to openly declare how proud he is of her. To publicly announce his pride in his daughter, his true feelings of the girl he has guided into adulthood, his wishes for her future and his endorsement of her choice of partner for the future. It’s an opportunity that most proud fathers wouldn’t wish to let pass without telling the gathering what it really means to be a dad.
The wedding speech given by the father of the bride should be concise and include the following points:
The above points are the main items that should be included in the father of the bride speech and can form the whole of the speech if you wish. However, most father of the bride speeches are a little more elaborate and include a few other points that the bride’s father wishes to make whilst he has the opportunity to address everyone at the wedding.
If you wish to embellish the father of the bride’s speech, then you may consider including a few things that your daughter has done or achieved so far in her life that have contributed to her becoming the person she is today. Maybe you can include some reflection of your feelings when she was born, how you felt when you first saw her, some amusing or influencing tale of her childhood that has had some influence on her being the type of person she has grown up to be. Does she do voluntary work that helps others? Has she made sacrifices for the benefit of someone else? Does she have a particular positive character trait that sets her as an individual? Is there something that most people don’t know, that your daughter has done that you are personally proud of? If you need to give further consideration to these points, then ask yourself the question “what is it that her closest friends find most endearing about her?”, and don’t be afraid to ask one or two of them if the answer isn’t already clear to you. Of course, the obvious person to discuss these points with is your wife, the bride’s mother, who also has an in-depth knowledge of your daughter and many memorable events to relate.
Avoid the general clichés that are often applied to people under these circumstances. Your daughter’s loving nature, good sense of humour; amazing qualities; etc. are generalisations that are non-specific. Instead, try to relate to examples to establish her uniqueness, her optimism in life, her loyalty to her friends and family, her determination to achieve, etc.
You may wish to consider including a special mention about one or two of the guests. Restrict this to no more than one or two and make sure they are relevant to the bride or groom. For example, if someone has travelled from a different country specifically to be a guest at the wedding, or if an aged relative has been able to make it to the wedding celebration (the bride or groom’s great grandmother for example).
Adopt these two golden rules when you consider the speech you are about to make at your daughter’s wedding:
If the bride’s parents are separated or divorced, and the bride’s mother is present at the wedding, you should acknowledge that she has been a good and loving parent to the bride. You are giving the father of the bride speech at your daughter’s wedding, it is not the time or place to perpetuate any personal resentment between the parents. She is still your daughter’s mother, no matter what has ensued between the birth and the wedding day, so respect the occasion and recognise the virtues of her having been a good mother.
If the bride’s mother has passed away before the wedding day, then you should judge your own, and your daughter’s, feelings and emotions whilst deciding whether mention of the bride’s mother is appropriate. Under these circumstances, the best course of action is to discuss with your daughter if she wants you to include reference to her mother in your speech and, if so, to what extent.
The ideal timing for the father of the bride speech is about seven minutes, which means that you will give about 1,000 words. If you look at the words on this page, your speech will contain fewer words than you see here - so if you were to read this one page aloud, pausing for ends of sentences and paragraph breaks, it would take longer than your planned and rehearsed speech on the wedding day!
The fear of public speaking is called glossophobia (or, informally, "stage fright"). It is believed to be the single most common phobia - affecting as much as 75% of the population. With the right preparation, you will easily overcome it and feel a whole lot better by having done so.
Of the wedding speeches, the father of the bride speech should concentrate on the formal items, the guests and personal and parental knowledge of the bride. There are many web sites that will assist with preparing the content of the father of the bride speech, give you snippets of humour to include and inform you of the most suitable content. The speech given by the father of the bride at the wedding should come from personal experience of your daughter growing up and be given from the heart. The father of the bride can include some humour in his speech and draw on personal anecdotes concerning the bride, but the level of restraint in the content needs to be respectful of the bride and of the wide range of guests present - humour should never sacrifice respect and good taste in the father of the bride's speech.
The wedding speeches should be of personal and unique content, covering the formal requirements of each speaker, include personal experiences and - only if you feel comfortable - an element of light humour or anecdotes. Each speaker should conclude with the appropriate toast. (The father of the bride proposes a toast to the bride and groom.)
Information on weddings, speeches, best man speech, father of the bride speech, and all things preparing for the wedding, wedding breakfast and your reception can be found in our web site.