Writing and delivering a speech is a daunting task that makes many of us shudder. But it doesn’t have to! If you’re feeling a bit nervous about delivering your father of the bride speech, we’ve got you covered. Our advice: go for simple! Keep your speech short and sweet, include a couple of funny tidbits (we’ve got some ideas for you), say something nice about the couple and you’re set!
The father of the bride speech usually kicks off the speeches, followed by the bride’s partner and the best man. We recommend sticking 10 minutes maximum. It’s more time than you think you’ll need, but still enough to cover all the important bits. Here’s a breakdown of the structure of your father of the bride speech:
Start by introducing yourself, and if you’re up for it, throw a joke in there to break the ice. Something like this:
“Hi everyone, I’m Rory and I’m Kelly’s dad. I know it’s customary for the father of the bride to do a speech… although I never actually got a formal invitation to the wedding, so let’s hope I haven’t accidentally eaten somebody else’s meal!”
Welcome the guests
Formally welcome everybody and thank them for being at the wedding. If it fits, make a joke. Here’s an idea:
“Without each one of you here today, this wedding wouldn’t be the same… although it would be cheaper.”
Mention absent family and friends and make note of any special guests who aren’t with you, such as parents or grandparents who have passed away.
Say something about the bride’s mother and then say how happy you are for your daughter’s partner’s family to be joining yours!
The main bit: focus on your daughter
This is the part everybody’s been waiting for. They all want to hear you say lovely things about your daughter. Keep this bit short, sweet and heartfelt.
Talk about how proud you are of your daughter, tell a story about what she was like growing up, and make sure she knows how much you love her.
Important note: it’s the part everyone wants to hear, but that doesn’t mean it should be long and drawn out. The last wedding I attended included a 25+ minute speech from the father of the bride. You don’t want guests to start rolling their eyes and counting down the minutes till you finish.
Welcome your new daughter/son-in-law
You want to keep this part positive and upbeat. Spend time welcoming your new daughter/son-in-law into the family. The tone really depends on the relationship you have. If making jokes is your thing, then it’s totally ok mock him/her. Just don’t go overboard!
Here’s something sweet you could say:
“It’s time to officially welcome [Partner’s name] into our family, but if we’re honest, you’ve been part of this family since the day we met you.”
Finish with a toast
End your speech by asking everybody to stand and raise a glass to the newlywed couple. Here’s an example of how to end your speech:
“May your love be modern enough to survive the times and old-fashioned enough to last forever.”