Get Writing! 10 Ideas to Kickstart Your Father of the Bride Speech

If your daughter’s wedding is fast approaching, it won’t have escaped your attention that you’ll be expected to deliver the opening speech.

Traditionally the Father of the Bride Speech is warm and welcoming and includes fond words about her and memories of her growing up.

And while there isn’t the same pressure on you to be as entertaining as, say, the best man, a personal and gently humorous speech will definitely kick things off on the right note.

But what if you’re stuck for ideas? There’s nothing more daunting than a blank page staring back at you. Do not fear…

All you need is a starting point

When it comes to preparing a speech, the first stage is to get some basic ideas down on paper, but many prospective Fathers of the Bride fall at the very first hurdle. They just don’t know where to start.

But if that’s you too, don’t worry. Sometimes all it takes is one idea to get those creative juices flowing.

So here are some fun ideas to jumpstart your Father of the Bride speech.

Cast your mind back to the day she was born

A popular way of starting the reminiscences is to paint a picture of the day your daughter was born:

  • What was going on in the news at the time?
  • Where were you when her mother went into labour?
  • What are your specific memories of that special day?

Strange little details may stand out in your memory and these will be interesting for the guests but particularly for your daughter. You even be able to find humorous parallels between then and now or make an amusing observation about how things have changed over the years.

Dig out her old school reports

If you still have these buried somewhere in the loft or stored in the garage, they can be a great source of material for your speech.

Particularly worth looking for are those report comments which proved – in the fullness of time – to be catastrophically wrong.

So for example if her music teacher once reported that your daughter “shows little aptitude for the subject”, but she’s now in fact a successful musician, that would be a great one to highlight in your speech.

Or you might find comments that would give her current employer pause for thought, for example if she works as an accountant it could be fun to share her Maths teacher’s rather dim view of her ability with numbers.

Quoting choice sections from old school reports can be a great way of getting a few laughs and shedding some light on her younger self.

Find old photos of her with ‘interesting’ hairstyles or clothing

Most of us have had fashion experiments go badly wrong – or at least briefly sported a look that with the benefit of hindsight looks a little, well, ill-judged.

Sometimes these brave fashion statements need to be brought to a wider audience and what better occasion than the wedding?

While the bride might not initially be ecstatic to see that photo of her in the middle of her “goth” phase blown up to poster size, the guests will love it – and she’s bound to see the funny side too.

Rescue a faithful old toy

Did she have a favourite toy growing up that you still have in the house somewhere?

Introducing the guests to her treasured childhood companion – by name of course – could be a lot of fun, for her and her guests.

Particularly if it turns out that “Pooky” has a goodwill message for her on her wedding day (though you might have to read it on his behalf).

Just make sure that he makes it safely back home after the wedding!

What she was passionate about – for a time?

Most children have passions that burn brightly for a while, then disappear as quickly as they arrived.

For a few weeks dancing is the most important thing in the world, but then suddenly it’s become “boring”. Shortly afterwards it’s replaced by horse-riding. Until of course that’s replaced by something else.

By telling stories related to one or more of these passions you’ll paint a vivid picture of her early years and evoke fond memories for the whole family.

Memorable birthdays

A child’s birthday is a day when they are the centre of attention. It’s a big occasion and the combination of anticipation and expectation can bring out the best – and worst – of behaviour.

Do any birthdays stand out as being particularly memorable? Can you think of any presents which were unusually well – or badly – received?

Birthday parties for young children are rarely incident free and a flick through the photo album might trigger some old memories worth sharing with the wedding guests.

Ask family members and close friends for stories

It’s hard to accept, but some of your daughter’s most memorable or significant moments will have occurred when you weren’t there.

Some episodes you’ll know about, but others you may not. So make sure you ask around close family and friends for additional stories about your daughter that you can include in your speech.

What are the tales they would tell about your daughter it were their job to give a speech on her special day?

Growing up, how did she get what she wanted?

As they develop, all children devise techniques for getting what they want. It might be having a tantrum, turning on the charm or going into bargaining mode.

Try to think of situations where your daughter used her own strategies to get something she wanted and include an example or two in your speech.

This can be very entertaining for those who know her – in particular her new husband – because she may still be using some of those tactics as an adult!

Any interesting stories about the wedding planning?

While it’s probably not appropriate to revisit any major disagreements leading up to the wedding, it could be revealing to tell a more recent story about her approach to the planning of the big day.

This gives us an insight into the woman she is now and might be an interesting echo of her personality growing up.

Above all this should show her in a positive light and reveal how excited she’s been about the prospect of getting married.

Other key life events

There are a number of key events in a young person’s life that are familiar to most people.

Do any of these evoke fond memories that guests would be interested to hear about:

  • Her first day at school
  • Meeting her first boyfriend
  • Learning to drive
  • Leaving home for the first time
  • Getting her first job
  • Getting engaged!

If one of these suggestions triggered a few ideas for your speech, grab a sheet if paper and a pencil and start jotting down some notes for your speech. This will instantly break the curse of the blank page and give you some raw material that you can start to work up into a polished speech.