How to Rock Your Father of the Bride Speech

Father of the Bride Speech

photo credit: John Hope Photography

The Father of the Bride is traditionally the wedding ‘host’ and gives the opening speech. He’s expected to be warm and welcoming and share a few memories of his daughter.

Although more emphasis is often placed on the later speeches, there is still pressure on the Father of the Bride as the “opening act” to give a strong speech that kicks things off with a bang (rather than a whimper).

Fortunately, with a bit of effort and by following a few simple rules, it’s really not too tricky to create a Father of the Bride speech that totally rocks and leaves your daughter beaming (not cringing) at your performance.

Want to learn the essentials of the Father of the Bride Speech in just 5 minutes? Click here to download our free guide (no registration required).

What makes a Father of the Bride Speech great?

The Father of the Bride speech will typically be warm, affectionate and gently humorous.

In fact, the Father of the Bride has his work cut out for him because he really has three different roles to play:

  1. Friendly host of the wedding celebrations
  2. LovingĀ father to the bride
  3. Proud father-in-law to the groom

None of these roles is particularly tricky, but you’ll need make sure you cover off all three to really nail the Father of the Bride speech and be able to sit back down confident of a job well done.

Role #1: The Friendly Host

It’s becoming less common for the Father of the Bride to pay for the whole wedding, but even if you’re not the official ‘sponsor’ of the wedding, you’ll still be expected to wear the host hat for a while.

This includes officially welcoming the guests to the wedding (perhaps giving special mention to those who’ve travelled some distance) and also mentioning those who were unfortunately unable to attend.

Role #2: The Loving Father

As the father of the bride you will be expected to spend some time talking about your daughter – in fact this will likely form the main part of your speech.

We’ll look at how to come up with the right content for this in a moment, but here you’ll be expected to talk about her early years, where you will of course have a unique perspective.

Role #3: The Proud Father-in-Law

While the focus is mostly on the bride, it is also very important to publicly welcome your new son-in-law to the family and be seen to give the wedding your important seal of approval.

Your Father of the Bride speech need not spend long on the groom but you could recount a short anecdote – perhaps the first time you met – and say something about how well-suited he is for your daughter.

Traditionally you’ll cement this by proposing a toast to the bride and groom at the end of your speech.

What to say about the Bride

The main purpose of talking about the bride is to give the guests an insight into her early life and growing up.

Here are some questions you might ask yourself:

  • What was she like as a baby? What was happening in the world around the time of her birth? Anything else that stands out?
  • What were her passions growing up?
  • What stories stand out from her childhood? What do they tell us about the woman she is today?
  • What qualities do you most admire in her?
  • What hopes do you have for her for the future?

Even those guests who know her well may not know much about her younger days and will delight in one or two stories from her childhood.

Job Done?

By the end of the Father of the Bride speech the guests should:

  • feel they know the bride a little better and understand some of what made her the woman she is today
  • feel the father of the bride is proud of and happy for his daughter and his new son-in-law