Father of the Bride Speech:
The Definitive Guide for 2020

Father of the Bride Speech

Congratulations! Your daughter’s getting married and you’re giving the Father of the Bride speech.

So you might be wondering what you need to cover in your speech and how to do the best job you possibly can on the day.

This definitive guide answers all of the most common questions and sets you up to prepare and deliver a knockout speech in 2020.

Ready to jump in?

The Essentials

When does the Father of the Bride speak?

The traditional order of the wedding speakers is as follows:

  1. Father of the bride (that’s you!)
  2. Groom
  3. Best man

However, in reality this order is just a convention. These days other members of the wedding party may feature in the list of speakers, for instance: maid of honour, mother of the bride, father of the groom, etc. These more contemporary roles may replace traditional roles or be in addition to the traditional line-up.

Whatever the case, the most important thing for you to do is to confirm exactly who’s speaking at your daughter’s wedding and where your speech fits into the overall itinerary.

What should the Father of the Bride speech include?

There are no hard and fast rules, but there are certain things the Father of the Bride speech will traditionally cover.

  • As the first speaker, it’s the Father of the Bride’s job to officially welcome the guests.
  • He will usually mention any absent or deceased family or friends.
  • His other official duty is to raise the first toast to the bride and groom.

Who does the Father of the Bride thank in his speech?

Traditionally, the Father of the Bride thanks:

  • the guests for coming to the wedding
  • his wife or partner for their support and any help with the wedding preparations
  • the groom’s parents for their help and hospitality in the run-up to the speech

In general, the father of the bride should keep his thanks to a minimum beyond these three points. It’s the groom job to do the bulk of the thank yous.

How long should the Father of the Bride speech be?

The Father of the Bride speech shouldn’t be more than ten minutes long with 6 to 8 minutes being the sweet spot. (For the average speaker that’s around 900 to 1,200 words.)

That’s because however confident or accomplished you are as a speaker, it’s important to remember that you’re essentially a warm up act for the other speakers.

An overlong speech risks stealing the thunder of the groom and best man and making you look self-indulgent.

Does the Father of the Bride have to give a speech?

There are lots of reasons the Father of the Bride may choose not to speak or be unable to speak.

If that’s the case, the important thing is to make sure that someone else covers the basic duties of the Father of the Bride speech.

That can be done by the Mother of the Bride or a friend of the family.

How can you avoid getting too emotional?

Even if you’re not a particularly emotional person most of the time, you may be surprised by the strength of the feelings evoked by your daughter getting married.

So if you’re worried about your emotions getting the better of you on the big day, here are a few things you can do to help keep them in check:

  • Take a deep breath. If you feel your emotions starting to rise, stop and take a deep breath. That can often help to settle your feelings again.
  • Acknowledge your feelings. Sometimes trying too hard to hide your emotions can make things worse. There’s nothing wrong with acknowledging your emotions when they arise, e.g., by saying “I knew I wouldn’t be able to get through this bit without blubbing.”
  • Write around the problem. If there’s a part of your speech that you know is likely to trigger strong emotions, try rewriting it.

If unwanted tears are a worry for you, the Speak & Conquer website has an article full of tips on the subject.

How to Write a Father of the Bride Speech

Writing your speech can be relatively straightforward as long you leave enough time (weeks rather than days or hours!) to prepare and have a solid process to follow.

Use the steps below to make your speech-writing as painless as possible.

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Father of the Bride Speech Ideas

Sometimes when you’re feeling blocked with your speech, all you need is a few ideas to get you started.

You’re in luck, because here are 10 separate ways to generate ideas for your Father of the Bride speech.

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Father of the Bride Speech Template

If you’re feeling at all daunted by the prospect of putting together your speech, the good news is that a solid structure will help keep you on track.

The exact structure you use will depend on whether you want to give a super short speech that only covers the bare essentials, or a slightly longer speech that covers all the traditional points.

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Simple Father of the Bride Speech Outline

If you’re feeling at all daunted by the prospect of putting together your speech, the good news is that a solid structure will help keep you on track.

The exact structure you use will depend on whether you want to give a super short speech that only covers the bare essentials, or a slightly longer speech that covers all the traditional points.

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Father of the Bride Speech Examples

When you’re getting started with your speech, you’ll find it useful to look at some concrete examples to see what other people have done and get a few ideas for your own speech.

Try to avoid the temptation to borrow ideas wholesale from someone else’s speech because you never know how many other people will have done exactly the same thing.

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Father of the Bride Speech Etiquette

Fortunately, it’s easy to give an excellent speech that ticks all the right boxes and doesn’t upset anyone.

If you’re in any doubt about some part of your speech, it’s usually best to err on the side of caution. Your daughter will want everything to be perfect so don’t do or say anything that risks harmony on the day.

However, sometimes the problem areas aren’t 100% obvious and so here are a few guidelines to help you avoid any awkward faux pas.

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Let’s Get Started on Your Father of the Bride Speech

A great Father of the Bride speech will leave your daughter beaming with pride.

Use the information above to plan, write and deliver a Father of the Bride speech that ticks all the right boxes and and makes you look like a total hero.

Get it right and you’ll help create the perfect wedding your daughter deserves and make happy memories that’ll last a lifetime.