Sometimes the easiest way to learn how something works is to see an example. So here’s a gently humorous father of the bride speech sample for you to study.
Good evening everyone! I hope you can hear me okay at the back. If you do miss a few words here and there, please just assume they were very witty and wise!
In case you haven’t guessed it already I’m Sarah’s dad, Mike. And this wonderful woman next to me is her Mum, Janet.
Before I get started I just want to say that Janet’s worked incredibly hard behind the scenes on all the little details that have made today extra special. So thank you my love. I’m certainly glad I didn’t have to get involved in long discussions about the relative merits of different table decorations.
I also want to thank you all for being here. I know it means a lot to Sarah and Scott for you to share their special day with them and it means a lot to me to know the seats I’ve helped to pay for actually have bums on them!
Thanks also to Scott’s Mum and Dad, Vicky and Simon for all their help with getting things organized. It’s been great getting to know you both and we look forward to spending more time with you in the coming years. So I’m thinking Christmas dinner at yours this year, okay? Excellent!
Getting back to today, what a day it’s been! The venue looks amazing, the weather’s done us proud and if I can get through this speech without crying I’ll be a very happy man indeed.
Because walking my little girl down the aisle this afternoon, I couldn’t have been prouder. I mean, doesn’t she look absolutely stunning. I know you all have to say yes, but it’s true! And if, like me, you’ve seen what she looks like right after one of her beloved rugby matches, it’s hard to believe that she scrubs up this well.
But that’s Sarah. Full of little contradictions.
Like that fact that despite being someone who struggled a bit at school, she went on to surprise us all and achieve great things academically.
Because as some of you will know, and I don’t think she’ll mind me mentioning, Sarah was diagnosed with dyslexia at a fairly young age. She’d be the first to admit that she wasn’t a big fan of school and found a lot of it pretty hard going. Which probably explains why she always threw herself into the more sporty activities.
But I distinctly remember one day she came home with a big smile on her face and told me that she’d decided her “wobbly words” as we used to call them were actually her superpower because they made her work harder than everyone else and hard work was a good thing. And I have to say that ranks up there with today in my list of proud dad moments.
But work hard she certainly did. Years later not only did get a place at a rather fancy university but she also went on to graduate with a first class degree. Which is doubly amazing when you consider the number of extra-curricular activities she also managed to squeeze in. Rugby, kayaking, ultimate frisbee – whatever that is. It’s a wonder she had any time for lectures at all!
I did ask her once if the fact that her Dad had been to Cambridge was a big inspiration for her. But apparently a day trip to go punting with your mates doesn’t count.
Anyway, for someone who’s obviously such a smart cookie, Sarah has been known to make the occasional not-so-smart decision and I wouldn’t be giving you a full picture of her as a woman unless I shared a couple of examples with you today.
Like the time she decided our golden retriever Jasper would look better as a purple retriever and attempted to transform him using her poster paints. By the time we found him, poor old Jasper had traipsed purple paint through pretty much every room in the house and Sarah was playing happily in her room. I guess you could laugh it off as the innocent mistake of a child, but she was nearly 16 at the time. Okay, maybe that bit’s not entirely true.
Or there was the time she was saving up for a new scooter and decided the best way to boost her funds was selling homemade lemonade outside our house. Now I did try to warn her that there might not be much demand for fresh lemonade on a wet Thursday in the middle of February, but Sarah being Sarah, she wouldn’t be told. By the end of the day I think she’d made a grand total of about £2.50. But to her great credit she stuck with it until it got dark and I’ll always admire her for that. She does still owe me 20 quid for all the lemons though.
So her decision-making isn’t always the best, but I think we can all agree that saying “yes” when that young man sitting next to her popped the question was definitely one of her better decisions.
So what can I say about Scott? Well I first met Scott at Sarah’s 21st where she just introduced him as “a friend from university.” I didn’t dare ask for clarification because I know modern relationships can be very complicated. Was he a boyfriend? A gay friend? A friend with benefits? It wasn’t clear, at least not to me. At that point I’m not sure it was clear to Scott either!
But regardless of Scott’s status, I had a very nice chat with him and I distinctly remember us agreeing that he supported completely the wrong football team.
Anyway despite Scott’s dubious sporting tastes, I have to admit that it takes a certain calibre of man to capture the heart of a feisty young woman like my daughter. If I have one tip for you Scott from nearly two decades of living under the same roof as Sarah, if you find yourself in an argument and can’t seem to find a way out, just make a quick excuse to leave the room and then go and hide in the garage for a couple of hours. It always worked for me.
Now at this point in my speech I’m supposed to share some words of wisdom with you both as you embark upon married life together. I should probably say something like “always listen to each other” or “never go to sleep on an argument” but instead I’m just going to say this…
Just try to have fun together. Laugh about things. Life is going to have its ups and downs but if you can see the funny side there’s not much you can’t deal with as a couple.
Sarah, I’m so proud to be your Dad. Scott, it’s my great pleasure to welcome you into our family.
So ladies and gentlemen, it’s time for a toast. Would you please be upstanding and raise your glasses to Sarah and Scott – the bride and groom.