Last week we published some top tips aimed at helping the Mother of the Bride understand her role and how best to help the bride both in the build-up and on the day of her daughters wedding. Today it’s the turn of another key member of the bridal party: The Father of the Bride.
The Father of the Bride undoubtedly has a key role to play in proceedings both before and during the wedding but, much like the mother of the bride, it’s not always an easy role to perform (as demonstrated in the movie “Father of the Bride”!) In the lead up to the wedding your role so often seems to revolve mostly around getting the credit card out again and seeing whether you can take out a mortgage against the garden shed, but on the day the Father of the Bride is one of the most involved and most important figures so here’s our tips to help you get through the big day!
- If you’ve agreed to pay for all or part of the wedding then make sure you set a basic budget from the start so that everyone knows where they stand. And remember: painful as it may be, if you are paying then (unless asked otherwise) your job is to stump up the cash, not make the decisions! Give your daughter and soon-to-be son-in-law the freedom to make their own choices but make sure they know you’re available if they need any help with anything – whilst it’s important not to interfere you also don’t want to seem uninterested!
- If you haven’t already then make sure you invite the groom’s family around for a drink and try to get to know them a little better before the big day. These people are going to be an extended part of your family and so it’s great if you all get along well before the wedding!
- When writing your speech don’t just look up jokes on the internet, the father of the bride’s speech doesn’t have to be funny and it’s always most effective when you speak from the heart. Your daughter doesn’t want to hear you recite a story you found on google that wasn’t really relevant to her, she wants to hear the way you felt when you saw her in her dress, the stories from her childhood, the moment the groom asked you for your daughter’s hand in marriage, the way you really feel about her. Don’t be afraid to be a little emotional – the best speeches always are!
- Also on the speech theme, if you’re going to include a list of thank-you’s in your speech then check with the groom first whether he will be doing the same. Whilst there’s nothing wrong with repeating one or two of the really important thanks there’s nothing worse for your audience than hearing the same full list repeated by both of you!
- On the morning of the wedding without trying to stress anyone out keep an eye on the time! Unless you have a particularly complex grooming ritual then chances are you’re going to be ready before the girls and, in a flurry of hair and makeup, it’s very easy for them to lose track of how long they have left!
- If it’s all getting a bit too girly for you in the morning then (logistics permitting) go and see the boys for a bit in the morning. Chances are they’re probably relaxing with a pint somewhere whist the girls frantically get ready!
- Make sure you get your moment to see the Bride for the first time. It’s always such an emotional moment and you need to allow yourself the space and time to take it all in. If possible try not to see your daughter whilst she’s getting ready so that you get the full impact and once again don’t be afraid to let your emotions show.
- During the day be the co-host to take some of the pressure off the bride and groom. Whilst it was traditionally the F.O.T.B who played host on a wedding day that responsibility has gradually shifted towards the bride and groom themselves so whilst you should certainly welcome all the guests and help with the hosting duties, try not to take centre stage too much!
- Make sure you get to have your father-daughter first dance. It doesn’t have to be a big public “performance”, if you’d prefer a quiet, more private moment then simply grab your daughter whilst she’s on the dance floor and enjoy your dance together with a little less of the spectacle that an announced father-daughter dance brings with it. If possible though do try to have your dance early in the evening as many photographers/videographers will leave not long after the bride and groom’s first dance and this special moment with your daughter is one that makes some truly beautiful shots on camera.