The father of the bride’s wedding toast is one of the most highly anticipated speeches, and, likely, one you’ve been excited (or dreading) to give for a very long time. It is the moment that everyone knows to get their tissues out for because it’s almost impossible not to shed a tear during a good father-of-the-bride speech. Now that the moment is growing closer and closer, it’s important to sit down and write a toast that not only you’re proud of, but that your daughter will remember for a lifetime.
While it might seem difficult to find the right words to express your sentiments, it’s those very emotions that are often the star of the show. So feel free to let those feelings flow through your speech, and watch as the crowd falls under your sentimental paternal spell. With that said, even the most eloquent dads can struggle with getting those words down on paper.
So, to get you started, we’ve created an easy guideline to follow when framing your thoughts into a full-fledged speech, curated some top-notch tips for writing that sure-to-be epic father-of-the-bride speech, and even including a list of brainstorming ideas to jump-start the creative process. Read on to create and deliver the most memorable toast of the day.
The traditional running order of wedding speeches typically involves the father of the bride presenting his speech first at the wedding reception, followed by the groom speech and the best man speech. In this order, the father of the bride speech is typically seen as the warm-up act.
The father of the bride speech usually begins by thanking the wedding guests for attending and acknowledging his daughter’s new parents-in-law, while welcoming his new son or daughter-in-law to the family.
It’s traditionally a speech that’s a bit more heartwarming rather than funny, like the best man speech. However, with a little effort, you can make sure your father of the bride speech and moment in the spotlight is something to be remembered.
Father of the Bride Speech Template
Sometimes the easiest way to get the words down is to have an outline to work with so your thoughts can be well organized, and not a rambling stream of consciousness. Here are some key factors to include in the toast that should help you find your flow.
Welcome the guests.
It is your job to welcome everyone to the reception and acknowledge all those who have financially contributed to the wedding (probably best not to mention actual sums!). It is also a good idea to give a special welcome to the guests who travelled a long distance to be there and thank them for participating in the celebration.
Typically, the parents of the couple are the first to speak at either the rehearsal dinner or the wedding reception. If you’re the first toast-maker of the night, this would be the time to welcome all of the guests to the reception, or whichever event you are delivering the speech at.
Give thanks. Since you’re the guy with the mic, don’t forget to express your gratitude to your friends and family for coming to the wedding and the parents of your daughter’s new spouse for anything and everything that they did.
Present, and future. These are some main components that should be present in the speech. Think of a few key points from your relationship with your daughter in the past, discuss notable things that are occurring presently, and speak about the shared future of the newlyweds together. This makes for a good framework to keep in mind when organizing your thoughts, and you can even try to include an overarching theme or tone for the speech as a whole. You can get creative with the flow, but a classic chronological order is always easy for the guest’s to follow.
Pepper in some fond memories.
Nothing gets the waterworks started to like some heartfelt anecdotes from the bride’s lifetime, through the eyes of her beloved dad. Choose some especially warm memories from your little girl’s childhood that always stick out in your mind or some funny (not embarrassing) trials from her adolescence. If one of those special memories includes her SO, definitely be sure to share that with the guests.
Include your daughter’s new spouse. While you have so much to say about the bride, remember to mention and acknowledge her new spouse, too. Take this time to welcome them into your family, and share what it means to you that they are marrying your daughter.
Share your pride.
As the father of the bride, you’re entitled to be a very proud papa. Mention some especially big moments of pride for you and how much you cherish your daughter’s achievements. Don’t confuse this with an excuse to spout off her resumé though, only pick a couple of standout highlights that really speak to her character.
Remember that half of the guests in attendance probably won’t know your daughter all that well, so this is an excellent time to low-key introduce them to her best qualities and character traits.
Acknowledge your emotions.
It’s an absolute given that this is an emotional day for you, so don’t feel the need to act stoic and put up a façade. Stay genuine and admit to how difficult it is to let your little girl go. These admissions make for a touching moment, and we guarantee there won’t be a dry eye left in the room. And we mean you too, dad. Today is the day when it’s perfectly okay to shed a tear or two.
Tell her you to love her.
That’s your baby girl right there, and this is the moment to tell her just how much she means to you. Express how much you love and cherish your daughter. Remind her of how you’ve treasured your relationship together and how you think that relationship may be evolving or staying exactly the same.
Add some parting wisdom.
Whether it’s a piece of marriage advice or just your most heartfelt wishes for the newlyweds’ future, pepper in some sage wisdom for the happy couple, this is pinnacle dad-talk time so be sure to really relish the moment, just don’t forget that there are other people present and it’s not just you and your daughter.
Father of the Bride Speech Tips
Okay, dads. Now that you have a general idea of what you want to include take note of these essential tips to give the best father-of-the-bride speech anyone has ever heard.
Keep it short.
Though you’ve been waiting for this day to come for many years, try to keep your toast short and sweet. There may be a lot you want to say, and if that’s the case, consider writing some of those heartfelt sentiments down beforehand and giving it to your daughter in a card for her to read privately on her wedding morning.
Don’t be too embarrassing.
Skip the stories that may make your daughter cringe or those memories that she wishes you would just forget already. Remember, the speech is a toast and not a roast. Keep in mind that along with her newly-minted spouse, her entire new family of in-laws—and possibly even a few work colleagues—will be present. So if there’s something you’re on the fence about saying, consider if you would think the information appropriate for your in-laws and colleagues to learn about you.
Skip ex mentions.
If you have an urge to call out how terrible some of her ex-boyfriends or girlfriends were in the past, skip that little tidbit and keep it to yourself. There’s never any good that can come from name-dropping old lovers at your daughter’s wedding, no matter how much you really disliked old what’s-his-name. Stick to positive anecdotes and memories that showcase your daughter’s good side, not her mistakes.
Don’t push for laughs.
Often times, you’ll get laughs when you’re not trying hard for them, and they just emerge organically. Don’t feel like you have to colour your toast with joke line after joke line it may come off as forced, especially if you’re not normally the jokester in the bunch. It’s important to remain true to yourself and not put on a show for the crowd. The most important person in the room, your daughter, will definitely know if you’re not being yourself, and all she really needs is her dad—not a comedian.
Practice, practice, practice.
And then practice some more. It’s important that you attempt to memorize your speech and at the very least have everything is written down and a general idea of what you want to say. If memorizing the whole speech is a little too difficult to do in such a short amount of time, be sure to practice it enough beforehand so that you can make eye contact with the couple and the other guests. There is no exception. Even if you give TED Talks for a living, your emotions will absolutely get the best of you on that special day and leave you tongue-tied.
Etiquette to Remember
A wedding is not just a blissful event; it is also a formal occasion so everyone present should be at their best at all times. Speakers should always remember to show good manners or observe proper etiquette. While these tips may be obvious, it does not hurt to consider the following reminders:
When reciting your speech, be conscious of time. There is no need to extend your speech to more than five minutes, even if you feel that there’s more that you want to say. Don’t forget that other speakers are waiting for their turn, so keep your message short and sweet.
Stay sober, even if your speech is through. Wine and spirits are usually served at weddings, but everyone should exercise moderation. If you have a drinking problem, it might be best for you to completely avoid drinking on the day of the wedding.
Keep humour in check. Yes, jokes and hilarious stories can liven up the audience and make a speech more memorable. However, be careful that you do not step on anyone’s toes or upset anybody in your attempt to be funny.
Do not mention ex-es. It is best to completely exclude stories or reference about your daughter’s ex-es from your speech to avoid upsetting the groom or the bride. Be sensitive. No matter how good your intentions are, even a slight allusion, the bride’s ex-boyfriend may bring up unpleasant feelings for both of them. Besides, it is a celebration of the newlywed’s love for each other, so there’s no point talking about past relationships. The bride and the groom should be the focus of all the speeches.
Don’t try to steal the spotlight. While you want to deliver the best speech for your daughter, see to it that you do not steal the spotlight from the celebrants. Do not overdo your speech just to make yourself look good in front of the guests.
Don’t be afraid to wear your heart out of your sleeve. After all, you are the bride’s father, so everyone will understand if you get teary-eyed or even cry during the ceremony or while delivering your speech. It is perfectly okay for a father to be emotional once in a while.
Formally close your speech with a toast. When you are finished with your speech, don’t forget to raise your glass and propose a toast to the couple.
What to Say in Your Father of the Bride Speech
Before attempting to write your speech, you may want to gather ideas first. The internet is a very helpful resource that you can use to search for tips and inspiration. In fact, there are online resources that offer articles that tackle this particular type of wedding speech. You can even read the father of the bride speech examples that will surely inspire you. Be sure to check out a reliable and professional website before you do your research.
You may consider using a father of the bride speech template to make writing easier. Yes, it is possible to create a meaningful and original speech out of a sample speech simply by changing a few words or lines. If you will speak from the heart and imagine yourself talking to your daughter, composing a memorable speech should not be difficult at all.
Here are some ideas that you may include in your father of the bride speech. You may begin or end your speech with an inspirational quotation or a song about love. Your message may revolve around the essence of the quote or the song you’ve chosen.
Welcome the guests, and personally thank them for coming to your daughter’s wedding. Acknowledge the groom’s family. Thank them for their support and let them know that you are welcoming their son with open arms to your own family.
Compliment the bride and focus on her good qualities. The bride is the main star of this occasion. She certainly deserves all the compliments. This is your chance to express in words why you are a proud and a beaming father.
Include your personal message for your new son-in-law. It is but natural for you to talk about the bride because she is your daughter but see to it that you do not end your speech without turning your attention to the groom.
Deliver a Remarkable Speech – Practice Makes Perfect!
Preparing your father of the bride speech is just the first step. When you’re done writing, you should be willing to spend some time practising. This advice applies to everyone, whether you are an amateur speaker or a professional public speaker. Consider the following suggestions when you practice:
Initially, you can read your speech aloud until you become comfortable saying the lines.
Don’t memorize it! After a few readings, you should be able to say the lines from memory, but this doesn’t mean you should memorize the exact words you’ve written. There is no need to memorize. What you want to do is to feel each line as you recite them so you can speak from the heart.
Recite in front of a mirror. Doing this is a great way to see yourself as you deliver your speech. Facial expression and gestures are indispensable elements that should not be overlooked.
Listen to yourself. You can use an audio recorder so you can hear yourself and work on improvements where needed.
Speak in front of a real person or people. You can ask your wife or children to watch and listen as you practice your speech whenever possible. This is a good way to boost your confidence in yourself, to practice eye contact and to feel relaxed while speaking.
Remember, a remarkable speech will ultimately depend on how well the speaker delivers it! It’s not really about not making a mistake or pronouncing all the words fluently or remembering all the lines. If you sincerely believe in the lines, you are saying, if you are expressing those words from the bottom of your heart, your emotions will transcend to your audience. Your listeners will feel what you are feeling, and you will be able to touch hearts, especially that of your daughter’s.