It's a big day when your daughter gets married. Yes, times have changed; maybe you didn't pay for the wedding; maybe her partner didn't ask you for her hand. But no matter what, she's still your little girl, and you want to make sure she has the best day of her life. And part of that means giving a speech.
The father of the bride speech is traditionally the first toast, and one that your daughter will hold onto for years to come. And so, of course, you want to get it right. Of course, you can take away all the worry by letting me write your speech for you, but if you have the time and skill to write your own speech there are a few ways to make it stand out from the crowd.
Father of the bride quick guide
1. Welcome the guests
2. Gentle warm up joke
3. A story about your daughter as a child
4. A story about your daughter now.
5. Talk about the groom
6. Welcome the groom and his parents to your family
7. Say something sweet to your daughter
8. Give your advice
9. Toast the couple
1. Sum up your daughter in three words
Beautiful, caring & loving? Bossy, impatient and empowered? Creative, driven and successful? They don't have to be 'nice' typical dad words like 'princess' or sweetheart, just words that truly describe her - so much so that every one who knows her would agree.
2. Pick one story for each of the words
They don't all have to be funny. If you're talking about your daughter being successful, you might think about the time she worked really hard to be the best person a egg and spoon racing, or how her company won an award last year. Stick to the stories that make you smile.
3. Write it down
Father of the bride speeches don't need to follow a template, but it might go something like this
- The intro - Make sure everyone knows who you are
- The welcome - welcome everyone to the venue
- Your daughter - tell those three stories. Keep them short, no more than 4-5 lines each, and , if you can, try to find a way to link them all together. (Maybe there's a common theme that runs through them all, such as family or sport... etc)
- Your new-in-laws Talk about the partner for a little while. How did you first meet meet them. What did you think. What do you think now? (Be nice. Even if you and them never quite saw eye-to-eye they mean the world to your daughter.) This is also the point to welcome any parents into your family as well.
- Be sweet - turn to your daughter directly and hammer on the sweetness for a few minutes, telling her exactly what she means to you.
- Give advice - This is traditional, but not that important - make it sweet or make it funny and quickly move on to...
- The toast - Ask the guests to stand and raise a glass to the happy couple.
4. Go through and cut it down
Chances are good you've written too much. If is speech is more than 900 words, go through it an cut out the parts. Take out the jokes you found on Google (everyone's heard them before) and the bit where you list everyones of your daughter success. Instead, stick to the clear, simple moments and stories. These mean so much more than a bad joke from the internet or a recitation of her CV.
Read out the speech at your normal speed and see how it sounds. See if there's any points that you struggle on or words you stumble over and change them, or simply cut them out. It's far better to have a speech of three minutes that she'll remember for all the right reasons than one of 7 minutes which makes her cringe every time she thinks of it.
That's all there is too it
Spend time on your wedding speech and follow the simple rules above and you'll be sure that your daughter and the guests are talking about the speech all night long.
Or alternatively, I can write your speech for you instead, and take away the worry and the stress in one quick click.