At a wedding, everyone generally has a role to play. However, the most important roles (at least some of them) are actually given to the father of the bride. The father of the bride is a key element to the bridal party. He is expected to take on several responsibilities on and before the day of the wedding.
Below you will find a brief description of the 6 roles that the father of the bride has to take on. This is a guide to familiarize you with the father of the bride’s long-standing traditions. Some of them you might know, but it’s guaranteed you will learn something new.
- Wedding Finances
In later traditions, the parents of the bride would spend for the wedding. Times have changed this tradition, however. Nowadays, the cost of the wedding is either shared by the families or paid for by the bride and groom altogether. While the role of a father of the bride on finances has been dismissed, many fathers still choose to make a sizable contribution to their baby girl’s big day.
- Giving the Bride a Ride
Another one of the responsibilities that the father of the bride has before the wedding ceremony is to ensure that the bride makes it. Normally, tradition dictates that the father be the transportation for the bride. Even if the father just rides along in a chauffeured car, this is a time-honored tradition that should never fade.
This is a tradition that is based on quality time. It is the last one-on-one time a father gets with his daughter before she is married, and therefore, should be upheld. This is an emotional time for both the father and the daughter. Try to not ruin her make-up with the sentimental talk. This time is better spent calming nerves and lifting spirits with a piece of helpful advice.
- Give Her Away
Now that the finances have been covered and the bride is ready to be wed, it is time for the hardest part of any father’s life… Giving her away. It is the key responsibility of the father of the bride to walk his daughter down the aisle. This is going to be the most memorable moment in the father’s life, so he best savor it.
It is advised that this walk is practiced. Little nuances like walking speed can ruin a good moment. So perfect the walk and remember to have tissues on hand.
- The Reception
Generally, the parents of the bride are in charge of organizing the reception. This means all hosting duties from the beginning to the end of the event. While not every wedding follows this tradition, if you decide to take on this role, you need to make it your personal goal that everything runs smoothly.
What does that mean? Keeping the guests happy, vendors doing their jobs, and cleaning up at the end. This even means that the family squabbling that may arise falls on your to resolve.
Lastly, during the reception, it is a tradition that the parents of the bride are the first to greet the guests. They are generally followed by the newlyweds than the family of the groom. It is a simple task of welcoming the guests.
- Reception Speech
While it is tradition to greet each guest and set up the event to run smoothly, you also have to be the one to break the ice with a small toast and/or welcome speech. No need to have anything long and complicated; just get the point across and make sure it is loving and memorable. Like anything, practice makes perfect.
Make sure that your toast has a general, warm welcome and thank you to the guests. Congratulate the newlyweds, and honor the merging of the two different families. If you are having issues coming up with a speech on your own, there are templates and samples online to give you good examples. Just remember, your speech should come from the heart and be your own words.
- The Dance
This is one of those moments you only truly experience once. The father-daughter dance. It is a tradition to be the first dance at the wedding, and it is a teary-eyed and heartfelt moment, to say the least. Next to walking her down the aisle, this is the second most memorable moment of your daughter’s wedding. Enjoy it. Pick a meaningful song that resonates with the bond your share with your daughter.
If you are worried about your dancing skills, again, practice. Taking lessons or classes (especially with your daughter) can help make the moment more special than it would be if you just wing it.
Lastly, you are free to enjoy the party. As the host, you will have some responsibilities that you will need to see to still, so don’t tie on too many cocktails to your night. Don’t stress, try not to cry, and most importantly, make sure your daughter stays as happy as she can be on her special day. Make this important day one that will form a memory for you and her that will never be forgotten.
As a father, you have grown to love, protect, and support your daughter. During her wedding, these can be difficult jobs. Remember that it is your daughter’s day, and you are only there to compliment it, not complicate it.