Speech Guides >> Father of the Bride Speech
Father of the Bride Speech Expert Samples and Tips
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Souzy Theophilopoulos 7 minute read Updated on 10-26-2021
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As one of the hosts of the evening, it is expected that you will address and acknowledge guests. As the first cab off the rank, many say, “don’t overshadow the groom or other speakers.” While this may be somewhat true, the night's speeches should start with a bang so that the audience is stirred, alert, entertained, and ready for the next speaker. A big responsibility, but nothing you can’t achieve.
A great father of the bride speech provides a parent’s perspective on the bride and couple and shows appreciation towards the audience. Being the father of the bride, you have a unique insight into the couple and can help to boost the love-filled spirit of the occasion. You also have connections with many guests and are well-positioned to provide trusted background insight. With a focus on stories and characteristics of the bride and the couple, along with acknowledging family and friends in your speech, your words will shine the spotlight on the couple’s adventure of falling in love and leave the audience feeling happy and entertained.
Here's what we'll uncover
✓ How to plan properly for your speech writing journey
✓ Must-have sections and inclusions
✓ The things that truly make an impact with the wedding party and guests
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How to write a father of the bride speech
We’ve seen a tonne of speeches, and there are a few popular and simple elements that are included in great father of the bride speeches.
An interesting, well thought out opening that grabs attention
Recognizing guests generally and for specific reasons, such as absentees and those who contributed towards wedding preparations
Insights into the bride’s past, present, and future
Admiration and fondness towards both the bride and the couple and best wishes for the future
Including more topics may be appropriate for your circumstances, but keep in mind that it could reduce the impact and make your speech harder to follow. Any content that is not as impactful as the rest of your speech isn’t worth adding.
As long as you consider the below, you'll create a great speech that injects extra fun and good feelings into the wedding reception.
Now, how would you cover these elements in your speech?
Father of the bride speech planning
To cover essential elements in a clear, easy-to-follow format, we’ve broken up the father of the bride speech in our Builder into the following sections:
We’ve found the common approach is to move strictly from section to section. But, you may decide to intertwine stories from one section within other areas in your speech to give it a more organic, fluid vibe. All we recommend is – it’s up to you!
Just don’t jump around too much. People like to follow a clear path when listening so the information is logical and easily understood.
There are no hard-and-fast rules outside of ensuring you consider each of these sections, acknowledge and welcome guests, and voice your feelings for the bride and couple.
Aligning with your audience
Being a more mature gentleman than many at the wedding, you’re undoubtedly a little less worried about getting up in front of an audience. You may even be less concerned with what they think of you and your speech! Nonetheless, it’s important for your speech to appeal to your audience, but also to reflect who you are.
Are you the life of the party, always telling questionable jokes? Are you more reserved and formal? Best to stick with what people expect from you, but prioritize your audience’s expectations. In other words – don’t take it too far. Ensure it appeals to them.
Your central theme
Another planning process to undertake before writing your speech: we recommend creating a theme if you are unsure about the direction you wish to take for your speech.
Creative writing is hard! So, coming up with one or two ideas about the overall message you wish to send with your speech makes it much easier to think of what to write about. Also, it’ll keep you on a central path and ensure your message is clear and concise!
This example, taken from our Speech Builder, is a great summary of what the father of the bride hopes to encapsulate in his speech. He is bound to tell stories about what he has seen and heard that give him confidence. He may also define what a successful and happy marriage looks like and relate this definition to his stories.
Time for the formalities.
Most people start with a “hi” and a “welcome”, but part of your job is to stir your audience and get them interested to hear upcoming speakers. The starting words of your speech should pique the interest of your audience and have them subconsciously thinking, “Hmm, didn’t expect this. What’s going to happen next?”.
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Welcoming the audience and acknowledging family, friends, absentees, those who have traveled long distances, and those who have made an extra effort will complete this necessary part of your speech.
Time to focus on your daughter, make her feel special, and relate your relationship with her to the context of the wedding.
As someone who has raised and known the bride her entire life, you have a lot to tell about her qualities and quirks. Here, you could include an opinion, a feeling, a story or two, or a combination of these.
The key to winning with this section is to make your daughter and the audience feel “warm and fuzzy”, having related your relationship to the wedding day.
An example may include something like:
When [Bride] moved out, it was hard! We missed having her around. [Bride] - you're so clever and thoughtful. We are very proud of you and we love you dearly.
But, you could add a little more detail to make this part of your speech stronger, more captivating, and more intimate:
The groom and the couple
Now to focus on the groom. Similar to your section about the bride, the purpose here is to make the groom shine for just a moment.
Depending on your relationship with the groom, it is a great place to add some humor and show admiration for the couple. You may wish to talk about:
how you met the groom
a time where you knew the couple would get married
watching the bride grow through the experience
memorable moments from having been part of the couple’s journey
a joke or two about the responsibilities of a husband and son-in-law
As long as everyone has a good time with this section, you can’t go wrong.
On that note
Your speech isn't complete with adding a touch of admiration and sincerity. Talking about how special the bride or couple is will balance out the light-heartedness of your earlier sections.
If you’re worried about the length of your speech, you can quickly finish up. Otherwise, you may choose to finish with a lengthier quote, opinion, or a funny anecdote about marriage. Also - perhaps the bride or couple has been through some challenges. Touching on these with a focus on hope and positivity will be personally appreciated by the bride and groom.
Round off by sending best wishes for the future, and of course a toast! Ending your speech on a highly positive note will ensure that you leave your audience with feelings of love and happiness.
When you write your closing section, consider referring back to your theme and using a version of it as the end of your speech. It should neatly capture the overall message of your speech.
Create a speech using more examples like this
Taking the mic – your delivery
Your efforts to write your father of the bride speech are not to just “get it done”, but to make the speech enjoyable, memorable, and one that has people approaching you to sing their praises for your speech. After all, you will have put in a lot of effort! There is something special about making an impact on your audience when you thought your sole job was just to “get through it”.
Using professional public speaking techniques is an incredibly powerful way to make a huge impact on your guests, particularly when telling funny stories or during other emotional points in your speech. Examples include:
• Looking at people when talking to them specifically
• Talking at a slower rate and lower pitch when talking about an emotional topic
• Pausing before giving the punchline
• Talking loud at an exciting moment
Give these some thought as you write your speech. Or, when you’ve finished your speech, read it over and explore where you can add these techniques so that you get the most out of your speech. Our professional speechwriters consider these techniques as critical as the words they apply to, which is why they are built into all of our Builder, Shop, and Pro Support content.
And finally – remember to rehearse. The more you develop your speech and rehearse, the greater the impression you will make. Confidence through a well-written speech is great, but using your voice and your body effectively only comes through practice.
For more information, check out our Public Speaking Resources.
That was the final thing you needed to learn in order to perfect your speech. Before we end, let’s summarize.
Include all of the important elements – recognition, and showing your sincerity and fondness for the bride and couple
Make sure to plan – sections, audience, and theme
Choose an interesting opening
Talk about both your early years and more recent years knowing the bride
Boost the love-filled spirit of the occasion with a heartfelt comment about the bride or couple
Consider popular ways to close your speech
Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse!
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Souzy is the Lead Speechwriter at SpeechForm and has been part of the professional public speaking scene for over 24 years. Souzy has written and delivered several award-winning speeches, and applies her deep knowledge to help people to reach their full potential