When two people decide to declare their love for each other with a wedding ceremony, their family and friends will play several important roles throughout the entire wedding planning process. Out of all of these roles, the father of the bride will be one of the most important. While most fathers will experience a variety of mixed emotions at the thought of giving their daughter away, their contributions to the wedding will begin long before walking down the aisle. To help fathers prepare for their daughter’s wedding, the following guide has been prepared to explain some of the traditional father of the bride duties along with a few modern twists for making a wedding a memorable occasion.
Paying for the Wedding
In the past, the father of the bride was always expected to cover the full cost of the wedding. In modern times, fathers of the bride can relax a bit because many young couples now expect to pay for a portion of their wedding on their own. While this is often the case, fathers of the bride should still set aside a portion of their savings to help pay for the wedding reception, venues and any other expenses that may arise.
Escorting to the Venue and Down the Aisle
Perhaps the most important duty that a father will perform on a wedding day is making sure his daughter arrives safely to the church or venue on time regardless of how late she may have been out at her hen party. Then, he will walk her down the aisle. At this point, tradition once set forth that a father would lift his daughter’s wedding veil; however, many modern brides no longer require for their father to give them away or lift the veil so it is important to discuss this portion of the wedding long before the actual ceremony. You should also have a rehearsal of the ceremony to crystalize the expectations of the father of the bride during the ceremony.
Announcing the Couple
If the father of the bride has paid for the venue and is taking a more traditional role of ‘hosting’ the venue then they are usually the first to arrive and will meet and greet people as they arrive before the newly married couple arrives. The ushers and groomsmen help people find their seats and then the father of the bride will announce the couple as they enter and the guest cheer.
Give a Toast
After the wedding and usually during the reception, a father of the bride will be expected to give a short speech to wish the newly wedded couple well. Although it can be tempting to get overly sentimental, it is best to keep this speech short while offering a memorable story or short joke to keep it light. Although for some weddings sentiment is nice but overly long speeches aren’t always appreciated but talking over the timescales with your daughter and her future husband will help.
Father and Daughter Dance
A common wedding tradition is that a father will dance with his daughter following the first dance of the married couple. Many fathers and daughters practice this dance and may choose a special song that is full of sentiment. Following this dance, fathers of the bride will then mingle with guests and make sure that everyone is having a good time. As host of the event, they will also make sure that everyone has enough food and drinks throughout the night.
Last Man Standing
After the reception, it is the father of the bride’s duty to make sure that every guest makes it home safe. Therefore, he should get plenty of rest the night before so that he will be prepared to stay up late and wave goodbye to the very last guest. If drinks have been served, then the father of the bride may also need to make transportation arrangements for those who have enjoyed themselves too much. Additionally, the father of the bride will oversee any last-minute clean-ups of the wedding venue before heading home to relax.