The father of the bride (groom) speech at the wedding reception is an incredibly special moment that both the couple and their guests look forward to with excitment. But with such attention comes pressure, right? As a loving father, you naturally want to do everything right and craft a speech that will not only make you proud but also touch the souls of everyone in the room. So, where to start and what's the secret to a perfect father's speech? The answer is to simply be yourself, speak from the heart, and let your genuine emotions shine. For more advice, take a look at our easy-to-follow guide, where we've gathered tips on how to write and deliver the best father's speech ever.
What is the Father of the Bride (Groom) Speech?
The father's speech is one of the most touching and unforgettable moments of a wedding day. This time-honored tradition sets the tone for the festivities ahead. Typically given during the reception, the speech serves as a heartfelt tribute to the newlyweds. As the father stands in front of the guests and the happy couple, he shares his thoughts and emotions about the day, his daughter (or son), their new spouse, and the exciting chapter the two lovers are about to start.
How Long Should it Be?
The length absolutely matters! Ideally, the speech shouldn’t exceed 5-7 minutes and be around 1,000 words, so the guests wouldn’t lose interest, focus and give you maximum of their attention. This amount of time is enough for expressing your emotions, sharing some anecdotes, words of wisdom and offering your well-wishes. The golden rule here is to be considerate of the overall schedule of the wedding day and strike a balance between delivering a meaningful and heartfelt speech while also keeping it engaging and not too lengthy. Remember: it’s better to leave guests wanting more rather than having them become impatient.
What Should the Speech Include?
Every father wants their speech to be unique and totally different from what others deliver — that’s for sure. Still, there’s a certain structure you should keep in mind when preparing yours. A typical father of the bride (groom) speech includes elements such as introduction, anecdotes, advice or wisdom, positive and supportive words. Now, let’s talk in more detail!
Start your speech by simply introducing yourself as the father of the bride or groom. You might be thinking, "Why introduce myself? Everyone knows me, right?" Even though many guests might already be familiar with you, there still could be those who are meeting you for the first time, so make sure everyone feels included. After the intro, address the couple and share your happiness and gratitude for being part of such a big day and of course, let them and everyone around know how proud and honored you are.
Take a moment to warmly welcome the guests and thank everyone for their presence at the wedding. Let them know how much it means to the couple and you as a family member to see so many supportive people gathered in one place, all here to cheer for the happiness of the bride and groom. And as you express your thanks, it's also a nice moment to remember any family members who couldn’t make it or are no longer with you but played a big role in raising your now-married daughter or son.
Share Sweet Memories
Sharing a special moment from your daughter or son’s younger years adds a sweet, nostalgic and very personal touch to the wedding speech. It might be a sweet memory from their childhood that still warms your heart or a funny (yet not embarrassing!) story you just can’t forget even years after. We promise you, this will bring tears of joy to everyone in the room, not just the bride and groom! One important thing to note: keep the stories light-hearted and appropriate for the occasion.
Shower Your Child with Compliments
Every parent is proud of their child, so feel free to let your emotions flow and shower your child with praise in your wedding speech. Share some of those standout moments or big achievements that have always filled you with immense joy and pride as a parent. You know your child better than anyone, so take this opportunity to low-key introduce to everyone their best qualities and unique traits.
Welcome the New Member of the Family
Of course, as a proud father, you have lots of things to say about your dear child, and let's be honest, if given the chance, you could go on and on for hours. That's completely understandable! But make sure to give some love and attention to your new son- or daughter-in-law too. Now that you're all part of one big, happy family, it's important to warmly welcome them. You can reminisce about the first time you two met or tell everyone about some memorable moments you've shared together. Mention what you admire about your child’s partner and how harmoniously the couple complement each other. These heartfelt words will make them feel super happy!
Offer Advice or Wisdom
The life experience and insights you've gained over the years can be a great source of guidance for the newlyweds as they kickstart their married life. Through your words of wisdom and advice you can inspire the bride and groom to cherish their relationship, make them feel more self-assured, and remind them that they've got their parents' back whenever they need help. You can also share some inspirational quotes about love and marriage that you find really powerful or that once changed your own way of thinking. No matter which route you decide to take, deliver your words with clarity and calmness!
End with a Toast
The best way to finish your speech is by encouraging everyone to stand and raise the glass of wine or champagne for the couple's happiness and future together. You can use a traditional wedding toast, such as "To love, laughter, and a lifetime of happiness," or come up with something of your own that is meaningful to you and the couple.
What to Avoid Including?
When you're putting together your speech, there are a few things you should avoid at all costs. First, steer clear of unnecessary or overly common jokes. While a little bit of humor can add a fun and relaxed vibe, overused or worn-out jokes won't do you a favor. Also, skip inside jokes that only a few guests will get — your speech should connect everybody in the room. If you're not feeling inspired or witty, it's perfectly fine to not include any jokes at all. Otherwise, your speech may feel forced, especially if you're not known for being a jokester. Don't bring up any past relationships or not-so-great romantic experiences the bride or groom might've had. Stick only to positive memories — everybody is here to celebrate love and happiness, after all. And here's the final no-no: don't go overboard with cliches. They can make your wedding speech sound insincere and unoriginal.
When to Start Writing?
Give yourself plenty of time to think through, plan and write your speech. We'd suggest starting to prepare not just a day or two, or even a week, but at least a couple of months before the wedding date. If you're struggling to find the right words or need some creative inspiration, don’t hesitate to reach out to other family members for help. You don’t have to do this alone! After you've written everything, take a moment to go through the speech and make any necessary edits. You might want to cut down certain parts or smooth out the overall flow to make it sound even better.
How to Successfully Deliver Your Speech?
So, now you know about the dos and don’ts of writing the perfect father’s speech, which leads to the next major step — the delivery. And how you present your words is just as important as the content itself.
Practice, practice, practice
Practice makes perfect! If you want to deliver your speech with confidence, be sure to rehearse it multiple times. Practicing will help you become more familiar with the content and sound more natural when the big day arrives. It’s also a great idea to test your speech on someone, be that your partner or somebody who can give an honest feedback. Later you can adjust your speech based on their reaction or remarks. Take on any advice they give — it can be super valuable!
Maintain an Eye Contact & Use Gestures
When delivering your speech, connect with the couple and guests by making eye contact with them. It will not only help you keep your audience’s attention but moreover show them that your words come from the heart. And while you are speaking, feel free to use some gestures and body language to make your speech more engaging. Just don’t go overboard with it, or it might get a bit too distracting!
Speak Slowly & Clearly
Giving a wedding speech is a big responsibility, and it’s absolutely normal to feel a bit jittery. But even if the nerves kick in, take a deep breath and don't speak too fast. Speak slowly and clearly so that everyone can understand your words and follow along. Worried that you might forget something? Cue cards with important points or phrases can be a handy backup to keep you on track and help you feel more at ease.
Don’t Forget to Smile
It's so simple but makes such a difference! Whatever the occasion may be, when a person wears a warm, sincere smile, they instantly become more approachable and confident in the eyes of other people. So smile, smile and once again smile, when delivering your speech. Your positivity will set the tone for the night and create a joyful atmosphere that everyone will cherish. On a special day like this, nothing but good vibes are in order!