father of the bride speech
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Explore how we write Father of the Bride Speeches. Discover what you need to include, and learn tips and tricks on impressing your audience.
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Father of the Bride
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How We Write a Father of the Bride Speech
Why the need for a speech?
As one of the official (or unofficial) 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, and 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 provided 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.
How we write a Father of the Bride Speech
We typically follow the below structure to create a Father of the Bride Speech. Telling a story or two and making the bride and audience happy is the goal of this speech. But, there is plenty of room to compliment the bridal party, talk about the couple, and give the audience insight into the bride. By including all these areas within your speech, you will make the bride and groom happy and impress your audience by pulling on their heartstrings.
You may wish to include more stories or messages, but as long as you consider the below, you'll create a great speech that injects extra fun and good feelings into the wedding reception.
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.
What is the overall message you are trying to send with the speech? Before you put pen to paper, think about what you want to say. It’s too easy for most to simply write something “because they have to” without giving some thought as to what it is they are trying to achieve with this speech. Naturally, you’ll want to please your audience and the bride and groom, but consider getting more specific. Understanding this will ensure you send a clear message with your speech, and it helps you to come up with ideas.
The very first words in your speech. 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?”. Consider launching straight into a comment or a story about the bride, a quote, an interesting fact about the wedding location, or an opinion about marriage. We like to grab the audience's attention straight away and prepare them for some laughs, tears, and entertainment. Alternatively, you could skip straight to the Welcome and Thanks.
Welcome and Thanks
Time for the formalities. 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 and have everyone feeling part of the group.
A transition from the start and into the body of your speech. Following the formalities, engage your audience with general thoughts on the wedding day, yesteryear, the couple, or marriage. Some may launch straight into stories about the bride or groom, but this is a place to add a personal touch, relate the day’s events to your own life, and keep the audience’s interest up. If you wrote a theme, this is a great place to get your message out there.
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.
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, or 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.
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.
Consider how you are delivering your speech. There may be times in your speech that you should vary your tone and volume, and times you should use gestures. These tools will help to get maximum impact, so consider this when you write your speech. For more on how to deliver a Father of the Bride Speech, check out our Resources page.
At SpeechForm, we believe your efforts to write your Father of the Bride Speech is 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”. Make sure to include the above points so that the audience gets what they expect from your speech. And always ask yourself - what am I trying to achieve with this speech? Keep that in mind as you develop your content.
Remember to rehearse. This is a performance. 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.
Get it right, and you will leave a lasting impression that your audience will remember long after the wedding.
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