We know you’re nervous about making a father-of-the-bride speech at your little girl’s wedding. We won’t mince words here. You should be.
This is why you’re probably furiously Googling “father of the bride speech examples,” so someone will tell you what to say.
Make it funny, but short. Make it moving, but not too personal.
Your job is to make everyone laugh and cry tears of joy. As the head honcho of your household (ok, second to your wife), it falls on your head to get it right, or you’ll ruin everything.
All of that is hooey, of course, but you probably feel that way all the same.
We want to help, so we’ve put together a father-of-the-bride speech outline to help you decide what to say and remember when to say it.
Simple Father Of The Bride Speech Template
Step One: Know The Rules And Etiquette
Before you get to writing, there are some basic speech rules and etiquette you should consider to avoid disaster and embarrassment.
- Do Your Homework
Call in the cavalry. There are no rules that say your speech can’t be a collaborative effort. If you’re unsure what to talk about, ask those who know her best for stories and anecdotes.
Find out who’s invited that you may not know so well. It helps to keep in mind who your audience will be.
- Watch Your Time
Seven. Minutes. That’s the maximum time a father-of-the-bride speech ought to last. Anything more prolonged, and you’ll lose them. If you can, aim for six.
- No Cliches, Find Ways To Be Unique
Talk about the qualities your daughter has that set her apart. Of course she’s brilliant and talented and beautiful. Anyone who knows her knows that.
Avoid a resume-like list of her career or education, unless you can link that to a funny story or something that pertains to her new husband.
- Avoid Talking About Money, Religion, Or Politics
Just like at dinner parties (because let’s face it, that’s kind of what a wedding reception is), the rule is to avoid talking politics, religion, or money.
Of course, it’s entirely appropriate to thank God and, by all means, prayers up. But use good judgment and keep it PC.
- Keep It Clean
We probably don’t have to mention it, but we will anyway. Nothing will suck the air out of the room like a tasteless joke or inappropriate anecdote from Dad. Gross.
- Aim For Funny, But Avoid Inside Jokes
Yes, you want to be funny, that’s a given. Remember, you are the master of the Dad Joke. Work it. Just avoid inside jokes, it may alienate some of the guests.
- Don’t Get Too Emotional, Keep It Light
Just like you want to make ’em laugh, making your audience tear up is gratifying, too. But make sure you don’t go overboard and make it awkward.
- Keep Your Family Strife Out Of It
It’s unbelievable how often people give speeches like this and veer off onto a tangent about family quarrels.
If you and your daughter’s mother are no longer together and aren’t on the best of terms, keep it out of the speech. If you and her mother’s new significant other don’t get along, now is not the time.
If someone’s not speaking to Aunt Tilly or the bride’s cousin ruined another family wedding by getting drunk and hitting on the groom’s mother: Do. Not. Make it a thing.
Seems like common sense, but people are mysterious creatures.
Step Two: Make An Outline
OK, with etiquette out of the way (but not out of mind), it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty — the fun part! When you make your outline, by all means, write it all on cue cards and use them. Whatever you need to keep focused.
- Opening Line/Introduce Yourself
Every good speech needs an opener, but it doesn’t have to be stand-up material. A quick introduction and welcoming the guests will do nicely.
- Thank Your Wife, The Groom’s Parents, The Officiant, etc.
This is another part you can get through quickly. It’ll be tempting to spend a lot of time on this one, but keep in mind that you can thank everyone more thoroughly and one-on-one throughout the reception.
Unless there’s something particular you feel the need to say, a quick thanks will do.
- Share A Story Or Two and Don’t Forget The Groom
The moment everyone’s been waiting for: dad making fun of his daughter and her new husband. Gently, of course.
Seriously, though, this is the time to be funny. Mention the first time you met your new son-in-law and what you thought of him (if it’s not seriously negative). Talk about funny things from her childhood, as long as they’re not mortifyingly embarrassing.
The material for this part is rich, mine it.
- Impart Some Fatherly Wisdom
So you’ve made them laugh, now make them say “awwwww.”
Pass on what you’ve learned about life, love, and happiness – things that worked for you, and maybe things that didn’t work so well if you can keep it light.
If there’s a deceased family member that your daughter was particularly fond of, now is an excellent time to hand down any wisdom they imparted to you.
- Raise A Toast
The toast can stay short and sweet, all you have to do now is invite everyone to raise a glass to the newlywed’s happiness. Done and done.
Father-Of-The-Bride Speech Examples
If this whole speech thing has been on your mind (obviously it has. otherwise, you wouldn’t be reading this), you’ll probably want an example or two for how to do it like a boss.
Prepare to get educated…
BEST Father-of-the-Bride Speech. Ever. (According to the person who uploaded the Youtube video)
We love the way he includes the groom the whole way through, and his toast is perfect.
You’ll notice this guy incorporates money and religion in his speech and manages to make it not at all awkward, but fabulous. Shows how bendable the rules can be if you’re on your game…
Heartwarming Father-of-the-Bride Speech (Get Out the Hankie!)
This father offers up a funny and heartwarming speech, along with a few props that take this speech to another level.
Hilarious Father-of-the-Bride Speech That Includes the Groom’s Family
He’s included the groom’s family in this speech in the best way ever. Not to mention the hilarity of his son-in-law story! We’re dyin’ over here!
Some Parting Advice
The speeches are arguably the best part of the reception, next to the open bar and dancing. Ahem.
Although it may feel like it, no one expects the world from the father-of-the-bride when he toasts the happy couple.
It’s your job to be sincere, remind everyone of what makes your daughter so wonderful, and tell the room why you’re thrilled to gain a son-in-law.
Do that, and the rest will fall into place. Next thing you know you’ll be grabbing a martini, loosening your tie and breathing a sigh of relief that you nailed that speech. Now to nail those dance moves you’ve been practicing!