The father of the bride speech is an anticipatory moment of the entire reception. It can be the hardest job and one of the most memorable parts of the party. Addressing the guests, moving their hearts, thanking every moving piece of the event, and possibly adding a few chuckles in the mix, it can be a balance that even a word magician has stressed over creating.
Thankfully, we’re here to point all future speech and toast writers in the right direction and provide ample inspiration for their personalized toast.
Preparation & Tips
When you sit down to write your speech, go with a rough draft first. This outline will help you plan the route you want to take and then you can fill in the blanks with descriptions later.
It’s also a great opportunity to think about the tone you want to convey throughout your speech. Do you want it to come off as sentimental and sweet or light-hearted and loving? Decide this early on.
As the father of the bride, you’ll want to be ready to welcome guests to the reception and begin the celebration with your speech – as well as thank all parties for helping the event come together. This is both traditional and tasteful – and you have the opportunity to set the tone for the rest of the night.
That being said, here are some quick tips for writing a wedding speech:
Speak slowly, confidently, and clearly. And, yes, practice (in the mirror) if you feel rather nervous. If you don’t have anyone to test it on, another trick is to read your speech to an inanimate object of your choice. If you have a pet, their receptiveness (especially dogs) can help build confidence for a more heartfelt delivery.
Write your speech down by hand for better retention.
This will help with your memorization and it will also help you polish it to perfection. Also, having it on hand (written or printed) to glance at is always a great idea if your nerves do end up taking over. Just don’t read straight off the card or your phone during the actual event.
Reflect on the past and focus on the future. These are two pieces of the speech puzzle you don’t want to miss out on. Use memories from the bride’s childhood, memories of the couple’s meeting, and hopes and wishes for their lives together as husband and wife. Looking at it as a guideline/outline will help you stay on task and give the speech a natural flow of progression.
Adding some laughter into the mix is always a good idea. The key here is to not cross any lines or embarrass the couple in any way. Light jokes or digging up funny bits of nostalgia should be the goal. To keep a respectful tone, always write out jokes in a way that lifts the person up to avoid any negative connotations and avoid embarrassment.
Don’t go overboard in time. Shoot for five minutes. Anything shorter won’t feel like enough and anything too much longer will have guests zoning out. Focus on delivery and relaying your feelings through your words through quality, rather than relying on quantity.
Also, don’t forget about mom, or anyone else that helped raise your little girl.
This is the right time to say, “On behalf of her mom and I” or frequent use “we” when relaying shared experiences with the bride. There are exceptions, of course, and not every family is standard, but that doesn’t mean you can’t write a wonderful speech if, say, mom and dad are divorced.
Quotes & Jokes
To help spruce up a possible lull in your speech or add some personalized pizzazz, think about including some of your favorite quotes or jokes. Find some of our favorites below for inspiration:
“Being a good husband is like being a stand-up comic. You need ten years before you can call yourself a beginner.” —Jerry Seinfeld
“Before you marry a person you should first make them use a computer with slow Internet to see who they really are.” – Will Ferrell
“Don’t marry for money; you can borrow it cheaper.” – Scottish Proverb
“If you want your wife to listen to you, then talk to another woman: she will be all ears.” – Sigmund Freud
“Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, half shut afterward.” – Benjamin Franklin
“Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful and endures through every circumstance.” – 1 Corinthians 13:7
“I never thought this day would arrive when you got married. But now I’ve finally got my bathroom back!”
“I’ve been her father for a long time and I’ve seen her be sick, wet herself and cry herself to sleep. But enough about her 18th birthday.”
“If you don’t know who I am already, I’m the bride, [Bride's], father. Growing up through she called me a lot of other names though. Daddy was popular. But so was Visa, Mastercard, and American Express.”
“[Groom], now that you’re married remember that when you have a discussion with your wife, always remember to get the last two words in: ‘Yes dear..’”
“The most effective way to remember your wedding anniversary is to forget once.”
“Whenever you’re wrong, admit it. Whenever you’re right, shut up.”
“There are only two times in a man’s life when he can’t understand a woman – before marriage and after marriage.”
“My wife says I never listen, or something like that.”
“It doesn’t matter how often a married man changes his job, he still ends up with the same boss.”
“Happy marriages are a matter of give and take. The husband gives, the wife takes.”
Father of the Bride Speech Examples
“When Sarah was a little girl, she used to lift her dress over her head and pretend it was a veil. Fortunately, she’s acquired a bit more finesse since then, and today she is the most beautiful bride I have seen since I married her mother more than 30 years ago. I am so proud that my little girl has grown into such a beautiful and accomplished woman.’
‘I’d like to thank John’s parents, on behalf of the bride and groom, for their generosity. Without it, we would not be all sitting down to such a lovely meal in such a beautiful hotel, and I’m grateful for them for helping to make this day so special for my youngest daughter.’
‘What can I say about John? Quite simply, Sarah couldn’t have chosen better. He’s everything I would have looked for in a son-in-law and I’m delighted that he’s joining our family.’
‘I don’t want to bore you with how happy I am today, so I’ll finish up with the traditional toast said from the heart. Ladies and gentleman, I give you… the bride and groom.” – via Confetti
“Marriages, like births, mark a new beginning. The day I drove home from the hospital after [Bride] was born was a new beginning for me. To be the father of a daughter seemed a bit overwhelming but anticipation for her life and for our relationship helped me overcome my fears and work hard to be a father worthy of such a daughter.
Today, we stand at another new beginning as [Bride] and [Groom] start a brand new family. Like me, they are probably filled with a feeling of being a little overwhelmed at it all, but those feelings will melt away in large part as they anticipate their new life together and as they build a relationship that will stand the test of time.
Be true to each other always; share your joys and your burdens; love much and laugh much; be each other’s best friend. Always speak well of one another, even in private. And when things don’t go well, forgive as often as it is required.
Married life is an adventure and you embark today on that adventure together. Even though you are individuals, your covenant today makes the couple more important than either of you separately.
One day, if you are fortunate as I have been, you will stand in awe of a new life entering your family. That will be another beginning, filled with apprehension and anticipation. Bring to that relationship the same level of love and commitment you do to your marriage, and you will find joy beyond compare.
So today, your friends and family surround you as you begin something new and marvelous. Remember your promises, keep them with all your heart, and you will have that sense of joy and wonder that exceeds all you have heretofore known.
With all my heart, I offer you my congratulations and warmest wishes as you begin the latest adventure life has to offer.” – via Fatherhood
“‘This is an important day for me… as I resuscitate my bank account and hand over Sarah’s spending habits to someone else.’
‘The good thing about weddings is that, as father-of-the-bride, you can show everyone how generous you are. I wanted to give you all an itemized bill so that you could see for yourselves how much these flowers cost, but Angela told me that it was not the done thing… as she slid into her astronomically-priced hat!’
‘Seriously, I have looked forward to this day for years. Sarah makes a stunning bride, John is a good man, and I wish them every happiness for the future. If they are even half as happy as my wife and I, then they will be very happy indeed.’
‘Marriage is an important commitment, so much so that you need a mortgage to pay for it! But it takes more than that. It needs patience and compromise, and I should know – I’ve been patiently compromising for years!’
‘Bob’s just looked at his watch, which is the signal that he needs a drink, so, ladies and gentlemen, please be upstanding. I give you… the bride and groom.” – via Confetti
From The Spruce
“As I look at this beautiful woman before me in the lovely wedding gown, I can’t help but reflect on the girl she was and the woman she has become. She became “Daddy’s Girl” on the day she was born and has always been a princess to me.
All through her life, she has brought joy to her mother and me, and while not every day has been perfect, the love I feel for her has been.
And today, she has joined hands with a wonderful young man, and in addition to the sparkle I have always seen in her eyes, today I see a love and joy there beyond anything I have seen thus far. She and [Groom] today have completed each other as they become a new family unit.
Please join me today in wishing [Bride] and [Groom] every happiness possible and a long and joyful life together as husband and wife.” – via The Spruce