As Father-of-the-Bride (or person taking this role) you may also be the Master of Ceremonies. Either way, as first cab off the rank, you’ll be setting the tone for the evening. You will have certain ‘duties’ that have to be carried out but the style and format can be as relaxed as you want it to be.
The end result should be that the guests can feel the pride and love you genuinely feel for your daughter and that you are delighted to welcome the Groom to your family no matter how much you think she could have done better. Here’s what your speech should cover:
Aim on delivering a speech of 750 to 1000 words (5 to 7 minutes). Traditionally you will also be speaking on behalf of the Bride’s mother. Unless you have the gift of the gab it is best to have a written speech to refer to so you don’t leave anything out but memorise the first few lines. When you break the speech down as above, you really only have a minute or so for each part and the best way to link them all is to find an angle/theme. A few suggestions:
Because this speech is so personal it is impossible to write a template where you just change the names and join the dots but here are a couple of introductions you might like to play with/adapt:
“Welcome everybody. The last time I was called on to speak at a wedding was 28 years ago when I gave the Groom’s speech, next to my wonderful wife Lynne. And I must confess to being overcome with a similar emotion today, one of nervous inadequacy…”
“Before I talk about my beautiful daughter and her fine choice of husband I would like to thank my wonderful wife for all she has done in organising this special day. I have had to do absolutely nothing apart from whip out my credit card and I really appreciate it. Lynne picked up my suit from the dry cleaners, arranged the car to pick us up this morning, gave me the last minute dress check outside the church… so if you can just pass me the speech you have written for me now, darling…”
“Accustomed as I am to giving Father-of-the-Bride speeches as this is the second daughter I have given away I gave a lot of thought about how to make this one different but still special and memorable. That didn’t work so I thought I’d pretty much follow the same format this time. For those who were at the last wedding you may remember I started nervously, dropped to a lull in the middle, peppered with forgetful pauses and a couple of long silences and then trailed off into incoherent rambling. So here we go…”