How to Give a Father-of-the-Bride Toast

Help make sure the moment goes perfectly.

How to Give a Father-of-the-Bride Toast

Photo: Lin & Jirsa Photography

tips for the father of the bride toast
Photo by Lin & Jirsa; Floral Design by Flowers by Cina

At traditional weddings, the father of the bride tends to have an important role. He will generally escort his daughter down the aisle (sometimes alongside the mother of the bride), participate in a father-daughter dance, and give a toast at the start of the reception. This all stems from the custom of the bride’s family paying for the wedding. As women were not always able to work outside the home, this meant the father was the head of the household and would be honored at the event he was seen as hosting. Of course, nowadays a couple may pay for their nuptials themselves or share the cost between both sets of parents – not to mention the fact that the mother of the bride may be the breadwinner of the family. However, plenty still choose to embrace the traditional customs for the father of the bride simply because they like the tradition, or the bride has a close relationship with her dad that she’d like to highlight. 

If you are a father of the bride and intend to give a speech at the start of the reception, here are some tips to make sure it is remembered fondly, rather than whispered about behind your back. 

- Keep it short. You never want to go past three minutes – toasts always feel longer than they are. In fact, 90 seconds is the perfect amount of time to aim for. 

- Keep it sweet. A lighthearted joke or two is fine, but the guests will be looking for sentimentality from the parents. Don’t be afraid to get emotional when sharing sweet memories of your little girl. 

- Be inclusive. It’s a bad look to not mention the new spouse at all in your speech. Even if you don’t know the love of your daughter’s life very well, for whatever reason, simply expressing your joy that they make each other happy can go a long way. 

- Give advice. Should you be lucky enough to be in a long and happy marriage yourself, the bride has probably looked up to your relationship for her whole life, using it as a guideline for what she wants. Impart some wisdom that you’ve gained from your own marriage on both the newlyweds and the attendees. 

For more advice, get tips on hosting a great cocktail hour and find out how to create the perfect seating chart.  

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