They say that the most emotional man in the room at weddings is not the groom, but rather the father of the bride. After all, he is letting go and giving his little girl away so that she can build a family of her own. But, before it comes to that, she would still need a lot of help from daddy, starting from the moment she gets engaged and then up to the day of her wedding. So, if you’re a father whose daughter is getting married soon, here’s a list of father of the bride duties to follow.
While it was customary for the father of the bride to foot the bill for the ceremony and wedding reception, nowadays, couples that are getting married usually pay for the entire wedding. Still, you may want to contribute something, such as hosting the rehearsal dinner or the post-wedding brunch. Sit down with your daughter and future son-in-law to see what areas they need help in, and how much you’re willing to share. You can also offer to advise on how they can manage their spending for the wedding, or help negotiate with the wedding vendors that they’re booking.
Coordinate with the groom and his father in scheduling outfit fittings for the men. Not only will you get to meet the other members of the wedding party, but you’ll also make your daughter very happy that you’re following her timeline and checking off that box on her list (she most likely has one).
Weddings tend to gather families together like a mini-reunion. Assist the out-of-town guests with whatever they need, and introduce them to the wedding party. This may mean picking them up at the airport, making sure that they settle in nicely, and entertaining them before the wedding day.
Wedding planning can cause a lot of stress for the bride and groom, with all the decision making, researching and negotiating with vendors, and ensuring that all the guests are happy. When things get overwhelming, or when your daughter can’t see eye to eye with mom, be the peacemaker and let her know that you’re on her side, especially on her big day.
The father of the bride is an integral part of the wedding party and takes on the role of a host during the reception. This means that you should meet and mingle with all of the guests.
The father must manage the bride’s transportation for the day, and ride with the bride to the ceremony site. Make sure that she gets there on time or you’ll have everyone worried.
One of the most important duties of the father of the bride is to walk the bride down the aisle and give her away to the groom at the altar. This is a beautiful symbol of your blessing and support to your daughter’s marriage, and can be an emotional one, too. If your daughter is not going the traditional route, you may be walking down the aisle with your spouse and might be assigned a special role for the ceremony, such as reading or lighting a candle.
This may start with thanking the guests for coming, sharing fond memories about the bride growing up and your relationship with one another, and welcoming the groom to the family. This speech usually ends with a toast to the newlyweds. Often, the father of the bride is also asked to give a speech at the engagement party or rehearsal dinner.
The father-daughter dance is always a tear-jerker at weddings, so it’s best you prepare for it with your daughter. Choose a song that’s meaningful to both of you or a song that conveys a message to your daughter and her now-husband. Remember to save a dance for your spouse, too.
Stay until the guests leave to manage the final logistics, such as making sure that the staff—including the waiters, coat check, parking, and restroom attendants—are tipped. If you drove to the reception, be ready to load in the items that the venue will turn over at the end of the evening, such as physical gifts, the couple’s personal and décor items—such as the welcome board, her veil, change of shoes (if she had any), cake cutter, wedding cake topper, and the top tier of the wedding cake.
Having this long list of things to do isn’t a reason not to have fun on your daughter’s wedding day. Remember that you didn’t lose your daughter, you gained a son—a wedding is a celebration of their love and the uniting of two families.