What the Father of the Bride Needs to Know

Etiquette & Traditions >

The bride might be the one saying ‘I do,' but it's a big day for the entire family – including her dad. Moreover, while the father of the bride is not the star of the show, he will have some spotlight moments.

Here are a few pieces of expert advice that go beyond not tripping down the aisle.

1. Pitch in Where You Can

Planning a wedding is a significant undertaking, so it's all hands on deck. If you can provide financial assistance, that's great. However, there are other ways to help, too. Just ask! Are you handy? Perhaps you can build a handmade arch. Fancy yourself a foodie? See if you can attend a catering tasting with the soon-to-be-married couple. Even stuffing invitations into envelopes and tying ribbons onto favors can be a huge relief to an overly taxed bride and groom.

2. Dress Sharp

Even if you're a casual kind of guy, it's vital for you to put as much effort as possible into your appearance for the big day. Take your style cues from the wedding party and match the level of formality. So, if they're wearing tuxes, you should, too. If the affair is casual, a suit and a crisp button-down will work. Lastly, make sure you schedule a professional haircut and shave to ensure you're looking your absolute best.

3. Provide Emotional Support

Wedding planning is stressful. Help your daughter and the rest of your family stay sane by offering emotional support. Play peacekeeper, be a calming voice of reason or lend your ear to concerns and complaints.

4. Keep the Toast Short and Sweet

Tradition dictates that the father of the bride will give a speech at the reception. Be sure to plan yours well in advance to avoid awkward silences. Whatever you do, do not use your platform as an opportunity to share humiliating childhood stories or tales about exes. Instead, keep it brief by providing a few words of wisdom and encouragement for the newlyweds.

5. Practice Your Dance Moves

The father-daughter dance is another time-honored wedding ritual. If you're not a natural dancer, practice beforehand – either with a professional instructor or at home in your living room to ensure you don't step on her toes.

6. Be Prepared for Waterworks

Weddings are emotional affairs, so don't be surprised if you spring a leak. It's a huge milestone for your daughter, and it can be bittersweet to see her start a new chapter in life. Keep plenty of tissues handy and don't fight the feelings.

7. Have a Good Time

Even with all of the stress, a wedding is a celebration of joy – so savor the moment! While it's perfectly acceptable to imbibe, don't overindulge. You want the occasion to be memorable for the right reasons and avoid embarrassing situations.

Tags: Brides365, wedding, father of the bride, tradition, stress