There seems to be a general feeling that the Father of the Bride is often the forgotten man of the wedding planning process. The feeling is that you’re probably experienced enough to cope with the nerves and tough enough to cope with the emotions. But that’s why we often end up feeling sorry for the FOTB (you’ve even got the worst wedding acronym for crying out loud) and decided to round-up some essential advice for all the dads out there prior to the big day.
- Deal With The Nerves Before They Ruin It
It’s perfectly natural and acceptable for you to feel nervous. Nerves about the ceremony and speeches are in the top three subjects that fill the Staggered inbox. Fortunately, both can be cured with some simple preparation. Write and practice your speech at least a month in advance of the big day and do everything you can to make it to the church rehearsal as this will give you an idea of where to stand and when.
- Speeches Are Easy When You Prepare
You can find way more information on Staggered about wedding speeches but this is it in a nutshell. Between 5 and 8 minutes, less is more, stand straight, don’t mumble and speak from the heart. Always write your speech in full (never “wing it”), because even if you don’t use it you’ve always got it in case you need it. Give a copy to your daughter for the wedding memory box. The Father of the Bride welcomes the guests, sets the tempo, welcomes his new family members and talks about his daughter without embarrassing her!
- It Will Be Emotional – Get Ready
Blokes and emotions are never a good mix, for the simple reason that we’re often a bit slower at dealing with them and how they affect us. Take some time before the wedding to talk to your daughter about the wedding and what she means to you. Too many men think they’ll come out with the perfect speech in the car on the way to the church and end up feeling that they never quite explained how they feel – or worse: end up at the church a sobbing mess!
- How To Deal With The Money
The good news is that this generation are getting married later, the bad news being that they’re living with their parents longer. As a result more of them are paying for their own wedding. If you’re still footing the bill and you find that the wedding is placing too much of a burden on your finances then make it clear that costs need to be cut. Everyone wants a perfect wedding, but no one wants that to come at the expense of a stressed dad. Also there are thousands of resources out there on how to get a champagne wedding on beer prices, use them!
- Plan Your Advice
As with the emotions, this is another topic that should be tackled in advance of the big day. It’s tradition that you pass on some advice – whether that’s in your speech or just in passing. This is a big thing both for the bride and the groom and many people remember for their whole lives what was said to them at this point. So make it wise, make it original and make it something personal. Think about your marriage: what have you learned? What can you say that will improve these young people’s chance of happiness? But remember, no pressure…
Article by Andrew Shanahan