Father Of The Bride Duties
Traditionally father of the bride duties start with footing the bill for the wedding. This is not set in stone these days as more and more couples are helping to pay for their own wedding. The grooms family may also contribute. Weddings are perhaps more elaborate now than in the past. For example the average cost of a wedding in 1960 was £50 according to Wedding Ideas Magazine. In today’s money that equates to roughly £1,070. Skip forward to 2016 and the average cost of a wedding was £24,000. No wonder the cost needs to be covered by more people!
So what other father of the bride duties are there?
Bridal party transport
Father of the bride duties include the crucial one of ensuring that the bridal party transport is on time. It’s traditional for the bride to arrive a few minutes late to the church, however being very late because the transport didn’t turn up on time has a knock on effect elsewhere. For starters your stress levels will skyrocket which will impact on your enjoyment of the day. There may be more than one wedding at your church that day so you being late could impact on someone else’s day.
Walking the bride down the aisle and giving her away
More often than not it is the father of the bride who gives the bride away. This tradition has its roots in the days of arranged marriages. A daughter was considered to be the property of her father. It was his right to give her away to the groom, usually for a price, known as a dowry.
The father of the bride is usually the first to make a speech. He will thank the guests for coming and sharing the special day as well as thanking the people who have contributed to the wedding financially and/or practically.
He also traditionally extols the bride’s virtues, complimenting her and shares memories of her from childhood. Be nice to your dad girls if you don’t want him embarrassing you! He will also welcome the groom into the family.
Finally he will propose the first toast to the bride and groom.
Unless he’s a seasoned speech writer and giver this is probably the bit of the day that most dads dread. He should write his speech well ahead of time and practice it plenty of times to minimise the stress factor. You may consider breaking with the tradition of having the speeches after the wedding breakfast. By having the speeches before the wedding breakfast it allows the speech givers to relax and enjoy the meal. It also avoids the likelihood of nervous overindulgence of alcohol during the meal! At one wedding I attended the best man was so nervous that he drank too much wine and was virtually incoherent. Not much fun for the guests and rather embarrassing for him afterwards.
General father of the bride duties
Basically to be a general dogsbody for the bride and mother of the bride. Things that they don’t have time for will come under the father of the bride duties header. This could include collecting flowers, running last minute items to the venue etc.
Even if you’re not having the traditional receiving line the father of the bride should make sure that he speaks to all the guests. He will need to circulate and be convivial, making sure that everyone has drinks. He should also say goodbye to guests as they leave and generally be present in between.
Choose a song that has meaning for you both, perhaps something unashamedly sentimental. A practice run before the wedding might be a good idea.
End of day co-ordinator
Father of the bride duties also mean that he will make sure everyone leaves the venue safely. You may also ask him to make sure that all vendors get paid and that they are all happy. The removal and storage of the wedding gifts and any other valuables should be overseen by him.