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14 tips for the perfect Father of the Bride wedding speech

14 tips for the perfect Father of the Bride wedding speech

Written by Katie Byrne

Preparing to say a few words at your daughter's big day? Author Ian Barclay shares his tips for delivering the perfect FOTB speech...


The preparation

#1 Don't delay

Get working on your speech months before the wedding.

#2 Know what you want to cover

Typically this will cover:

- A welcome to guests

- Anecdotes about your daughter and son-in-law

- A message of good will

- A toast to the happy couple

#3 Don't rush it!

Do a little bit at a time. When out and about, write down any meaningful phrases or funny stories that come to you and add them to your script later.

#4 Remember the three 'B's: bright, breezy and brief

Consider yourself the warm-up act. 6 – 8 minutes is ideal.

#5 Be creative

If your son-in-law is, say, a keen poker player, you might string a few puns together: ‘He realised they were a top pair and went all in to win his queen of hearts!’ You get the idea.

#6 Convert your script into to a 'speech plan' of stages and key points

Divide a single page vertically into two with a line about one-third in from the left, then divide it horizontally into six. This will allow you to enter the 6 Stages (as in No.2 above) down the left and their corresponding Key Points (15 – 20 in total) across. Use an Arial font, size 14 (easily read at a glance) and print out on white card.

#7 Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse!

This will include standing in front of a mirror!

On the big day...

#8 Create a make-shift 'lectern' on the table

This will enable your words to jump up at you. So much better than holding cards with trembling hands.

#9 Take a deep breath and relax - you're going to be great!

After all, you’ve worked on this for months, haven’t you?

#10 Carefully follow each stage in turn

A quick glance at a Stage / Key Point will be all you need to keep you right. Pause for dramatic effect, as rehearsed.

#11 Feed off the laughter

Guests will be keen to laugh at anything remotely funny.

#12 Enjoy your big moment

Smile along with everyone. Your speech will fly past quicker than you expected.

#13 Finish strongly

As you propose the toast to the happy couple, remember to smile at them.

#14 Sit down and relax! 

It’s all over. Soak up the applause. Feel proud. Your daughter certainly will!

Ian Barclay is the author of Words From The Heart, a book that provides, amongst other things, original poetry and vows for marriage ceremonies. 

father of the bridewedding speech tipswedding ideaswedding etiquetteparents at weddings

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