The Father of the Bride is the lucky man who's watched his little girl grow up, much quicker than he could ever imagine, and turn into a beautiful young woman that he is proud and honoured to call his daughter (we must stop, we're welling up!). This article takes a closer look at the role, responsibilities and Father of the Bride duties they must perform on, before and after the big day.
The Father of the Bride
The role of the Father of the Bride should, as you might have guessed, be taken up by the Bride’s father, although it is not uncommon for another ‘fatherly figure’ to fill the void should that role be vacant for one reason or another. Whether it is the Bride’s actual father or a suitable replacement, the characteristics of any great Father of the Bride are compassion, dignity, kindness, understanding and love – and a bit of money would go astray either!
Main Father of the Bride Duties
When it come down to Father of the Bride duties and responsibilities, there is more to do than simply putting writing out and endless stream of cheques – although it might not seem like it at this precise moment in time! The responsibilities that the Father of the Bride will undertake will differ greatly from wedding to wedding, but traditionally they will carry out eight main Father of the Bride duties:
Liaising with their daughter and her partner to see how they wish to go about funding the wedding and offering to pay for certain items (our Wedding Who Pays? article outlines the typical costs that may fall your way)
Travelling with the Bride to the wedding ceremony.
Accompanying the Bride down the aisle.
If necessary, travelling with the Bride’s Mother from the ceremony venue to the reception venue.
Standing in the receiving line alongside the Bride.
Making the first of the wedding speeches (for detailed help and advice on speeches, toasts, jokes and quotes, be sure to check out our dedicated Father of the Bride speech articles).
As part of the ‘first dance’, dancing with the Bride’s mother when invited onto the floor.
Sharing a father-daughter dance at the wedding reception to a meaningful song chosen together.
Optional Father of the Bride Duties
Alongside the traditional Father of the Bride duties, dads should also be forthcoming with offers of help at every stage (but know when to back away!) and the following duties are ideal for those who want to help out a little more:
Ringing around potential product/service suppliers to wade out the chaff.
Keeping the Bride’s mother in tow!
Helping with menial chores such as writing out addresses or blowing up balloons – ooh the fun of it!
Acting as a calming influence to the Bride-to-be prior to the big day.
Putting together directions and maps for the guests.
Acting as a source of advice – you're wise (well you're old anyway), you've been there before (although you probably can’t or don’t want to remember), and you may even have a few weird and wonderful ideas (well maybe just weird) – but you should volunteer them anyway, you just never know!
Being fully aware of the day’s timetable and make sure that everyone is kept on their toes.
Making sure that everyone is OK for drinks.
Being one of the last to leave on the night, making sure that everyone gets away all right and that all bills have been settled up (possibly in conjunction with the Groom’s father).
It’s not easy being a good Father of the Bride, but then again it’s not easy being a good father. As you get old there are some memories that will stay with you forever - the first time your daughter uttered the word ‘dada’, the first time you see her in her wedding dress and the time that she says ‘thanks Dad – we couldn’t have done it without you’. Hard work and expensive it may be, but it’s worth it.
Related: There are hundreds of wedding articles on the site, each filled with superb ideas, advice and inspiration. Check out the links in the left hand column to read more. Alternatively, to search for a local wedding venue, product or service provider, try our Wedding Directory. With over 13,000 companies already listed, you're sure to find what you're looking for.