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Brides and their Dads

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Brides and their Dads

The day you have been likely dreading is slowly approaching: giving your little girl away. It probably feels like just yesterday you were pushing your daughter on a swing, watching her first dance recital, and dropping her off at college orientation. Time flies; sadly, little girls don’t keep.

As George Banks (Steve Martin) says in the movie Father of the Bride, “Then she gets a little older and you quit worrying about her meeting the wrong guy and you worry about her meeting the right guy. And that's the biggest fear of all because then you lose her”. While perhaps we are over-dramatizing this experience to some, it certainly can be a big deal for a father to give his daughter away.

When it comes to wedding plans, it seems like a father’s role in his daughter’s wedding is underestimated.  This is likely because it feels more natural for the mother of the bride to take control of wedding plans. However, a father has a huge role in his daughter’s wedding. It is his responsibility to stay involved with the wedding plans, offer his support, and keep the peace!

(Date: 9/1/18; Photographer: Lena Mirisola; Florist: Morrice Florist; Event Planner: KG Events; Venue: Beach Plum Inn; Band: Bear Fight)


1) BUDGET: Set a budget with your daughter. Traditionally, the father of the bride has fronted the bill for the wedding; however, modern society is evolving and we are seeing the couple pay for the tab or seeing both families split the costs. Either way, you likely will be paying a portion of the wedding, so it is important to be transparent and let your daughter know what that amount will be from the start.

2) TRANSPORTATION: Traditionally, it is the father’s responsibility to stay on top of the wedding schedule and get the bride to the ceremony on time. You will likely ride in the vehicle with your daughter, escort her to the wedding and walk her down the aisle. At the end of the night, the father of the bride should be the last to leave the wedding- ensuring that everyone leaves the venue safely and accordingly. Lastly, there is a responsibility of making sure the funds are transported to the suppliers day of and that the wedding gifts are transported from the venue for the couple. Take these worries off of your daughter's plate and transport, transport, transport!

3) WALK: At the ceremony, the father of the bride gives his daughter away with a final walk down the aisle- a tradition that many fathers and brides choose to keep and cherish. This moment will likely be the most bittersweet experience you have had with your daughter yet. If you feel that you can tell her something heartfelt without both of you crying- go for it! Otherwise, tell her you are so proud, that she looks beautiful, and give her a hug. This moment will be remembered by you both forever.

4) SPEECH: This is one of the most important moments of the reception. People look forward to the father of the bride speech! It is important to make this speech heartfelt as it will be remembered by all. Try to keep this speech under 10 minutes. Even if you feel you have loads of great material, be strict with yourself!


INTRODUCTION: Greet everyone, announce your name and role in this special day.

THANK AND WELCOME GUESTS: Thank your guests for celebrating this blessed day- particularly mention your wife and the groom’s parents. Keep it simple and classy. Try not to fall into the trap of thinking you need to thank everyone there immensely- that is actually the groom’s role and should be included in his speech.

OFFER TOUCHING STORIES OF YOUR DAUGHTER: This is your opportunity to be heartfelt or tell a sweet memory with your daughter. Rather than just saying something generic about how much you love your daughter, talk about the times that you have felt proud of her and reference the moments that stand out and show how much she means to you.

WELCOME YOUR NEW SON(OR DAUGHTER)-IN-LAW INTO YOUR FAMILY: Perhaps you could share a story of when you first met your now son (or daughter)- in-law or a favorite memory you’ve had with him (or her). Keep it positive when referencing the new couple’s future and why he (or she) is perfect for your daughter!

OFFER ADVICE: Channel your inner wisdom and offer up your most sage advice to the new couple. Keep it tasteful!

TOAST TO THE BRIDE AND GROOM:  At the end of your speech, ask everyone to raise their glass and toast to the new couple!

5) DANCE: Guests will also look forward to the father-daughter dance. Being comfortable and confident on the dance floor shows, and so if you have time in advance to practice… do it! This experience with your daughter will likely be one of the happiest moments of your night- better yet quite possibly one of the happiest moments of your life. Let your daughter steer the direction of a song as it is her wedding day, but feel free to express your thoughts as to what you think will be fitting for the both of you. Collaborate!

6) KEEP THE PEACE: Try your best to mediate between all wedding arrangements as tensions can run high with planning. It may be best for you to put yourself in charge of a big thing like supplier negotiations to avoid any pre-wedding jitters and frustrations. Think of yourself as the peacekeeper throughout this process- particularly when having conversations with the mother of the bride. At the end of the day it is your daughter’s wedding and you may need to step in and remind her mother of that. Om! You got this, dad!

In conclusion, while it is today's perception that the father of the bride should be exempt from wedding planning duties, this is actually incredibly false. You should constantly be thinking ahead so that you can prevent anything from becoming too stressful for your daughter. Be sure to lend your support when it is needed and of course make your moments of spotlight sharp and memorable. Your role is extremely important in this day so give it your all, show your moxie!!

(Date: 9/22/18; Photographer: Joe Mikos; Florist: Tea Lane Farm; Event Planner: Patrie Grace; Venue: Allen Farm; Caterer: Jamie Hamlin; Band: kahootz)

(Date: 9/2/18; Photographer: Jocelyn Filley; Florist: Morrice Florist; Event Planner: Connie Nye- The Perfect Plan; Venue: Whaling Church/Daniel Fisher House; Caterer: Buckley's Catering; Band: Vine Shakers)

Like what you see? Contact us to help you recreate this look for your Martha's Vineyard wedding today!

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