Wedding Planning: Dad's Role

Know what the father of the bride should wear, how he should give the toast, and how else he can involve himself in the wedding.

Before the world of boyfriends and weddings, your father was once the most important man in your life. This day is going to be just as memorable for him as it is for you if you make sure to know all about Dad's part in the wedding.

The father of the bride has a few important roles to take on throughout the wedding day, so it's important to make sure he dresses for the occasion. After all, he'll be in front of all of the guests at least once during the ceremony and once during the reception, and he'll also make it into plenty of the photos. The formality of his attire should be based on the formality of the wedding. Take a hint from what the groom is wearing; if he is in a tuxedo, make sure Dad is, too. If the affair is casual and the groom is wearing khakis and a button-down dress shirt, Dad would look appropriate in a similar style of clothing. You don't want your father to be in khakis while everyone else in a tuxedo or vice versa. This is mainly the case if your father is there to give you away, as he will stand in front of the audience in close proximity to others in the wedding party. If your dad prefers to wear ritualistic attire such as a kilt, that would be a reasonable substitute, as long as the bride gives the okay. A dress military uniform is another acceptable substitute. If such attire does not fit the theme of the wedding, it should probably be skipped over entirely. Whatever he ends up wearing, it should first be cleared with the bride.

Dad should be interested in dressing the part for another reason, the toast, when all eyes will be on him, but appearance is of secondary importance at this time. What he should be more concerned about now is delivery. This is his time to convey thanks to the invited guests for coming out to celebrate an important occasion in his daughter's life. He should relay happiness, sincerity and congratulations during his speech, but he should do so in under five minutes. Otherwise, he runs the risk of boring the audience half to death.

Traditionally, the father of the bride also pays for the whole affair. Of course these days many couples prefer to find an alternative way to pay for their wedding. If you choose not to have your father pay for the wedding, it is still okay to involve him in other ways throughout the planning process.

Dad can help welcome the guests by coordinating transportation for out-of-towners. He can both pick them up at the airport and arrange for their arrival at the wedding site on the big day.

If the bride would prefer not to ride to her wedding alone, Dad can ride along to help ease nerves. At such a time, he can offer his daughter words of wisdom and encouragement, entertaining stories, or just plenty of hugs and smiles.

He can help the bride choose a song for the father-daughter dance, one that perhaps has significant meaning for him. You two can even take a couple of dance classes together if he has two left feet.

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