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Father Of The Bride Duties Explained

Your little girl is getting married!! As father of the bride you’ll be incredibly proud and looking forward to walking your daughter down the aisle.  But do you know what else you are ‘supposed’ to be doing? 

Let’s have a look at the traditional role of father of the bride to make sure you’re all set. Father of the Bride Duties Explained



Traditionally the father of the bride was expected to foot the bill for the majority of the wedding costs.  Now you may have been saving for many years to be able to do this for your daughter.  But it’s not expected these days so don’t worry if this just isn’t feasible for you. 

However, have an honest and open conversation with your daughter and her future husband or wife to make sure they’re clear about what, if any, contribution you can make.

I always advise my couples to get their budget sorted before they do anything so please try to support them in doing this, even if you can’t contribute to the costs. 


Keep Calm

Do what you can to help with the wedding planning in the run up to the wedding.  Maybe you can help with making décor or addressing envelopes for the invitations? 

Your daughter may be stressed out with wedding planning so try to offer your help and remind her why she’s doing this.

Try to be the calming presence throughout the actual wedding day.  Emotions can run high so keeping everyone calm will be a big help. 

Bride & Father Hugging


Stag Do? 

Your future son in law may well invite you on his stag do as well as his own father.  Attending the stag do gives you a great opportunity to get to know your daughter’s fiancé better and meet his best man and friends before the wedding day. 

Now if your daughter is marrying a woman, there obviously won’t be a stag do.  But they might invite you on the hen do! 

However, you shouldn’t feel obliged to go, especially if what they have planned really isn’t your scene. 

But it would be nice to go along maybe for a few drinks at the start of the evening (depending on their plans). 



Generally speaking, your daughter will have spent the morning getting ready with her bridesmaids.  But once she’s ready you get to see her in her dress for the first time – always such a special, emotional moment. 

You will then travel with your daughter to the ceremony.  The time you’re in the car together are really special and your chance to tell her how proud you are and wish her all the luck in the world. 

It could be that the ceremony and reception is all in one place and you’re staying the night before.  In which case you will accompany your daughter, once she’s ready, to the ceremony room. 

It’s your responsibility to make sure everyone is on time, so make sure everyone is ready and the cars can set off in good time. 


Walking Down The Aisle

Now you’ve probably imagined this moment for many years.  Walking your daughter down the aisle is such an iconic role for any father. 

Have a little practice first so you know how slow to walk, where to stop and how to lift her veil if she’s having one. 

Father of the Bride Duties


Making a Speech

It’s traditional for the father of the bride to make the first speech and most couples still honour this tradition. 

Your speech should be warm and friendly.  Thank all the guests for attending the wedding, share a few anecdotes about your daughter and welcome her husband or wife into the family. 

Your speech doesn’t need to be really long – in fact I always advise people to try to keep them short and sweet to stop your guests from getting too twitchy!  You can see more tips here about speeches. 

Father of the Bride Speech


Father & Daughter Dance

After the happy couple have had their first dance, tradition has the father of the bride dance with his daughter. 

Choose a song which has meaning to you both.  You don’t need any flash dance moves, just try to relax and enjoy a few moments alone with your daughter on her wedding day. 


Top Tips

1.   If you’re going to contribute to the cost of the wedding, make sure you plan your finances in plenty of time.
2.  Spend some time with your daughter’s future husband or wife.  You’re welcoming them into your family so take the chance to get to know them more in the run up to the wedding.
3.  Practice – your speech, walking down the aisle and your father/daughter dance.  You’ll feel so much more relaxed on the day if you’ve done this.
4.  Don’t have too much to drink before your speech! A little bit of Dutch courage is fine but don’t overdo it.  No one needs to hear you slurring your words!!
5.  Be there for your daughter.  The wedding is likely to be an emotional day for both of you. Remind her that you’re always there for her and make sure she knows how proud of her you are. 

I hope this helps you to prepare for your daughter’s wedding and have the best day.  If you think that getting some professional help would benefit you all, then you can read about my planning services here.  I’d love to hear from you if you think I can help you.  


Louise Wearmouth, Founder of Your Fabulous Wedding