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Father of the Bride-What about Dad!

What parent has not seen this movie and cried?  A child is the most precious  possession we have.  The day of our daughter’s wedding I turned to my soon to be “son in law” and said, “You have no idea the gift we are giving you today.”  I then turned and looked in my husband’s eyes as he was staring at his daughter and I was brought back to a rush of memories… I remember him saying, “What will I do if it’s a girl?  I had all brothers.”  Then she was born and he knew exactly what to do.  He held her in his arms, she stared straight into his eyes and never cried.  It was from that moment on he was her Dad and they were best friends.  The first thing they did together was watch Steve Yzerman in the Stanley cup Playoffs, thus began a wonderful relationship and an obsession with Red Wings Hockey that exist to this day with the both of them (the playoffs are rough on this household.)

What about Dad?  We focus so much on the bride, so much on the Mom that we often forget Dad!  It is hard for a Father during his daughter’s wedding.  He usually bears a pretty heavy toll, the finances of the wedding, the emotions of the Bride’s Mom, the emotions of his daughter, accepting the idea of a man in his daughter’s life that is not him…. So What about Dad? What is he suppose to do?

There are lots of rules of etiquette and traditionally defined roles, but nothing is etched in stone anymore and certainly nothing is more important than making his family feel loved, needed, wanted and cared about. That in itself alone is a huge responsibility. So let’s break it down; The role of the Bride’s Dad:
1. Paying for the wedding at one time traditionally fell upon the parents of the Bride and Groom, yes I said groom’s parents too. Today, however paying for the wedding is usually shared by the Bride, Groom, her parents, and his. I would strongly suggest talking over finances with everyone. You can avoid issues if you talk about them early on.
2. Dad is expected to greet guests and make them feel comfortable.
3. Traditionally he will walk his daughter down the aisle and “give her away.”
4. Welcome guests and his new son in law into the family with a nice speech at the reception.
5. A prayer for dinner can be said either by a clergyman or “Dear old Dad.”
6. Father Daughter Dance-let Dad pick out the song.
7. End of the reception make sure all is taken care of.

What not to do:
1. Do not make the groom’s family feel uncomfortable no matter how much you do not like them.
2. While making your welcome speech to your new son in law-BE NICE!
4. Last but not least don’t feel bad about crying, after all you are and always will be her Dad.

So the next time you are at a wedding and the Bride is coming down the aisle with her Dad, for a moment look into his eyes and you will know exactly what I am talking about.


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By Margaret Moore of Simple Elegance Events and Wedding Designs, serving Central Illinois. More information you can use at Simple Elegance Events & Wedding Designs.


  1. It was rough for my dad….We cried all the way down the aisle….and that was just during rehearsal!!! Thanks to all the Fathers of the Brides out there!!! 🙂

  2. Margaret Moore

    It was really hard on Sam! That is the way it should be. It should never be easy to let go of your daughter.

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