Father of the Bride: Role and Responsibilities

In the traditional sense, the father of the bride has a very limited role. He’s usually there to pay for the wedding, be a good guy and give their daughter away. But this blushing bride’s dad can take on a much larger role – he can help her prepare for her future as a wife, mother and homemaker.

The father of the bride does not have to pay for the wedding anymore. Nowadays, it is common for couples to pay for some or all of the wedding costs. The FOB now serves mainly as emotional support to the couple and as a gracious host, along with the bride’s mother, the groom’s parents and other members of the bridal party.

The author of The Father of the Bride Wedding Guide, writer Ken York, created a blog during the planning stages of his daughter’s wedding and he found out there are two types of readers: “the father who wants to get involved in his daughter’s wedding from the very beginning, and the father who wakes up on Monday and realizes that his daughter is getting married on Saturday,”

Below are a few handy tips for fathers who want to get involved (and a few late words of advice for fathers who realise that their daughter is getting very very soon).

Father of the Bride

Before the Wedding

These days, many parents are willing to shell out money for their kids’ weddings but while the FOB from past years would be the guy paying for everything, dads of today may still want to assist the couple in their big wedding decisions. Whether they’re coming to terms with the fact their little girl is now a young woman or not, they’ll certainly appreciate being included in key wedding decisions.

The traditional advice for fathers is told to be supportive via paying for everything. This is poor advice if you want to save money. The FOB can often be the best negotiator a couple can have when it comes to contracts and other wedding dealings, finding out the cheapest prices.

He may be the male perspective that the bride needs to decide between two wedding gowns, or an impartial judge to neutralize family feuds. “If he knows people in the trade (restaurants, catering, transportation, entertainment), get him involved,” York says. “There are no prizes for the most expensive wedding, but there are prizes for the most memorable and smoothest running.

He may be a male perspective that the bride needs to choose between two wedding gowns, or an impartial judge to neutralize family feuds. Also if he knows people in the trade industry such as entertainment, catering, restaurants etc. then he should be involved. You’ll want the wedding to run as smoothly and effortless as possible.

The best advice we can give you is if the bride gets bogged down by the wedding details, or if anything goes wrong, fall back on your FOB. He’ll be there to lend an ear and offer up his opinion. But more importantly, he’ll be there to support you in fulfilling your bride’s vision for the day, and to roll with the punches.

The FOG will attend the pre-events such as the wedding rehearsal and will be there when the couple chooses to exchange wedding vows. He will then escort the happy couple to the reception where he will make a toast, which should be brief (ideally less than two minutes) and can serve as a practice toast he may make at the wedding reception. He will also help the parents of the groom secure hotel accommodations for their out-of-town guests.

It’s good manners for the father of the bride to dress in a matching colour with the other groomsmen and to attend the rehearsal with them. The FOB will also practice walking her daughter down the aisle. The rehearsal is also a good time to get a feel for the venue and any unusual quirks that might trip you up on the wedding day.

While the bride and mother of the bride get ready before the ceremony, the FOB can provide a sense of calm and help run the pre-ceremony activities smoothly. He should check to see that the officiant is prepared, the attendees are where they need to be and perhaps even offer a few words of wisdom to the groom.

Father of the Bride dance

During the Wedding

During the wedding ceremony, the father of the bride escorts his daughter down the aisle after the bridal party has walked down the aisle and takes their place at the altar. This is an emotional high point for both the bride and her father, and it’s a special moment he has looked forward to for years.

After the FOB passes the bride to the groom, he will either position himself in the front row with the MOB (mother of the bride) or for example in a Jewish wedding, will stay up front with the other parents as the newlyweds stand under the wedding canopy or chuppah.

At the reception, the parents of the bride should serve as hosts, along with the newlyweds. The FOB should be available to greet guests, take pictures, make sure the food and drinks are flowing smoothly and possibly take charge of the money for the wedding party and tips for the wedding vendors.

The father of the bride should take the microphone to make a short toast that highlights the special day and wishes the newlyweds a lifetime of joy and happiness. This is his opportunity to show off his public speaking skills and wish the newlyweds a very happy life together. His toast can be short, humorous, nostalgic, or any other approach that is suitable to the event.


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