How To Write A Father Of The Bride Speech
How To Write A Father Of The Bride Speech
A daughter's wedding is one of the most emotional things a father can experience. Watch this video for important tips on how to write the perfect father of the bride speech!
Hi, I'm Lawerence Berstein, a professional speech writer, and I run greatspeechwriting.co.uk.
Irrespective of the sort of speech that you're going to give, there are two or three key things to bear in mind. Firstly, there is nothing to beat preparation, and hopefully you're not watching this twenty-four hours before you're due to give your speech, but the more time you leave yourself, the better. Second of all, don't worry about speaking for too long.
Often a five-minute speech is much much more powerful and impactful than a twenty-minute one, and brevity is often the key. And finally, although a lot of the videos that I've created are about writing a speech, please remember that you can't think about writing and delivering separately, they're one and the same thing, you're writing to make the speech easy to deliver, and if you think of it that way, then the thing should work. So you're preparing your father of the bride speech, and possibly wondering where to start.
I think the key here is that you balance the things that you have to say, or the must-haves, with the things that you might want to say, which might bring the speech to life and make it a little bit more fun for people to listen to. And on the must-have side, as the father of the bride, you're probably going to want to welcome the guests to the wedding, you'll want to mention -all being well- your wife and the role she's played, you'll want to welcome the new family, your new son-in-law's family, to yours, you will want to say something about the groom, and, although there may be some other specifics, the only other key person that obviously you will want to talk about is your bride. Now, over the years the father of the bride speech has developed from something that was very rarely given, to something that was just a very brief introduction, to something that now often competes with the best man speech in terms of humour and you talking about your daughter, in the same way that the best man will talk about the groom.
And so there is a balance to be had, and before you put pen to paper, I think you really need to think about the outcome of the speech. Do you want people to have seen it as very emotional and sentimental, or do you want something that's really more of a stand up routine? The answer, obviously, is usually somewhere in between the two, but it's only by understanding that balance that you can begin to understand what you should include, what you shouldn't, and where the balance will be found. I would advise you above all else not to run through your daughter's CV.
Don't tell the people in the room about everything she's achieved at school and every degree qualification she's got, everything she's done at work. Those things are a given. Talk more about values, about emotions, about hobbies, and about things that they don't necessarily know.
Maybe link some of the things she's done later in her life to some of the hobbies and interests she had as a child, to show that there is a sort of continual line of progression going on and this isn't just a load of random facts. It obviously is terrific if you can exude warmth, but if you can't, then maybe allow a joke to do it with you and to get people smiling. I think, in summary, the key to everything is make it relevant.
Make it relevant to your daughter, make it relevant to the people who matter most to you in that room, but also make it relevant to the rest of the audience, because those who don't know you so well will be bored stiff by you talking about the most intimate details of your relationship with your daughter over the last twenty or thirty years. When it comes to actually writing it, be as punchy as you can, use as few words as possible, and remember, this is being written to deliver out loud, which is a very different type of writing to writing paragraphs for people to read to themselves. If you'd like some more tips, you can find them on greatspeechwriting.