01 May 5 Things the Father of the Bride Should Do Before the Wedding
Can you believe it? Your daughter is getting married. Moments such as these are meant to be special and, as the father of the bride, you have a big role to play. While the planning leading up to the big day can be emotional, even stressful, there are things you, the bride’s father, can do to help prepare and make this day the best it can be. Here are five things, in particular, the father of the bride should do before the wedding.
Stay Connected to the Wedding Details
Whether the bride’s family is paying for the full wedding or not, the father of the bride needs to stay connected to the wedding details. While you may not want to be involved with the dress and cake selection, the wedding venue selection can use your help.
Scouting wedding locations with your daughter can also create bonding moments that you might not get a chance to have as the wedding grows closer. If she is torn between two locations, go over the pros and cons for each one and help make it easier to decide which will work best. If you are paying for the wedding, you also want to be sure you understand what is included with each location, and what will cost extra.
Your daughter may already have a wedding venue in mind or want to check out several options. Seek out recommendations from people you know. If you research options online, be sure to visit each venue to see them for yourself, and not rely solely on the online photos and descriptions.
While California is known for its gorgeous weather, there are better times of the year than others, and you may want to consider this in your planning. For example, in Southern California, common weather conditions, such as fog, may interfere with wedding plans. Also, in Los Angeles and other southern cities, the driest and sunniest times of the year fall between May and October. This is particularly important to consider if you are looking at outdoor locations to hold the wedding.
Get Fitted for Your Tuxedo or Other Wedding Attire
You will want to look your absolute best on the wedding day, from the top of your head to the tips of your shoes. The bride and groom usually select the look they want and may want you to match the groom and groomsmen, with a few accessories to differentiate you from them. Schedule a time for a tuxedo fitting, or meet with a tailor for your suit. Select comfortable but fashionable shoes to match your attire.
Make the Pre-Wedding Transportation Plans
The father of the bride is often responsible for assuring transportation plans are made for how the bride, the bride’s mother, and the bridesmaids get to the wedding venue. You will want to determine what those transportation vehicles will be, from chauffeur-driven limos to a friend’s car to a horse and carriage. Whatever is chosen, be sure to follow up before the wedding to ensure plans are still in place. Also, touch base with transportation providers on the morning of the wedding.
Prepare for Your Father/Daughter Dance
At the wedding reception, the tradition is for the bride to have a special dance with her father. To avoid any awkwardness, plan this part well before the wedding. There are two parts to this:
Choose a song. This can be chosen by the bride, the father of the bride, or both together. For an added surprise element, though, consider choosing the song secretly and present it as one of your gifts to your daughter on her big day.
Practice dancing together. One way to prepare for your big dance is to schedule time with your daughter to practice. This will also be quality time with her that you may not get once she is married and busy starting her new life. Consider taking a few dance lessons together to feel even more prepared. There are several dance studios in Southern California, so at least one should be able to work with your schedule.
Write a Toast to the New Bride and Groom
One of the more special, and sometimes serious moments of a wedding reception is the father of the bride’s toast to the new bride and groom. The spotlight will be on you at this moment, and you want to do the best you can.
You may be good with words, or you may feel immense pressure and stress to come up with just the right words. That’s where preparing ahead of time will benefit you. Here are few points often included in the father of the bride toast:
- A thank you to guests for attending the big day
- A humorous story about your daughter (which she also finds funny)
- A touching moment you had with your daughter
- A welcome to your new son-in-law
- A final toast to the new bride and groom
Run your toast by others you trust if you like, and accept any constructive criticism and consider any suggestions. However, in the end, this is your daughter and your chance to say what you want to say.
If possible, practice your toast out loud. If you can do this in the actual wedding venue itself, it may make you feel more comfortable and confident when the real moment arrives.
In the end, make sure your toast fits your relationship with your daughter, and don’t embarrass her (too much).
As a father of the bride, and in particular the first-time father of a bride, you can prepare yourself before the wedding in a number of ways. Helping choose the wedding venue, getting fitted for the appropriate wedding attire, setting up pre-wedding transportation plans, practicing for the father/daughter dance, and preparing the big wedding day toast are all important tasks to get any father of the bride ready for the big day. Accomplishing these beforehand will also help you concentrate on making your daughter’s day the best it can be, and take on any last-minute surprises that may come your way.