Example Father Of The Bride Speeches
Sometimes, for one reason or another, the Father-of-the-Bride may not be able to attend his daughter's big day. Whether the old man is in jail, in heaven or incapacitated by crippling anxiety at the thought of doing a speech, it often falls on family members or close family friends to perform the traditional speech of the family patriarch. Take a look at our family specific speeches to see how to handle the delicate situation of an absent father, without it impacting too much on the sense of occasion. We have covered almost every eventuality bar that of the speech being taken by a half-human half-salamander from the gas planet Fallopia. But we're working on that one. So whether you're an uncle, a brother, a mother or a friend, we have some finely tailored speeches to suit anyone standing in for dear old dad.
A Mother’s Pride
(A suitable speech for a bride’s mother if the father of the bride has passed away.)
If your husband has passed away you may feel it inappropriate to make too many light-hearted quips about him during a wedding speech. Nobody will be expecting you to raise the roof off, so keep it gentle and make the kind of remarks that only someone who has suffered the agony of raising a teenage girl could make.
Linda has never been any trouble to us, always such a pleasant and happy child, provided she gets her own way. Of course there’s always that difficult stage that parents have to endure with a daughter, for some it comes when they start primary school, others high school, Linda’s lasted from about the age of 11 to five minutes ago.
(A brother is a great choice to replace an absent father of the bride. Just be sure to have your mum vet the speech first!)
The most damning insights into one’s life will always come from a sibling, and this speech shows you how to poke fun at your sister without going over the top. Make your stories broad enough so that an intimate knowledge of your family isn’t required to get the joke, and try to remember it’s your sister’s day, so you have to be nice at least once to the big smelly idiot.
Family and friends, thank you all for attending this wonderful occasion. It is sad that my father could not be able to see this day, but I know he would be very happy with the outcome, and now he gets to enjoy the day from above without a frantic call from his bank manager. Linda, you look stunning! Which really isn’t that much of a surprise given we are related.
A Sassy And Sentimental Sibling
(A fun speech from a brother who brings playful anecdotes to the table about a happy childhood.)
If you spent your entire childhood poking fun at your sister and being a big meanie, the pleasant feelings you’ll have to espouse for your sibling may seem a little trite. Temper this by having a playful attitude towards sentimentality and throw in the odd embarrassing anecdote to get some laughs. Don’t forget to relate your speech towards the other side of the family too, not everyone wants to hear ten minutes of material about how many times your little sister pooed herself.
Thoughts From A Family Friend
(A family friend can often step in to great effect when the father cannot be there, by combining humour and heart.)
If you are asked to make a speech on behalf of a family who you’ve known closely, you have the added advantage of being able to take a neutral standpoint on some of the odder stories from their clan. Give the bride’s father his due respect, but keep the tone jocular so the mood of the day doesn’t dampen. And if everything goes belly up, well at least you get to go home in a separate car!
Paul and Linda look absolutely overjoyed with each other, don’t they? They probably don’t need advice from the likes of me, the hired weirdo, but I’ll give some nonetheless, because I can offer a neutral perspective on marriage. Linda will remember today as the time she gave Paul her hand. Paul however, will remember today as the last time he took Linda’s hand without it being in self- defence.
A Godparent’s Insight
(This style of speech would suit someone who has known the family intimately, and can regale everyone with amusing tales.)
You may feel there’s a slight disadvantage being a stand-in attempting to draw humour from the experiences of a family you aren’t related to. Instead you should turn this to your advantage, and make the kind of jokes that only someone living in a separate house can get away with making.
Good evening. I feel such pride that I was asked, not only to give the bride away, but also to make a speech on this happy occasion, which Linda and Paul have gone to so much trouble to make absolutely perfect. It’s a wonderful start to their married life together, which I know we all hope will be as successful as today is proving to be.
A Doting Uncle
(When a bride’s father has passed, an uncle can step up and give a heartfelt speech that still maintains an element of humour.)
When faced with the rather depressing situation of a father being unable to give his daughter away due to his untimely passing, the worst thing you can do is focus on this. Give the poor departed man some loving words, but move on to the joyous occasion at hand. If he was your brother then you have licence to make fun of the chap for still being “The Late Alan” even when he was alive, but keep things tasteful.
Obviously I never really wanted to have to make the speech and give Linda away today, mostly because she’s hard as nails and if I mess it up I’m knackered. But due to the unfortunate passing of Linda’s father, my brother, our Alan, it falls upon my shoulders and I am hugely honoured to be asked. We may be without one dearly beloved member of our family today, but he is here in spirit. And if he was here, no doubt spirits would also be in him.
A Friend’s Feelings
(When a father cannot be there, the best choice is sometimes a close family friend.)
The best way to structure a speech when standing in for a deceased father is to book-end the piece with heavy sentiment, and crack wise throughout the rest. Nobody wants to sit through ten minutes of tear-jerking memories about the departed, there will be enough women crying without you making it worse. Make any anecdotes about dad amusing and relevant to the day.
A Grandfather’s Words
(When a man makes an honest woman of your daughter, keep the speech family appropriate.)
This is a family-friendly piece that is appropriate for all ages, which is necessary when a gentleman has knocked up your daughter before putting a ring on her finger. However, now he’s finally done the right thing you must keep the tone jovial and light. You can save the half-jokey threats for when you’re stood next to him at the urinals.
Sentiment Over Silliness
(A neat and tidy speech that makes up for its lack of humour with sincerity and brevity.)
Not every speech needs to be packed with laughs; as some people don’t feel comfortable delivering jokes to an audience where they may fall flat on their face – save that for when the bar opens. If you are going to ditch the humour then keep it short. Cover the major players including tributes to the kids if they have any, and save the one-liners for the best man to try his hand at.
Ladies and gentlemen, I have a very happy duty to perform today. I am going to ask you all to drink a toast to the health and happiness of our radiant bride and her groom. It is an especially happy task because I can perform it with total confidence, and if I was to toast them as much as I feel in my heart that I should, I’d make an absolute state of myself in under five minutes.
Brevity and Sincerity
(A short and tasteful speech that will ensure you keep everyone’s attention easily.)
If you’re looking to keep the humour brief and light, then treat the rest of the speech in the same way. If you didn’t want the hassle of performing a marathon of a speech to a crowd of disinterested people then just blame it on your wife. Make the odd quip about how she forced you to shorten it and cut the nasty bits out for the bride’s sake; you’ll easily get away with a nice brief piece. Until you get home of course.
Whenever I’ve been thinking aloud about what I’d like to say on this special occasion, the wife always chips in with, ‘That’s too long, don’t bore them, I hope you’re not going to bore them you boring old sod’. There I am, trying to work out something deep and meaningful on my daughter’s big day, and all I get is nag nag nag. So there’s a lesson for you– always keep a pen and paper on you, as that story’s just taken up two minutes at least!
Speech For A Stand-In
(For various reasons sometimes an uncle or family friend has to stand in for the father of the bride, this speech covers that situation.)
If you’ve been asked to cover a father of the bride speech for whatever reason, your first thought is to find a father’s speech and change the words. Well, worry not, for here is a ready-made piece perfect for when the dad’s too chicken, ill or drunk to take his place. You’ll need to keep it light and respectable though, as a stand-in must never over step their mark.
Good evening ladies and gentlemen. I’m Linda’s uncle Mike and I’ll be standing in for Alan today; I guess you could call me his body double. If I was to eat the entire buffet, that is. He tried to hire Sylvester Stallone’s double to do this but there are some things even he’s afraid of, like Carol. But seriously, my job is basically to save him from cocking up. If a joke falls flat, I get the embarrassment. If I say something that upsets anyone, I get the slap. If I forget Paul’s name and mention one of Linda’s old boyfriends, I get my coat and get the hell out of here.
A Speech Substitute
(If you’re handed the tricky task of standing in for the father, grab the bull by the horns and go for laughs.)
This format gives you a handy template to deliver the right balance of humour and sentiment if you’re standing in for the bride’s father. Whatever the reason for the switch, don’t sweep it under the rug. Handle with humour and sensitivity and you’ll blow away any negative feelings straight away. It also shows how to drop in some nostalgia for a few guaranteed chuckles, which should get you in nicely with the bridesmaids.
There’s something I should like to get straight first of all. Some of you will be wondering if this is an episode of Jeremy Kyle and we’ve only just found out I’m Linda’s father. Sadly, that isn’t the case. Why am I speaking in place of Alan? Well, the substitution was Alan’s own doing. He asked me to stand in for him because he found out five minutes ago that half the groomsmen were Liverpool fans and he couldn’t use some of the words he’d like because there are children present.
A Proud Son
(If you are the son of a bride getting married and have been delegated speech duties, use this mixture of sentiment and sarcasm.)
With people remarrying far too late in life to have their dear old dad around, the job of speechmaker sometimes falls on a son. By combining interesting observations about the unusual situation with some loving words that tug on the heartstrings, you’ll melt everyone’s hearts… including those of your mum’s friends and daughters, if you know what I mean. Know what I mean? You know what I mean.
At this point it would be traditional to bring up an embarrassing moment from the bride’s past so that you can have a laugh at her expense; but on the basis that she has got so much more on me than I have on her, I’m just going to skip that in the interests of self-preservation. But I will tell you about the time she asked me to put a dating profile up on OK Cupid, and under sex she asked me to type “yes please”.
Second Marriage Speech
(Difficult situations call for tact and a sharp mind to deal with them. If this is the Bride’s second marriage, handle it the right way.)
If your daughter is on her second husband, there’s no point in shying away unless she’s super sensitive about this. Pretend her first husband is dead, compare her to a preying mantis, do anything you can to get over this emotional hump and snatch a few laughs from an awkward situation. If you really can’t bring yourself to mention it jovially then don’t feel pressured, but at least give it a passing thought that offers a compliment to the bride. In fact, the period following this compliment would be a cracking place to stick a one liner about John and Lorena Bobbitt.
Today, my daughter begins a new chapter of her life, and I am delighted to see her looking so radiant. Everyone has the right to happiness, especially Linda who has fought through some tough times with incredible determination and courage. This is a new start for the both of you and, if you will forgive the cliché, today really is the first day of the rest of your lives. Everyone is allowed a second crack of the whip. Reminds me of my own wedding night actually. Not the whip part, it’s just I had trouble getting into my…. you know what, save that story for after pudding.
If At First You Don’t Succeed
(When both the Bride and Groom have previous form in the marriage department, be ultra sure of their feelings before proceeding with a risky routine.)
Sometimes a more sensitive approach can be taken in the event one or both of the happy couple already have the war wounds from an unsuccessful marriage. Don’t add to their scars by flinging hilarious chunks of blunt shrapnel at them, especially if you don’t know the Groom well. Keep the speech focused on the positive points of their new start, and try and be civil about any ex-spouses, even if they were top notch idiots.
Of course, you’ve both already been in this position before. This makes the occasion doubly special because with a second marriage no-one goes into it looking through rose-tinted glasses. Those glasses are distinctly realistic shades of brown and grey. You know what kind of problems must be faced and what sort of mistakes must be avoided. And, of course, it is impossible to avoid such pitfalls until you first know they are there. However like a blind man wandering in a desert stark naked, you’ve both overcome your share of ruthless snakes chomping at your nether regions, and somehow managed to unearth a couple of shining treasures.