The father of the bride speech is obviously your one big chance to stand up and tell everyone at the wedding exactly what your daughter means to you. It is an amazing opportunity, and hopefully it won't come around again, so you want to make sure it's as good as it possibly can be on the day. I heard very recently about a father of the bride who spoke for 1 hour and 45 minutes, and did so using Powerpoint. Quite why somebody didn't just take him our with a well aimed salt cellar, is beyond me. I can see that in his mind making the most of the situation meant cramming every single detail of her life, every exam result, and job promotion, into just under 2 hours. This is unforgivable, and I guarantee, it'll come back to bite him at some point.
Yes, as the first one up you want to make an impression, you need to kick things off in just the right, and you must celebrate your daughter in a meaningful, memorable and powerful way. That doesn't mean you attempt to break the world record of the most people dying of boredom in one place at the same time. Some fathers of the bride like to produce 30 minute epics, others are so nervous they're up and down before anyone has noticed. You need to pitch it between the two. The best speeches do what they have to do in the most efficient way, you don't get any points for standing up there longer than necessary, so if you feel the need to jazz up a perfectly good speech, with a song, a slideshow, props, or even a rap, please have a reality check.
And that brings me to the subject of poems. I love poetry in nearly all of its forms, and when I say nearly, that's because when I come across a self penned wedding poem, it nearly always fails to hit the spot. Most people don't get involved with creative writing after they're 16, and that's why so many grown men write poems that have all the technical and entertainment qualities of pre teen limerick. Fine, if you really want to add a couple of lines in, go for it, but only a couple. Listening to a poorly written, awkward jumble of rhyming couplets for longer then a minute, is completely toe curling to witness, and should be avoided at all costs, especially if it's pumping up the volume of your speech. So, stick to a well written, engaging and entertaining speech. If you think it needs something extra oomph, then there's something wrong with what you've written.