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Father of the bride speech - to icebreak or not?

The vast majority of people I write for are very nervous about their speech, and that's an entirely reasonable and expected emotion. If you're not nervous about it, you probably haven't given enough thought as to the task in hand. The best man is the entertainment for the day, the groom has to encapsulate his feelings for family, friends and his bride, and the father of the bride speech needs to celebrate his daughter in a meaningful, memorable and entertaining speech. The guests expect, and you have to deliver.

Even if you do have public speaking experience with your day job, the big departure for nearly every speaker is that these speeches are entertainment based. Yes, you are getting some pretty big messages across in these speeches, and sometimes in a very emotional way, but it's all wrapped up in an entertainment package, and that's part and parcel of very few people's every day career remits. This, of course, isn't news to most people, and armed with this knowledge they trudge a very familiar path to the same dodgy websites, harvest the same dodgy one liners and jokes, and then chuck them throughout their speech like grass seed. Bad idea.

Some fathers of the bride become so fixated with their new found armoury of 'gags', that inserting the full gamut into the speech then becomes their sole focus in life, sometimes at the expense of the bride herself. I have lost count of the number of times I have heard about father of the bride speeches where the dad either forgot to talk about the bride, or just mentioned her in passing. If you find yourself in that position, you will be repenting at leisure.

Yes, you do want to make the guests laugh sooner rather than later, but there are a lot funnier and more original ways of doing that rather then using an ice breaker that at least half the people there will have already heard countless times, and that wasn't funny in the first place. Nothing kills laughs quicker than being exposed to that comedy multiple times. Watch a stand up comedian's film on Netflix one night, and I can guarantee you, you will be sitting stony faced through it the very next evening. The very best you can expect when deploying one of the internet's all time worst one liners, is a polite ripple of laughter, and that's humiliation in another form.

Instead think about the location, think about your daughter's character and how you can tie that to the opening, think about your son in law's football team, think about the boy band your daughter loved growing up. There's plenty of ammunition for a well crafted home grown ice breaker, and you speech will be all the better for it.

Written By
Adrian Simpson
5 Jan, 2022

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