There are a few reasons why the bride’s father doesn’t make a speech, and none of them are particularly pleasant. Unfortunately the most common one is that he’s passed away and that in itself brings about some really difficult elements to the day. The least common type of scenario I write for is two young couples with two intact sets of parents, it just doesn’t happen. If the bride’s father is no longer with us, then it normally either falls to an uncle, a wife or a son.
Usually it’s the son that steps into this role, and it’s a really tough speech. Not only is it your job to kick things off and celebrate your sister, but it also your job to talk about your dad, and that can prove almost impossible for the toughest of us. My advice is to keep that section very efficient, don’t turn it into a mini eulogy, but instead include your dad in a really positive, and if possible, funny way. This speech is going to need humorous punctuation like no other, so have something about your dad that will make others, and especially your sister, laugh.
The essence of this ‘father of the bride speech‘ is no different for whoever gives it, and that means you’ve got to get the speeches rolling in a really engaging, entertaining and creative way. You’re there to celebrate your sister/daughter/niece and the person she’s become and also celebrate the marriage and welcome the groom into your family. As I’ve mentioned the usual trap here is to talk too much about the person who should have been giving the speech. The wedding day is about one person only: the bride. Most brides find it incredibly difficult to deal with the loss on such an emotional day, and this is meant to be a joyful and uplifting day, so I would keep the words about your dad to around 120 maximum. And of course, that includes a toast to absent family and friends
If you’re the brother making the speech it should have a little more a Maid of honour/best man speech feel about it, more jokey and entertaining, because hopefully that reflects the relationship you share. Nevertheless you must remember to celebrate her achievements and accomplishments, and also don’t forget to include your mum. A father of the bride speech is usually given on behalf of the bride’s parents, so give your one of behalf of the family. Your mum needs a massive ‘big up’ in this speech as the wedding day will prove unbelievably hard for her. If your parents were divorced, then this really doesn’t change anything, unlike a regular father of the bride speech. When people die, feelings soften and if there was any animosity, then it should have all evaporated by now.
Above all have some fun with it. It’s a really tough speech and if you can do it and make them laugh and your family proud, then it’s a feeling that’s with you for life.