How to Kick Things Off…
You’re the first to stand up and speak, and whilst that may sound daunting it does give you the opportunity to run your speech without the backdrop of anything that’s gone before. In other words if you were following a drop dead funny speech, then it would be time to get a sweat on, but Father’s of the Bride never have to face that scenario.
You don’t need to attempt to be a stand up comedian, but you should have something humorous planned for the first introduction paragraph, and that could be based around the venue, where we people have travelled from or a joke directed entirely at yourself.
The Perfect Start
The perfect start to your speech should be a relaxed, informal welcome without giving yourself the pressure of making guests laugh from the off. Keep your powder dry and settle into the speech.
The best way is to introduce yourself and make the welcome on behalf of your family. Don’t launch straight into the story of your daughter – she is the star of the show but her part in the speech should build throughout to a crescendo and you shouldn’t be hitting them that from the start.
There has to be a good balance in this speech because 10 minutes centred around your daughter and the amazing woman she’s become, is going to be a bit full on. Think about who is there, think about any angles on who’s made a huge effort to be there, and use that to make a start.
A sure fired way to get your speech off to the worst possible start is to use something you’ve found on the internet. They’re not funny, they’re not original and you’ll have to contend with a collective groan that will spell disaster.
As soon as you give the guests something to look at other than you, you’ve lost them. The whole aim of the game is to keep their attention and if they’ve then got pictures or video to stare at, they won’t be listening to a word you say. Avoid.
There needs to be a balance in all speeches and as odd as it may seem the father of the bride speech is not all about the bride. Have some light and shade in there. Family and friends should also play their parts in your speech.
Tears of Joy
This is going to be a tough speech in many ways because you’re officially letting your daughter go. There will be some heart tugging moments but try to avoid getting bogged down in overwrought emotion. So right from the start keep it ‘up’ and happy.
Ladies and Gentlemen
If it’s a big wedding use ‘ladies and gentlemen’ to address the guests. Contrary to some perceptions it’s not overly pompous, you’re merely playing a part and guests enjoy that formality as being part of a very special day. For smaller weddings replace with ‘everyone’ or another more intimate term.
Don’t leave it beyond the first paragraph to include the names of the bride and groom. It’s their day and they are the focus, bring them into play in name only, quite early on. Then build their parts as the speech progresses.
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