A groom wears a pink rose button hole with his grey three piece suit and white tie

Start writing your father of the bride speech 30 years in advance

I have to accept that as handy speechwriting tips go, this one is going to be only really useful to those people who have just become fathers, and let’s face it: they’ve probably got other things on their mind. The only problem is, when it’s your turn to make that all important father of the bride speech, you will embrace the same age old problem that all guys do in your position…memory loss.

I write speeches for fathers across a range of careers, social set ups, confidence levels and ability to stand up and speak, but they all have one thing in common: they can’t remember a thing. When you’re 8 you can never understand why a grown up can’t remember what you had for tea last Saturday, or that amazing episode of Power Rangers, and that’s mainly because they spend most of their time standing at the top of the stairs wondering why they were coming upstairs in the first place. Yes, memory starts to go right about the time when it would be most useful if it didn’t. Up until about the age of 14 nothing much happens that’s worth remembering, after that exams, careers and filling out house insurance forms mean you’ve got to remember all kinds of things like when you bought the house and if your locks a triple double mortice thingies.

So, what happens is that with two weeks to go, fathers of the bride, most of whom can’t remember coming into the room, sit down and try to remember stories one liners etc from 30 years ago. Which, of course doesn’t work. The harder you try, the less likely it seems to happen, and so what you end up with is a very generic and passionless speech.

You could start writing those things she says and does now. You say to yourself ‘I’ll remember that!’ but you never do. Life takes over and the time your daughter accidentally insulted the vicar disappears into the ether. Ideally you’d start doing this when she was growing up, but that would be weird and you’d probably forget where you put the notes anyway. So, when your daughter announces her engagement, get yourself a notepad, carry it everywhere, and when something pops into your head, jot it down. It may not sound like fun, but it’s a lot easier than standing up and watching the tumble weed.