Father of the Bride Speech
by Ken Foreman
Q.My daughter is getting married on September 20, 2008. A rough draft of my speech follows, and I'd appreciate any input as I'm not accustomed to public speaking. Thanks,
A. Congratulations! I'm happy for your family.
Speech-wise, I've put my comments in a different color, italicized in asterisks, then some general input below the speech.
Anyone else have any input for Ken? Let him know in the comments at the bottom.
"Hello, everyone. It is our pleasure to welcome to this very happy occasion all relatives and friends of both the Hess and Foreman families, and we're happy that each of you has joined us to celebrate Jaclyn and Rick's marriage. I think the wedding ceremony was incredible, followed by a perfect evening, and I know this is an occasion we will never forget. *Be careful to not sound too stilted in the introduction. "Thank-yous" don't sound too genuine if they're memorized ;-).*
I also want you to know, Jaclyn how beautiful you look this evening, and both of you, Jaclyn and Rick how happy we are for you on this special occasion.
I'd also like to take this opportunity to especially thank Pam for being not only an amazing wife but also an outstanding mother and a guiding light in the upbringing of our daughter Jaclyn.
About a month ago when I began to think about my toast for this evening, Pam and I rented the movie Father of the Bride, and there's a line in the movie where Steve Martin says in reference to his daughter's engagement that a father reaches a point when he stops worrying about his daughter meeting the wrong guy and starts worrying about her meeting the right guy. And I don't know if that's necessarily been true for me, but I do know that not long after Jaclyn and Rick began dating, Pam and I knew that Rick was "the Guy." And I also knew that it was just a question of time before I'd be taking that phone call from Rick, asking if he could stop by to "talk." Ansure enough, that call came in late September, and of course by that time we'd gotten to know Rick and were happy to give our Blessing. *I love this paragraph. The movie reference is a great transition, and you pay some very high compliments to your daughter's fiance. Consider adding something specific that helped you know he was the right one before he asked for your daughter's hand, some action that's typical of his character. I'd insert it right after "the Guy." Even if you don't though, this is a spectacular section of your speech.*
And when he requested our permission to propose to Jaclyn, he asked us to keep his intentions a secret, and came up with a plan to pop the question later that week at a birthday dinner in our home. And in order not to give his intentions away, he also decided to wrap the small box containing the engagement ring in successively larger boxes. So, later that week after dinner Pam and I and Jaclyn and Rick were in the family room having cake and champagne, and Jaclyn had just opened our gifts to her, when Rick brought in a gift about the size of a bread box and sat it down on the floor next to Jaclyn. And Jaclyn had this big grin on her face, completely unaware of what was about to unfold, just happy to be opening presents. And she looked at Pam and me and said, "Oh, I hope it's a microwave oven! I really need one." We just looked at each other and smiled. Well, when Jaclyn opened the first box and found another wrapped box inside, she knew she wasn't getting a microwave for her birthday. *Be sure to pause for long enough here to let the humor sink in.*
And I don't remember exactly how many boxes she unwrapped before the light went on, but she eventually worked her way down to the final box, which contained the engagement ring of course, and Rick got down on his knee and proposed. *I love the proposition story. Great memory.*
And as parents, not only was it fun to watch this unfold, but Pam and I also appreciated the commitment Rick expressed to Jaclyn as well as the respect he showed us in the way he handled the proposal. And we want both of you to know, Jaclyn and Rick, that we couldn't be happier.
And Jaclyn, your family also wants you to know how proud we are of the intelligent and beautiful young lady you have become, and Rick, how proud we are of our daughter's choice of husband.
So everyone please join me in a toast to the bride and groom: Jaclyn and Rick, we love you both very much and wish you the very best that marriage has to offer, and may we wish that the love and happiness you feel today will be carried through for the rest of your lives. Cheers!"
*I'd be toasting right along with you. The length feels good to me, not too long, but long enough to be meaningful. Think about any gestures you'll use during the stories; body language adds a lot. Congratulations to you and your daughter.*
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