Table of Contents
- The Importance of a Father of the Groom Speech
- How to Write a Father of the Groom Speech
- Giving the Speech: Five More Tips
- Father of the Groom Speech Examples
- Reach Out for Assistance
Weddings are exciting, and they’re even more so when the big day is for your son and his soon-to-be spouse. Where were you when you first heard the news? Maybe you were in the middle of mowing the lawn or changing your car’s air filter when your son told you he was engaged to be married.
You might have even been napping (now that’s time well spent!) when your son let out a whoop, woke you up and shared the news. Try not to grumble about being jostled from your nap. After all, you can always nap later on when the wedding plans are spilling across your kitchen table and down the hall. Right now, it’s time to celebrate!
No matter what type of dad you are, whether you love meeting up with your son for vintage car shows or last-minute fishing trips, or whether you’re still a hard-driving, always-on-the-go dad who wouldn’t dream of ever retiring, you know that you want to be there for your son in whatever way you can.
One of the best ways to show your love and support is to give a toast for your son’s wedding.
The Importance of the Father of the Groom Speech
Father of the groom speeches have a special role in a wedding. This is a time when you can get up there in front of friends and family and share stories about your son and his spouse. You can also share wisdom and some gentle jibes at your son. Cross the embarrassment threshold, though, and you’ll soon feel your spouse’s deadly glare burning its way through your skull. So don’t go there!
Tradition puts father of the groom speeches and toasts behind father of the bride speeches, since the wedding host would customarily speak first, but these are modern times. The structure of the wedding ceremony and reception can be as long-established or as avant-garde as your son and his spouse want it to be.
Maybe you’ll host the wedding. Maybe you’ll share that role equally with the father of the bride. Ask for the happy couple’s preferences, and roll with it! This is a day to put their future first.
Overwhelmed? Follow These Five Steps
Dads are great at many things, like cheering for their kids at soccer practice or driving that ATV without experiencing a broken bone or even a scratch, but not all dads are great with words. For some dads, speaking from the heart might be the last thing they want to do – not because they don’t feel it, but because they’re uncomfortable saying it.
If your heart is beating faster at the thought of writing a speech, you’ll definitely appreciate the five steps we’ve outlined below. Don’t worry, you got this.
1. Do a Bit of Brainstorming
Staring at a blank page or screen can leave a flutter of fear in your chest. That’s why it’s completely understandable that you might feel out of your comfort zone. Even if you consider yourself an up-and-coming Ernest Hemingway or Arthur C. Clarke (it doesn’t matter than your stories have yet to appear in print!), you might still experience writer’s block at the thought of such an important life event.
The first step in creating your speech is to not write at all. This isn’t an excuse to dash off and give up. Not writing doesn’t mean not working. Instead of writing down your thoughts, you’re letting them roam through your head free from restraint.
You could start brainstorming by answering a simple question like, “How did you spend summer vacations with your family?” Or, “What was one thing your son excelled at when he was young?”
These questions can bring up fantastic memories that lead you on a journey through time. You might recall how you helped your son build a multi-story sandcastle complete with crenellations and a sand army, or the first time he went skiing (and promptly fell on his face in the snow). Once you’ve had a good chuckle about all those memories, you’ll be ready to start your speech.
2. Introduce Yourself and Your Relationship to the Couple
As you write the opening line of your father of the groom speech, think about whom you’re talking to and about. You don’t want to simply face your son and his spouse while talking because you’ll end up ignoring the audience. That’s right, you’ve got an audience! The diverse sea of faces will consist of people you know and people you don’t know, so you might not feel fully at ease facing them. However, like you, they’re there in support of the happy couple and should always feel integral to the celebrations.
You’ll want to introduce yourself to the audience and state how you know the married couple. It can be something lighthearted, like “Good evening/afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. My name is (your name) and I’m the older but certainly not-as-handsome version of (groom’s name).” You can also simply introduce yourself as "Hello, everyone. I'm (groom)'s father."
Using the first sentence or two to state your relationship and incorporate a bit of humor can help everyone relax, yourself included. Humor can go a long way in helping people feel comfortable, but too much can have the opposite effect. Think of it this way: you’re not hosting your own one-man comedy show, so don’t try to turn it into the stand-up special of the century.
Today is for your son, not you!
3. Address the Groom and His Spouse
Next you’ll want to address the groom and his spouse, showing your support for their marriage. There will be times in which the father of the groom doesn’t fully approve of his son’s partner, perhaps thinking it is a poor match or that there will be personality conflicts between spouse and in-laws.
No one is perfect, but these two likely have a special bond that you just can’t see. Your son wants to marry the love of his life, so focus on his happiness and the adoration that shines from his eyes. As you write your speech, remember that his soon-to-be bride is marrying him, not you.
Use this section to speak kindly about the new couple and the ways in which they complement one another. Whether they’re both comic book and manga fans or whether one is more of the bookworm type and the other loves the theater, you’ll soon realize that his love of antiques contrasts nicely with her love of period dramas. He might also have a killer sense of humor that lessens her serious side and makes her brown eyes sparkle. Together, they work.
4. Share Memories and More Recent Stories
There's no party like a full-on roasting party, right? Not so much. You don’t want to embarrass your son on his wedding day. A few jokes and puns are okay, but do not resort to dishing out stories that paint your son in a poor light.
Instead, share a combination of older stories about your son’s childhood and more recent stories that include how he met his spouse or how he proposed and shared the exciting news.
This is where you pull in those brainstormed memories and share how special your son is, and how proud you are to see him at this important stage of his life.
5. End With Marriage Advice and Fatherly Wisdom
End your speech with some helpful marriage advice and offer a bit of well-established wisdom – go on, we know you want to! You’ve seen a thing or two in your time, and you want to make sure you son has a wonderful life with plenty of his own happy memories.
You could also choose to skip the marriage advice and just focus on well wishes for the future. These two lovebirds are about to begin their own exciting journey, and you are thrilled to be there at the start of it all. Toast their happiness and feign surprise (What, they liked this little speech? Nothing to it!) at the applause you receive.
Extra, Extra! Five More Tips for Success
Here are five bonus tips to consider when writing your father of the groom rehearsal dinner speech or reception speech.
1. Keep an eye on the clock
You don’t want to give your audience reason to fidget and squirm, since they’ll very quickly tune you out and end up checking their phones for new texts. Keep your voice lively, and make sure your speech clocks in at 3 to 5 minutes at most.
2. Make sure you practice
Along with good timing comes practice. You really do need to practice your speech, whether that’s outside in your woodshop conversing with the squirrels or else standing in front of a mirror. If you’re comfortable with it, you could even say your speech in front of a trusted family member.
3. Ignore that family drama
Since the wedding has brought together many generations of family members, you’ll likely witness a few little tiffs. There’s no way you can help the fact that your sister Shari dislikes your grandpa Joe, or that your cousins Mikkel and Karl have a long-standing war over a grandfather clock. Keep your cool and keep your focus on the happy couple.
4. Avoid boozing until later
When has a drunken speech ever gone well? Answer: never. Don’t be the one who slips on the microphone cord or who blurts out some type of dirty laundry best forgotten. Keep a clear head, sip a bit of water beforehand, and have them cheering for all the right reasons.
5. Show them your personality
Your speech should be believable, so make sure you speak from the heart and don’t try to impress people with language you’d never say. You could also try to include a teeny bit of improvisation somewhere in the speech, perhaps at the end when you’re most comfortable. Just a sentence or two while looking directly at your son and his bride will make for a memorable moment.
Father of the Groom Speech Examples
Below are five father of the groom speeches and toasts for a variety of families and occasions.
Father of the Groom Speech
This first speech is from a father with a playful sense of humor who loves his son and loves to make fun.
Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for coming on this joyous day that we’ll cherish forever. As the proud father of the groom, a father with decidedly emptier pockets for agreeing to co-host this happy day – it was definitely worth it, you crazy kids – I would just like to say that I’m glad it’s almost over.
Don’t get me wrong! Today has been so much fun, but now my house can go back to normal and there won’t be oodles of wedding decorations and tuxes and flowers everywhere. Did I mention the flowers? I don’t think our home has ever looked more like a flower shop. It’s amazing.
Now for the happy couple. Seeing Eric next to his bride has been such a treat, one that his mother and I won’t soon forget.
These two kiddies made a promise on their tenth birthday – the same day too – that if they were still single at age 30 they’d get married. I thought it was nonsense at the time. But incredibly, they ran into one another a year ago and it was instant chemistry. Who’d have guessed?
Here’s to decades of happiness together, wherever the winds may take you. We love you.
Father of the Groom Rehearsal Dinner Speech
In this second speech designed for the rehearsal dinner, the father speaks of how proud he is at how his son has grown over the years.
Well, everyone, tomorrow is the big day. So very soon Xander will be meeting his husband-to-be Luca under the wedding arch and exchanging vows to share their lives together.
This is such a special time for me and his mother to see our little boy all grown up and marrying his love.
Xander was always a quiet boy, preferring his books and video games to playing outside with the other kids. I remember trying to prompt him to join the group, but he would look up at me with these sad eyes and just shake his head.
Little did I know that those kids just didn’t understand him – but Luca did. Luca understands him like no one else, and it’s been incredible to see the changes take place.
For us to see our shy boy grow into a proud man has been such a blessing.
I can’t wait for them to say “I do” and begin the next chapter of their lives. I hear they’re going on a honeymoon to various countries across Europe, and I can’t wait for that either. Why? Because I’ve been promised a photo of them at each stop and a little trinket to mark the journey.
What a fantastic way to share in the adventures. Here’s to Xander and Luca.
“Impromptu” Father of the Groom Toast
This third father toast for son wedding is for the father who wishes to make a speech and make it seem like he's just winging it successfully. The trick here is to prepare ahead of time and then practice, practice, practice – in secret!
Hello, everyone, I thought I’d take a few moments to share my support for the happy couple. And don’t worry, I haven’t had my scotch on the rocks yet!
I’m Louis, father of the groom. Although I haven’t had much to do with the wedding venue plans, I’ve been working behind the scenes to make sure this day goes smoothly.
A while back we had a little snafu with the printing company printing the wrong address on the invitations. Good thing Thom noticed before it was too late!
Do you know how many guests would have gone to the wrong winery? About half. They might have enjoyed the bubbly, but the company wouldn’t have been nearly as good. And the happy couple wouldn’t have looked nearly as stunning.
Don’t Thom and Reva look fantastic all dolled up at the main table? I think Thom has great style, and it’s all because of Reva’s keen eye. She’s been such a delight to get to know, and I’ve loved our conversations about everything from Shakespeare to forensic science. She’s a medical examiner too!
I want to raise a glass to my son and his new bride, to wish them well on the road ahead, and to hope that any kids they have bring just as much joy as what they’ve brought to us old people. Cheers!
Distant Father of the Groom Speech
For a father who hasn’t played a large role in his son’s life, seeing the words “father of the groom wedding speech” might be especially daunting. Writing about the road ahead while avoiding discussion of past events will keep the mood positive.
Good afternoon to all who sit before me. It’s a special honor for me to stand up here and speak about the groom and his wife because I haven’t always been around as much as I’d have liked.
I am deeply grateful that Alessandro has given me a chance to change that and to share in his life moving forward, starting today.
When I received a call from Alessandro, I knew I wanted to do something for him and his bride to show my gratitude.
Not many of you know this about me, but I’ve been a carpenter for the past 20 years, and so I thought I would build something that they might use in their new home.
If you look behind you, Alessandro and Lilly, you’ll see a large package. Below that sheet...
… is my gift to you.
This is a rocking chair made from walnut, and each edge is beveled to prevent cuts to tiny fingers. I hope you’ll enjoy rocking in this chair with your own little ones, reading stories and singing lullabies each night.
Congratulations to you both. I wish you happiness in your new life.
Stepfather of the Groom Speech
This final speech is from a stepfather who has a big, loving personality and is very close to his step-son.
What a lively group this is! All the laughter and chatter reminds me of my times as coach of the boys’ little league team where I’d go from laughing one minute to breaking up fights the next.
Fair warning, though: there better not be any fights tonight! I just earned my fifth-level black belt in karate, you know.
Speaking of karate, that was my first introduction to my future wife and her son. Kira went to every lesson, and I saw first-hand how close those two were. I loved watching them hug after each lesson, and I’ll never forget the day I joined their family and shared in the hugs as well.
That’s why today is so special. Aleksi was there when Kira and I married, and now I’m here when he marries his own bride.
I became a father to Kira’s boy, and Aleksi is now father to Ansa’s twin girls. Who knows, maybe Aleksi will become a coach for his daughters’ little league team!
I could even teach him a bunch of new silly songs to sing on the way to events. Then again, maybe he’d prefer not to hear me croaking away. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, his smirk says it all!
Let us raise a glass to Aleksi and Ansa. May your days be full of smiles and silly songs.
Reach Out for Assistance
If you’ve gone through these steps and have tried your best to write the speech without success, consider asking the writers at Compose.ly for assistance. They’ll write a speech that mimics your style and helps boost your confidence for the big day.
This post was written by Compose.ly writer Emily Clayton.