The best man's speech is the one that's most commonly given at weddings, but the groom and the father of the bride frequently make them, too. The bride's father's speech will introduce him to the room as the host of the event, or he will acknowledge those who are also hosting it. It allows him to honor all involved with the occasion, from the bridal party to the minister who married the couple. There is no tradition that dictates how serious or lighthearted this speech should be, but being the father of the bride, it will likely be a little more solemn than the best man's tribute to the couple.
The father's speech lets him formally greet the guests to the reception and thanks them for attending, as well as for their gifts. He also thanks everyone who has played a role in putting together the wedding and all the other related events. When he wraps up the speech with his blessing for the couple, he may acknowledge his own wife and show his gratitude for the years they have shared together.
The new son-in-law should be given a warm welcome to the family, as well as to the rest of his relatives. The bride's father should speak of what qualities he admires about the groom, why he thinks he and his daughter are well-matched and his happiness that his daughter has found a partner with whom to share her life.
A father expresses his love for his daughter and what she means to him and her mother and the rest of the family. He tells the guests about her character and her best qualities and talks about watching her mature into woman who is now a bride.
This is also the time for a father to extend advice, be it playful or solemn, about what he has learned about the demands and joys of marriage. His guidance is significant because, although his daughter is now a woman in the fullest sense of the word, it signifies how their bond never diminishes and the important role he will always play in her life.
This speech pays tribute to a serious milestone that not only signifies the union of two people but also of two families. It is a fitting time for him to address any times that the couple has already faced any strife that has strengthened their dedication to each other or to recognize any of their recent accomplishments. He may also ask the guests to remember deceased loved ones who are missed on this day.
While it is assumed that the couple's parents are supporting a union when they pay for a wedding, the speech gives the father a chance to publicly state that he supports the couple and will be there to assist them as they navigate the challenges of marriage.
The father closes his speech with a toast that congratulates the couple and wishes them a long and happy life together. He can also publicly repeat his blessing for their marriage, recite a prayer or a verse or read a poem that expresses his hopes for their future.
Christa Titus is a dedicated journalism professional with over 10 years writing experience as a freelancer with a variety of publications that include "Billboard" and "Radio & Records." Her writing has also been syndicated to such media outlets as the "Washington Post," the "Seattle-Post Intelligencer," the Associated Press and Reuters. Titus earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Rowan College.