Father Of The Bride Speech (When You Don’t Like The Groom)

Delivering a wedding speech can be daunting at the best of times, but even more so when you aren’t sure your daughter is making the right decision. There’s a surprising amount of dads who could weep at the thought of the man their daughter is marrying. Hopefully, your gut will be proved wrong.

For now, it’s your duty to do your best dad dancing at the reception, and make your daughter’s day as stress-free as possible.

And, it is possible, by following some of these tips…

(*Of course, if you’re looking for more than ideas, you may want to consider our father of the bride templatespeech edit service, or even our bespoke writing service. We’re ‘Excellent’ rated on Trustpilot for a reason).

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father of the bride

Father of the bride etiquette

Your role in your speech is to make everyone feel welcome, your daughter feel loved, and for everyone to have a good time.

Today is a day for positivity and for you to celebrate your daughter. We suggest you focus on that and focus as little on your son-in-law as possible. It won’t seem like an omission if you get it right.

It’s the same principle as acknowledging the wonderful upbringing your daughter’s mother has given her over the years, even if you’re estranged.

Be the bigger person. Do the right thing. Even if it’s done slightly grudgingly.

Father of the Bride

Father of the bride speech structure

Whilst every wedding speech should be unique and personal, it may help you to have a structure in mind when writing your speech.

  1. Welcome everyone, and start with a joke. Tensions may be high if relationships are fraught, so a good-natured joke to start the speech will help everyone to relax.
  2. Tell some funny anecdotes about your daughter’s childhood, especially ones which relate to how she is as a woman today. Remember, a loving tribute can sometimes include taking the mick (although always double check the tone of your jokes with someone you trust if relationships have been fraught).
  3. Pay tribute to the woman she is now, and how she got there. Pay tribute to the good stuff, the lovely stuff, but most importantly, the funny stuff.
  4. Touch lightly on her relationship with the groom. If you can mention something positive about their relationship, or something you can see he provides her that improves her life, that will go a long way. Even if it’s just the smile on her face he’s given her today, or how much he clearly loves her. (Something generic will be fine if you’re really struggling, but something more personal will mean a lot more to your daughter).
  5. The soppy stuff. You may want to share some advice with the couple, or your hopes for them in the future. Let them know that no matter what, you’ll always be there for them.
  6. Make a toast. Traditionally, the father of the bride’s toast is “to the health and happiness of the happy couple”, however, we advise coming up with something a bit more unique and personal. It could be something personal to your daughter, or something which ties in with the theme of your speech.

For more general speech writing and delivery advice, visit our Father of The Bride page.

wedding speeches examples great advice uk


Do reassure your daughter – Let her know in advance how much you are looking forward to giving your speech, and that it will be positive. This will take a lot of strain off her during the day.

Do focus on your positive relationship with your daughter – The more positive the speech, the less people will notice all the things you’ve left unsaid.

Do try to mention something positive about the groom– A little kindness goes a long way. Even better if you can make it sincere.

Do keep it short –  As our grannies always told us, if you can’t think of anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Short but sweet can be perfect in a sensitive speech situation.

Do keep it fun and light- Bring in the fun and laughter of your relationship with your daughter over the years to lighten the mood. Laughter is the best way to bring people together.

Father of the Bride Speech wedding toast help


Don’t make barbed jokes at the groom’s expense – You may think a little teasing will be fine, but wedding speech jokes always land well when delivered with love. Make sure your intentions are positive when using humour.

Don’t air your opinions in the speech – We’re sure you wouldn’t, but today is a day to focus on the positives. Anything else can be discussed another time.

Don’t ignore the opinion of your wife – In sensitive situations, it’s always good to have a second opinion. If your wife, or someone else you trust, doesn’t think something will go down well, cut it out.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help – If in doubt, you can always contact Speechy for support in writing the perfect speech to keep everyone happy. We are well versed in writing ‘tactful’ and delightful speeches.

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