Father of the Bride Duties

The bride’s father has a key role in his daughter’s wedding journey. He should be there to offer emotional support and take on various responsibilities throughout the wedding planning and big day.

These duties range from walking his little girl down the aisle to the all-important father of the bride’s dance and speech. However, it is essential to remember that a father’s involvement in your wedding day is a personal choice. There is no right or wrong regarding how much you choose to include your father in your special day.

father of the bride walking bride down the isle.

Duties Before the Wedding Day

The father of the bride has several responsibilities leading up to the wedding day, including:


Traditionally, the bride’s father was responsible for covering a significant portion of the wedding costs. However, it is essential to remember that modern weddings have become more flexible. Couples and families often share costs or divide expenses in various ways. It’s important to discuss any financial contributions from the bride’s dad so a wedding budget can be agreed on.

It is more common nowadays for couples to foot the bill for their wedding. However, the parents of the bride may insist on contributing to the wedding. There are many options in which they can help out financially. It’s important to note that traditional financial responsibilities aren’t in stone. Each family and wedding is unique, so we recommend formally discussing how much your parents can commit to so everyone is on the same page.

Some topics to cover when having these financial discussions could include –

  1. Wedding ceremony and reception
  2. Bridal attire
  3. Photography and Videography
  4. Wedding Stationery
  5. Transportation
  6. Engagement party
  7. Rehearsal dinner

Wedding Planning

Suppose you take the traditional approach to include your dad in your wedding. In that case, he should be actively involved in the planning process. 

It should also be noted that if the parents of the groom are financially involved in the wedding, the bride’s dad will need to work closely with them and the couple to make important decisions about the wedding. 

The bride’s father must make himself available on the wedding day, offering a shoulder to lean on or reassuring words when needed. His presence will provide comfort and stability amidst the whirlwind of the big day.

Engagement Party

An engagement party is a beautiful way to celebrate the happy news of an upcoming wedding. The bride’s father may wish to host an engagement party as a meaningful gesture that sets the tone for the upcoming wedding festivities.

The bride’s father should consult the couple regarding their wishes for the engagement party. Discussions should be had regarding a day and time that suit them, preferences around the guest list, and menus and entertainment for the party. 

Rehearsal Dinner

Traditionally, the bride’s father hosts a rehearsal dinner. He may choose to give a short speech before or after dinner. He may take this opportunity to welcome his future son-in-law and his family into your family. Planning and executing a memorable rehearsal dinner is just one of the many ways you’ll support your daughter as she begins this new chapter. 

father of the bride being hugged from behind by his daughter in a wedding dress.

Emotional Support

The father’s unique role throughout the wedding is to be there for his daughter, offering support and encouragement whenever needed. 

The bride’s father can show support by being an active listener, showing interest in the problems that arise, and helping find solutions. Drawing from his experiences and wisdom is a great way to help, offering his daughter advice and guidance when needed.

Buy a new outfit

A wedding is always an excellent opportunity to purchase a new outfit. As the bride’s father, this means finding a new suit or tux. There’s no need to dust off your old wedding attire, although you may if you prefer. As part of the bridal party, the bride’s father may wear a tie that matches the bridesmaid’s dress color – tying the wedding theme together.

A senior man making speech at wedding reception outside in the background. Bride and groom and other guests holding glasses.

Duties On the Wedding Day

On the wedding day, the father of the bride has several important tasks, including:

First Look

A newer tradition in weddings is the “first look.” 

A “first look” is when the bride’s father sees his daughter in her wedding dress for the first time. This intimate and emotional event allows the father and daughter to share a special moment before the wedding ceremony. A moment filled with emotion and pride when he sees his little girl transformed into a beautiful bride. 

You want to treasure this moment forever, so ensuring your photographer is present is necessary. Select a private, comfortable spot for the first look, such as a quiet room in the wedding venue or a secluded garden area. Consider choosing a place with sentimental value, like the family home.

Allow enough time to share a few moments with your dad without feeling rushed. This time together may be an excellent time for a little pep talk. Just be sure to make time for makeup touch-ups and any final preparations before the ceremony; you’ll need it after this emotional moment.

Welcoming Guests

It is the father’s responsibility to welcome the guests to the wedding. Greeting the guests as they arrive helps to make them feel comfortable and shows appreciation for their presence. Being present when the guests arrive allows an excellent opportunity to introduce yourself to your new son-in-law’s family and friends.

Giving Away His Little Girl

One of the most emotional and symbolic moments in a wedding is when the bride’s father walks his daughter down the aisle. A significant tradition that symbolizes he is giving his daughter away to her new life partner. This act is a bittersweet moment, filled with love and pride, as he sees your little girl embark on this new journey.

Father of the Bride Speech

The bride’s father traditionally gives the first speech at the wedding reception. Allowing him to express his love, pride, and happiness for his daughter and her new spouse. He may wish to share heartfelt anecdotes, offer advice, and welcome his new son-in-law into your family. This is also a chance to thank the guests, especially out-of-town guests, for coming. At the end of the speech, it is common for him to toast the happy couple.

The bride’s father must take the time to prepare his speech thoughtfully, ensuring it’s heartfelt and memorable. We do not recommend winging it as this is an important speech that should have time and consideration put into the wording.

father of the bride shaking hands with the groom with bride and mother behind them.

The Father Daughter Dance

The father-daughter dance is a poignant and cherished tradition in which you’ll share a special moment with your daughter on the dance floor. This dance is an opportunity to celebrate the bond while creating a lasting memory for both of you. If you’re not confident dancing, consider taking dance lessons together in the months leading up to the wedding. Not only will this improve your skills, but it will also provide an opportunity for some quality time together before the big day. Sharing these small moments will help bring you closer together and give you lasting memories.


Family photos are a must for every wedding. They allow the newlyweds, their families, and friends to reflect on the event and relive the joy and emotions for years to come. Father-daughter photos are a lovely way to capture the memories from your special day.

Ensure you have a “to-do list” for your wedding photographer so they know how you would like photos taken. With all the excitement of the ceremony, it can be hard to think on the spot and decide who you want to capture these special moments with.

Final thoughts

The bride’s father ensures his daughter’s wedding journey is enjoyable and memorable, provides emotional support, assists with various tasks, and participates in wedding traditions. The bride’s father contributes significantly to the success of the wedding, both emotionally and financially.

Understanding the responsibilities and duties of the bride’s father is essential for any bride and her family, ensuring a beautiful and seamless wedding experience.

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