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Father of the Bride Duties: 13 Jobs for the Father of the Bride

From walking her down the aisle to writing that all-important speech, here's everything you need to know about father of the bride roles and responsibilities

A bride and her dad taking a selfie on the way to her wedding in the car

Father of the bride duties are arguably some of the most important in the whole day. As well as getting the chance to get your beautiful daughter marry the love of her life, there are a number of other really special moments that come with being the father of the bride.

Being the father of the bride is a proud role for any dad to take and plays a key part in the wedding day. It’s a hugely happy moment watching your daughter marry the love of her life, but from the father of the bride speech to walking your child down the aisle, there are lots of father of the bride responsibilities which you might not be familiar with.

Father of the Bride Duties: What Does the Father of the Bride Do? 

It’s up to you and your daughter how much you want to be involved in the day, but duties like walking the bride down the aisle and giving the father of the bride speech are typically big ones. Here’s exactly what’s expected of you as father of the bride.

As always, we know not all weddings are cookie-cutter versions of each other, so some father of the bride roles and duties are going to be different to others. If your child is planning an LGBTQ+ wedding, then read how to re-invent traditions for an LGBTQ+ wedding.

What Are the Duties of the Father of the Bride?

A bride and the father of the bride about to exit a vintage wedding car

The traditional roles of the father of the bride include travelling to the wedding with the bride, walking the bride down the aisle, 'giving her away' at the altar and giving a father of the bride speech. In more modern wedding setups, some couples choose to forgo some of these traditional father of the bride duties, others choose to tweak them to their own taste.

The father of the bride plays a huge role in traditional wedding set ups. For some people, someone else will fill the role of father of the bride if the father isn't with you any more. This role can be filled by another significant person in the family. The most common substitutes are often a male sibling or another parental figure such as a mum or a step-dad. 

Father of the Bride Duties Before the Wedding

1. Discuss the Financial Situation

Before the wedding planning starts, and ahead of the couple deciding on their wedding budget, it's important that you discuss any financial contributions with your child sooner rather than later. Traditionally, the father of the bride has had the responsibility of picking up the cheque, but it's okay, this isn’t the case today. You can see a breakdown of who pays for what in the wedding here.

Wedding costs tend to be footed mostly by the wedding couple with the help of contributions from both sides of the family.  Discuss early on whether you can contribute and if you can, how much, so everyone is on the same page. 

2. Be There for Everyone

A bride holding hands with her father on the morning of her wedding

Not a traditional duty but being there for everyone as a voice of reason is definitely a role worth mentioning! As father of the bride, you’re likely to have both a daughter stressed-out by her wedding to-do list, as well as other important members of the wedding party who will have lots of wedding roles and jobs to do. 

It's not uncommon for everyone takes on a bit too much when it comes to wedding planning so they need someone to keep their cool, stay calm and remind everyone what the wedding is really about – two people in love starting a life together.

Whether it’s helping address envelopes, advising others on when to take a step back or just being on hand for a little pep talk, the father of the bride can help make the wedding planning process much nicer for everyone.

READ MORE: 35 Emotional Father of the Bride Photos

3. Write Your Father of the Bride Speech

Giving the father of the bride speech on the wedding day is one of the biggest and most important father of the bride roles - because of that, you want to be super prepared. Even if you are planning on winging it on the day, its still important to write down some notes, bullet points or key pointers of things you want to talk about in the speech.

There are a few duties of the father of the bride speech such as thanking people for coming, welcoming your new son or daughter-in-law to the family and more.  We have a guide on writing a simple father of the bride speech with examples to help you get started. 

4. Attend the Stag Do

This will totally depend on the type of stag do the groom chooses to have, but he may well invite fathers from both sides along to join in with the fun.

If this is the case, you should head along – if only for a couple of drinks at the start of the night. What’s more, it’ll be a great chance to get to know the groomsmen ahead of the big day.

READ MORE: How to Plan the Ultimate Stag Do

Father of the Bride Duties On the Wedding Day

5. Do the Wedding Dress Reveal

a father of the bride seeing his daughter for the first time in her wedding dress

Your first main duty on the wedding day (aside from putting on your dashing wedding suit), is to do the big reveal and go and see your daughter in her wedding dress. It’ll be your first chance to see your daughter in her wedding dress, and is often an emotional moment.

Not only does this make one of the most heartfelt and emotional wedding pictures on the day, it's also a special moment between you and your daughter that neither of you will ever forget. 

6. Travel With the Bride to the Wedding

Once the reveal has taken place, you’ll then travel with the bride to the wedding. This is a special moment in the wedding day. It’s just you and your daughter and is an opportunity to share a heartfelt moment together before she arrives at the venue.

You get the chance to tell her how proud you are of her and how beautiful she looks. Take her mind of nerves with some funny stories or wise advice. Make sure the photographer gets lots of photos of the two of you in the car together.

As well as sharing a special moment together, practically, it’s your job to get her to the wedding on time so don’t forget to make sure the cars are ready to go, everyone knows their timings and help the bride and her dress in and out of the cars.

7. Walk The Bride Down the Aisle

a father giving his bride away at her wedding at the top of the altar

This is the duty you’ve probably pictured yourself doing since your daughter was a little girl. It’s one of the most important roles of the whole day. Make sure to rehearse in advance so you know when to make your entrance, the speed to walk down the aisle, and where to sit when it’s done. If your daughter is wearing a veil, practise lifting it – it’s not as easy as it looks!

8. Sit on the Top Table

Though the arrangements might be slightly different if the couple are having to seat divorced or separated parents, the bride’s father will almost always sit at the top table (if there is one). This father of the bride role is easy – just sit back and take it all in, whilst getting ready to give your speech... 

READ MORE: The Best Wedding Toasts

9. Give The Father of the Bride Speech

The father of the bride speech kicks off the wedding speeches, and is traditionally followed by the groom’s speech and best man’s speech.

The father of the bride speech should be warm, witty and memorable. You should thank your guests for coming, share amusing anecdotes about your daughter and use it as a chance to officially welcome her partner into your family. It doesn’t need to be a long speech, but make sure you’ve practised a lot and are comfortable with it.

It can be a little daunting but we have lots of great example father of the bride speeches that you can use as a template or to inspire you.

READ MORE: Wedding Speech Order Explained

10. Host The Reception

everyone raising their glasses to a toast to the happy couple at a wedding breakfast

Being part of the receiving line is a great way to greet all the guests as they enter the reception and traditionally, it is hosted by the couple’s parents. As father of the bride you and your partner will start the line, followed by the newlyweds and your daughter's partner's parents. It’s a lovely way to chat to all your guests, but it’s not as common at weddings as it once was.

11. Take Part In the Father-Daughter Dance

A wonderful tradition in any wedding is the father-daughter dance and it’s a moment you’ll both remember forever. Choose a song that has meaning to both of you and make sure to practise your dance ahead of time – you don’t need to go fancy with your moves, just be relaxed. It’s a chance for a few minutes of quality time with your daughter on her wedding day.

READ MORE: Perfect Song Ideas For Your Father-Daughter Dance

12. Close Off the Celebrations

A groom and his father and mother of the groom

At the end of the night, the father of the bride should make sure the event is wrapped up. Check vendors have been paid, everything is cleared away, and say goodbye to the guests as they depart.

Father of the Bride Duties After the Wedding

13. Help With the Thank You Cards

Post-wedding, there isn't a huge amount for you to do as the father of the bride, but if you hosted and co-paid for the wedding, the couple may want your hand in writing the thank you notes. It may be that certain relatives were invited on behalf of you and your partner as well as your daughter and her partner, so you may want to sign them off from you as well. 

If you’re welling up at the thought of your little girl getting married, then we’ve got some of the most perfect quotes for your father of the bride speech that will express how you feel.