Your wedding isn’t just a huge day for you – it’s a monumental day for your dad as well. For many fathers out there, the realization that their little girl is actually getting married is quite an emotional rollercoaster. They may be thrilled, but there’s almost always a little bit of sadness too, seeing their daughter grown up after all these years.
Including your dad in your big day will help ease this transition and leave him feeling important. Whether you’re setting up a huge, extravagant event or planning your wedding on a budget, here are 8 ways you can bring your father or father figure into your celebration from the start.
1. Ask His Opinion
Too often, dads get left out of the planning right away, because wedding planning is a time-honored mother daughter tradition. But think about it – why do we leave them out when they have just as much experience as our mothers in many ways? Your dad has likely attended plenty of weddings in his life, and can offer valuable insight. Give him a chance – he’ll appreciate the gesture at the very least!
Ask your dad for his thoughts on things from the rehearsal dinner to the reception – even get his input on decor. You might be surprised at the suggestions he has to offer, and he’ll feel more involved immediately. He might not admit it, but he’ll be elated knowing it was him who suggested Mason jars for the centerpieces.
2. Put Emphasis on the Father Daughter Dance
Do you already have the perfect first-dance song chosen for you and your beau? Excluding the first dance, the father-daughter dance is generally next in terms of significance. This is a natural way to bring your father into your wedding planning. If you’re embracing this tradition for your big day, start discussing the topic with your father now. For instance, you can begin by getting his input on the song selection.
Maybe he’s interested in preparing a choreographed dance ahead of time to wow the other guests at the reception? The two of you could even take a ballroom workshop class, which is a fun way to improve your dancing skills and spend some quality time together. Plus, his date will appreciate his improved dancing prowess. It’s a win-win for all involved.
3. Delegate Hosting Duties to Him
Your wedding day is likely going to be one of the most hectic days of your life. All attention will be on you – from friends and family to caterers and musicians. Not to mention, you’ll be fielding questions from all over the place because (as the bride) you’ll be operating as the de facto hostess. In sum, there’s simply a lot to do in a limited timeframe.
Instead of stressing yourself out dealing with how to be the perfect party host, appoint your dad as host of the event. Let everyone know that if they have questions (where’s the bathroom? What time is cake?) that he’s the man to turn to. Dads love being right, and they love answering questions. It’s a perfect fit.
4. Involve Him Somewhere During the Speeches
It’s a treasured tradition for the father of the bride to give a toast. Of course, you should let your dad carry on with this tradition. But often the bride and groom have a chance to say a few words to their guests as well. When you make your speech, be sure to thank your dad and all your family who were involved in making your wedding day such a truly special occasion.
5. Help the Out-of-Towners
Your wedding is an important occasion, and it’s likely that many guests are traveling to your venue from out of town. If you’re planning a destination wedding, there is even more to take into account, because everyone will be traveling. Since they’re coming to an unfamiliar city, your guests will need to know the best places to eat, sleep, and entertain themselves; particularly if they arrive early.
Let your dad oversee selecting activities for the out-of-towners. He can provide a range of options based on his research and experience, plus he will have the chance to tell them how to save on a rental car (or the best way to get around town, at least). Dads love that stuff. Plus, he really will have a good idea of what people, particularly families, will want to do in the lead-up to your wedding.
6. Give Him Meal-Planning Duties
If you’re having a get-together the day after the wedding, why not let your dad plan it? He can select a great brunch restaurant or purchase all the supplies for a meal at home. If he’s a typical dad, he will somehow fill your car with gas while he plans, even though you’re not quite sure how he got your keys.
Let your dad be the grand marshal of the rehash-the-bash parades the next morning, so you can sleep in. Planning group outings can be tough, and this way you don’t have to answer 50 confused text messages as the group struggles to stick to one scheduled meal time. It’s all up to your dad!
7. Let Dad Handle the Payroll
You’ve carefully planned your wedding budget, and most of your vendors will likely have been paid in advance. But there may still be tips to provide or other bills to pay on-site. You don’t want to have to deal with that while you could be having fun, so let your dad take care of everything.
He will ensure everything is paid, and that no one tries to overcharge you. Just make sure he knows the details before you set him loose with your cash. And please, tell him he’s not allowed to haggle.
8. Make Him the Timekeeper
He’s spent years hustling you out the door to various events. He’s dropped you off at the airport 4 hours before your flight time, and he’s always worried you might not make it through security in time. Who better to oversee the timing of your big day (or even put together a comprehensive wedding timeline in advance)?
Often everything must be timed down to a science. There are a lot of entrances and exits, and people need to be in certain positions at certain times. Have your dad create an official schedule, and tell him to make sure everyone else sticks to it. It will prevent his nerves from taking over while he keeps everyone else in line.
Conclusion – Reinforce Your Love for Him
On your wedding day, among everything that’s going on, make sure to take a moment and let your dad know how much he means to you. Thank him in your speech, thank him in person, and thank him in a handwritten letter so he can hold onto it forever. You love him, and there’s no better time to let him know how much you care.
Do you have any great suggestions for getting the father of the bride involved in the wedding process? We’d love to hear from you! Never tired of wedding-related content? Enjoy our Facebook and Pinterest pages at your leisure – they’re chock-full of beautiful images, sweet videos, and heartwarming stories.