How to write a father-of-the-bride toast

The father-of-the-bride toast has become a big deal. It rivals the best man’s toast in importance, and has the emotional potential to steal the show. It depends on what you say, and how you say it.

In the video tutorial above, professional speech writer, Lawrence Bernstein, spells out the elements involved in writing a father-of-the-bride toast.

How to write a father-of-the-bride toast

• Nothing beats preparation. Start early so you have plenty of time to polish your toast, both in terms of writing and the delivery.

• Don’t feel you have to make your toast long. Mr. Bernstein says that five minutes is better than twenty minutes. Our experience is that three minutes is better than five minutes, as the Dad below demonstrates in his touching, but brief, toast. Brevity is the key.

• Writing the father-of-the-bride toast and delivering it go hand-in-hand. You’re probably best to have it scripted, as you can see in the toast that follows. And yet know it inside out so you can express it naturally. The Dad below refers to his script without simply reading through it. He delivers it naturally and tenderly. Well done, Dad!

• Balance your speech with the things you must say with the things you might want to say. For example, you should welcome your guests, acknowledge your wife, welcome the new family, say something about the new son-in-law, and talk about the bride, your daughter.

• Think through your style. Should it be emotional or a stand-up routine? Mr. Bernstein suggests something in the middle. We recommend plenty of emotion, with a little levity thrown in. It’s harder to be funny than feeling.

• Along those lines, don’t bore your guests by recounting your daughter’s resume. Rather, talk about values, emotions, and hobbies. Is there a funny anecdote from your daughter’s childhood that is relevant to her relationship with you? That’s the kind of stuff that hits pay dirt.

The dad in the video below did it right. His toast is tight. His delivery is emotive, yet controlled. He hits all the right emotional notes to unite his guests in honoring his daughter and her new husband.

You can do it, too.

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