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A Toast to the Father of the Bride.

Whenever a potential new client walks in the door with mom AND dad in tow, it absolutely makes my day. I think it’s just awesome when a bride wants to include dad in the wedding plans and even more awesome when dad wants to be included. Most dads bring a fun dynamic to the table, and are surprisingly full of great ideas (and lots of bad jokes J).


In honor of Father’s Day, I’d like to urge you brides out there to think about including Dad in your day beyond the stereotypical use of his checkbook. Now, not every dad is right for this part. Some dads really don’t want to mess with all that “girl stuff,” but there are a lot of men out there who love to help with things like picking out the dress, sampling the cake and choosing the music. Even if he doesn’t seem that interested, odds are your dad has a talent we can put to good use. If he’s like most of the old softies I meet, he’d do just about anything for his little girl (and deep down he’ll love you for asking).


So about those talents. You might not think your dad has much to contribute, but let’s go outside the box here. Maybe your dad knows how to weld? Can he build stuff? Is he tech savvy? Can he play an instrument? Is he a great public speaker? A good writer? Does your dad love organization? Is he the life of the party? Maybe he’s a foodie—or even better—maybe he’s an amazing chef or grill master? Perhaps he loves to golf? Or he’s into classic cars? Think about the things your dad is good at and really loves to do. Those are the skills that can help make your day even more special.


Because there are a lot of non-traditional families out there, I want to quickly touch on including stepdads in the wedding plans. Depending on dynamics, some brides are just as close to their stepdads than their actual dads. It can be a real source of stress, even if both “dads” get along. As a wedding planner I always try to find solutions to help ease that stress. If you want to include both dads without hurting feelings, the most important thing to do is communicate. Be gentle but honest in how they will each be included in your day. They should both get equal flowers and wear similar outfits. Maybe you will have them both walk you down the aisle. Maybe you split the father-daughter dance 50/50 or maybe each of them gets his own song with you. Make sure you allow them each to give a special toast. If you choose to walk down the aisle with your real dad, maybe your step-dad is a reader in your wedding. There are a lot of options for including ALL the important people in your life, sometimes you just need to be creative. But no matter how you do it, be sure you communicate your plans early.


On a final note, I will admit that nothing messes with my mascara quite like seeing a father cry as he gives away the bride. It is extremely touching and speaks volumes about a daughter and her daddy. This kind of love is exactly why I encourage you to make Dad part of wedding plans and not just part of the wedding day. You’ll never regret it.


Happy Father’s Day to all those fabulous dads out there, including mine. You will always be the guy who loved me first.



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