So your dear son is about to get married, and it is now your role and responsibility to give the perfect father of the groom speech. As a devoted father, you in all likelihood regard this task with equal measures of excitement, anticipation, thoughtfulness….and out and out fear.
You don’t particularly like public speaking on a regular basis, and you really don’t cherish the concept of sharing your most sentimental memories and most tender thoughts and feelings with the large group of people set to assemble for your son’s wedding.
Most of all, you don’t want to embarrass your son on the best day of his life. You want him to be proud of dear old dad; not to be sinking beneath the reception table in a keen fit of embarrassment, or disrupting your umpteenth anecdote about his embarrassing karaoke date with a former girlfriend with a loud cry of, “Thanks, Dad, that will be all! All right then, who’s up for some cake?!”
Indeed, you want your son, his new wife, his ever devoted mother, and all others in attendance to take great pride in your father of the groom speech; to laugh, to cry, to bask in good memories, and to look forward to the incredible days of hope, happiness and prosperity that are referenced and promised within the speech.
No pressure there, right? Are you quite ready to gift your son and future daughter in law a beribboned ladder and a trip to Las Vegas as engagement gifts, thus encouraging them to elope?
Now hold on a minute. It is not impossible, or even that difficult, to deliver a winning and top quality father of the groom speech; one that is both moving and motivational, intelligent and inspirational, lovely and loving, happy and happen, as the kids today would say.The first step in creating and delivering a successful father of the groom speech is to approach this speech with the right frame of mind; remembering your role in the wedding at all times. As mentioned earlier, you do not want to embarrass your son—but you also do not want to upstage him. Be sure to deliver a quality and dynamic speech, but not one that will upstage your son. You are not the star of the grand show that is your son’s wedding; he is.
So what exactly is your role in the day’s festivity? You are there to support your son the groom; and when one thinks about it, this is the same role that you have played throughout the course of your life—and his.You held him in your fraternal embrace when he was newly born; and when he played his first little league ballgame, you supported him through your hugs and cheers. When he graduated high school and college, you expressed your support through endless praise and elaborate gifts.
And on this, the day of his wedding, you will stage the ultimate show of your fatherly support, in the form of your wedding speech.You want him to know, first and foremost, that you are incredibly proud of him on this, the day of his wedding. Shower compliments on him and the bride that reference the present, the past and the future.
In reference to the present, talked about what a handsome and stately groom he makes, what a beautiful and elegant bride he married, and how well the two conducted themselves during their beautiful, successful ceremony.
Referencing the past, talk about how far the bride and groom have come since their early days of courtship. Tell the crowd how ideally suited the couple seemed to be from the very beginning, throwing in some relevant anecdotes regarding their dating life. This could be a humorous story about how nervous your son was before his first date with his dream girl (who hopefully was the bride), a touching story of the time that they collaborated on a major community service project, or a fairy tale-style narrative of how stunning the couple looked the night that they were elected king and queen of the prom—or, for that matter, how important and officious they appeared on the day of their college graduation. In other words, give the audience a brief history of this couple, and how they came to be one.
Then bring this same audience into the future, expressing all of your hopes, plans and dreams for this couple during the coming years. This may be easier said than done, as only you know and can successfully convey the grand hopes and fondest wishes that you have for the future of your son and his wife. You might even want to ask your wife for her advice on what to say (as you probably consult her on a regular basis about the words that come out of your mouth—or at least you should); remember, though, that she has to prepare and recite her own mother of the groom speech. Ultimately, your speech will only be successful if you share your own personal dreams and goals for the future of your son and his wife.
Would you like to see them have children? Succeed at business? Journey to exotic destinations? Share a beautiful home together? Do meaningful volunteer work that benefits their community, state and world? You probably want to see all of these objectives realized in the lives of your precious son and daughter in law; so let them know specifically what you wish for them–while stopping short, of course, of giving them direct orders such as, “Your mother and I want some grand kids pronto; so get to work!”
Let your son and his wife know that, no matter what they choose and choose not to do with their lives, your only and ultimate wish is for their happiness. And if they choose to get so rich that they can support you in your old age and throw in some adorable grand kids for good measure, then all the better!
Although your father of the groom speech should stand as a glowing tribute to your son and his wife, also remember that this is your opportunity to pay divine respects to the dear friend and treasured family member you know as your son. This is also your last opportunity to talk to your son, man to man, before he ventures off to start a family of his own.
With this in mind, be sure to talk to your son, and not at him, during the course of your speech. Although you are indeed standing on a pedestal before him at the reception table, you should make your comments warm and conversational; again, always remembering that this is his day, not yours.
In planning this portion of your speech, you must ask yourself a single crucial question: “If someone asked me to describe my son, just what would you tell them?” You probably wouldn’t mention the traffic ticket he got in college, or the cute first date he shared with a middle school classmate who probably wasn’t the bride.
Instead you want to first state all of the special attributes that make your son special, then back them up with positive and sometimes humorous stories that illustrate each of the qualities stated. To show the crowd that your son is intelligent and successful, talk about just how well he does his chosen job, whatever it may be, and how far he has come since being the scrappy kid that you took to ballgames on Saturday afternoons. These stories will be particularly appreciated by the parents of the bride, who will know that they are leaving their daughter in the very best hands.
To show the crowd a glimpse into your son’s kind nature, talk of the time he organized a community volunteer project; or, less dramatically, about the sweet smile and kind ear he lends to everyone he meets.
Regardless of the specific anecdotes that you share, be sure to balance the funny with the sweet, the inspiring with the refreshingly down to earth. Present a portrait of your son the groom that is positive and affirming, but at the same time accessible and realistic.
And as much time as you spend talking about your son, be sure to spend just as much if not more time talking to him. Be sure to express great pride in how well he presented himself—and, for that matter, represented the family—that day at the wedding. Tell him how proud he makes you every day, and how you managed to raise a son, a best friend, and a personal hero—all of whom assume the embodiment of one special person. Furthermore, communicate your fondest wishes for his own family and their future. Above all, tell him that you love him, more and more each day.
For more information about how to give a moving and memorable Father of the Groom speech, please click here and find out about a great speech pack that can help you give the ultimate oratory; one your son and other guests will always remember.