Your daughter’s significant other has popped the question, and the thing that strikes fear in your heart isn’t the cost of the wedding but the father of the bride speech you’re expected to give at the wedding reception. It’s got to be endearing and heartfelt, with a dash of humor, all without putting the guests to sleep. 

Read on for how to craft a speech that will keep your wedding guests engaged with funny one-liners, emotional quotes, and do’s and don’ts.

What are Father of the Bride Speech Icebreakers?

Father of the bride speech icebreakers is the introductory remarks the father of the bride uses to toast to his daughter and her new spouse during the wedding reception. These icebreakers can include jokes, quotes, or other phrases to hook the audience and warm them up.

The speech can be a wonderful gift to the happy couple. A good speech is a memorable one (for all the right reasons), humorous, engaging, and may even evoke a few tears.

Special Note: If you are teasing your daughter in your speech or with a one-liner below, be sure to run it by her, so she is comfortable with it.

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The 35 Best Father of the Bride Jokes, Quotes, and Icebreakers

Before putting pen to paper on your speech outline, check out these jokes, quotes, and icebreakers and find one or several that you’d like to incorporate or modify for your daughter’s special event. After all, who can resist a dad joke? Done well, it will result in laughter and put everyone at ease.

  1. Good evening, I’m [your name]. I hope you know who I am, but if you don’t, I’m offended.
  2. I prepared a hilarious wedding speech… but as I’ve learned over my 35 years of marriage, a happy wife makes a happy life, so I’m reading this one instead.
  3. Although we love [bride] very much, we definitely won’t miss her singing in the shower every morning. Good luck, [Groom/Partner]!
  4. [Bride] told me not to have a drink before the speech, so I apologize if I seem in a rush to get to the end!
  5. I want to pause and truly enjoy this moment. After all, it’s the only five minutes that [Bride] couldn’t plan and has no control over!
  6. Welcome everyone to my daughter’s wedding. No matter what papers she signed today, I hope I’ll always be the most important man in her life.
  7. Hello all, I’m [name]. I hope you know who I am, but if you don’t, congratulations for sneaking into such an expensive meal unnoticed.
  8. Never ever discount the idea of marriage. Sure, someone might tell you that marriage is just a piece of paper. Well, so is money, and what’s more life-affirming than cold, hard cash?
  9. [Bride] is funny, intelligent, kind, and good-looking, and you can clearly see where she gets all of those traits…
  10. Today is a momentous occasion– you’re about to witness the first and last time anyone ever trusts me to make a speech.
  11. In every marriage, it sometimes pays to be a little deaf.
  12. Thank you all for coming. It wouldn’t be the same without you, although it would be much cheaper.
  13. Love may be blind, but marriage is a real eye-opener.
  14. Today is a big day, and we all feel quite emotional. Trust me. I’m crying over the emotion and not the final bill.
  15. I love being married; I do. It’s so great to find that one special person that you want to annoy for the rest of your life.
  16. Agatha Christie once said, “An archaeologist is the best husband a woman can have; the older she gets, the more interested he is in her.” May you always dig my daughter.
  17. [Groom/Partner], here’s a tip for a blissful future. Remember that marriage is a union in which one person is always right, and the other is you.
  18. Giving my daughter away was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. As you know, I’m not a generous person!
  19. Husbands and wives are irritating. But without them, who would we blame for misplacing our socks?
  20. It’s been said that marriage is like wine. It keeps improving with age, so long as you put a cork in it!
  21.  [Groom/Partner], never criticize my daughter’s choices. Remember, you were one of them, after all!
  22. I’m sure we can all agree that today has been a fantastic, elegant event. I’m sorry to have to end that now with my speech.
  23. I married for love, but the obvious side benefit of having someone around to find my glasses cannot be ignored.
  24. [Bride] has always been generous. From the moment she could speak, she’d happily give her opinion to everyone.
  25. My daughter begged me not to embarrass her. So, that’s the end of my speech. Have a great evening!
  26. A wedding anniversary is a celebration of love, trust, partnership, tolerance, and tenacity. The order varies for any given year.
  27. Before you marry a person, you should first make them use a computer with slow internet to see who they really are.
  28. Honey, I just checked your Facebook page and noticed you hadn’t updated your name. Does that mean you’re keeping mine?
  29. It’s not uncommon to feel somewhat intimidated by the duties of the father of the bride. Thankfully, I’ve felt pretty relaxed because my wife’s so organized—from the suit rental, (check), to making sure I trimmed my beard, (check), to my speech. So, sweetie, can you give me my speech now?
  30. It’s been said that women subconsciously choose a husband that is the opposite of their fathers. But I just heard my wife describing our new son-in-law as funny, generous, and strong.
  31. This beautiful meal this evening is charged on a cost-per-head basis. So, I’d like to thank the following people for not coming…
  32. While I am confident of [Groom] ‘s qualities as a husband, I’m still not sure about him as a son-in-law. The jury is still out. Will he come over every weekend, or will I still have to mow the lawn and wash the car myself?
  33. Weddings are a marvelous excuse for a celebration, and today is no exception. It’s lovely to celebrate [Bride] and [Groom/Partner] along with the grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, and a few others I recognize.
  34. I’m sure we all agree that [Bride] looks stunning today in her gorgeous white gown. And [Groom/Partner], well, what can we say about him in that dapper suit? It reminds me of the tale about a little girl who, attending a wedding for the first time, asked her mother why the bride was wearing white. The mother told her white was the color of happiness, and today was the happiest day of her life. The girl thought for a moment, then asked, “So why does the man wear black?”
  35. I’d like to wrap up by saying that we are so delighted to welcome into our family two very kind people not yet mentioned, but without whom [Groom/Partner] wouldn’t be here. No, I don’t mean the best man and the Uber driver, but [Groom/Partner] ‘s parents, who have already become dear friends.

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Father Of The Bride Speech Template

A killer father of the bride speech has five components—a great intro, remarks about the bride, comments about the groom (or partner), advice about marriage, and a fabulous toast. Clink! Congratulations, you’ve done it!

Nail the intro

Welcome the guests and let them know how thrilled you are to have them there to celebrate this union.

Rather than “Hello, I’m Bob, and I’m Julia’s father,” try something like this: “Good evening, our lovely bride Julia calls me Dad—to my face, at least, but you can call me Bob. Joan and I, along with Derek’s parents, are so pleased you have made the journey to be here, regardless of whether it’s simply to see Derek in a suit or for a fabulous free meal. Welcome.”

Starting this way eases you into public speaking and sets the tone for the rest of the speech. Learn more great tips about How to Start a Speech

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Gush about the bride

Now is the place to pull in a few funny and poignant memories of your daughter. As one of the people who has known her the longest, you get to share some insights about her and her impact on your life.

Talk about how you felt when she was born, the first time a boy looked at her, or the day she got her first job. Mention what she does that makes you proud now and any relevant stories about her as an adult.

Also, take a moment to recognize your wife’s role in raising your daughter to be the beautiful woman she has become. Share a common trait you love about both of them. Tie your daughter’s spouse into the story by remarking about how you hope they will cherish this trait as much as you do.

  • [Groom/Partner], I know [Bride] will be an amazing wife to you—loving, committed, and adventurous. And I know that because she’s learned from the best, her mother, who is still making me smile after 40 years.
  • Despite having 29 years to prepare for this day, I am speechless at how she glows with the love you share and how much it reminds me of her mother, with whom I’ve shared this same, deep love for 35 years.
  • [Bride], when you and I shared that moment earlier, right before I walked you down the aisle—know that it is a moment I will cherish forever. 

Special Note: Try to avoid using basic adjectives like sweet, nice, or lovely. Instead, use stories. Check out more tips on this in our How to Give an Awesome Toast article.

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Talk about her spouse kindly.

After you gush about your daughter, you want to mention her new spouse. Welcoming them is an integral part of melding them into your family.

Feel free to incorporate some humor here as well. Talk about the first time you met him, how he changed your daughter’s life, a funny story about how they met, your early impressions of him, or how nervous he was when he sought your blessing.

  • No amount of preparation can ever leave you feeling ready to give your daughter away, but if I had to choose a person to hand her to, I would choose you every time.
  • [Groom/Partner], welcome to our family. Over the time we’ve known you, we’ve come to think of you as the son we never asked for.
  • Of all the amazing qualities you possess [Groom/Partner], my favorite is that you make my daughter shine.
  • It’s now when I’m supposed to officially welcome [Groom/Partner] into our family, but the truth is you’ve been a part of this family since the day we met you.

As with your daughter, don’t say anything that would be too awkward, uncomfortable, or embarrassing. This person may be the parent of your future grandchild!

Mention the partner’s parents and how happy you are to have them joining your family and you, theirs. Thank them for sharing the big day and congratulate them on the fine job they did raising their daughter’s new spouse.

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Offer advice on marriage

Once you’ve acknowledged your daughter, her partner, and the families, it’s time to share a piece of advice. This can be done in several ways, depending on your situation.

If you’ve had a long marriage, find an inspirational nugget you can share about the journey, acknowledging the wonderful and challenging times. Pass on a piece of advice you were given at your wedding or a secret to your successful marriage.

  • May your love be modern enough to adjust as times change and old-fashioned enough to last forever.
  • [Bride] and [Groom/Partner], your life together is just starting, and it will take many turns along the way. You will have glory days and those you’ll prefer to forget. However, you will have all you need if you have each other.
  • We don’t know what your future holds. But, whatever happens, and wherever you go, your mother and I know you’ll always have each other’s love, and you’ll always have ours.
  • [Bride and Groom/Partner], as you enter this new phase of your journey, it’s worth bearing in mind that neither of you will ever be perfect, but you can be perfect together.

If you’ve never been married or have had ugly divorces, look for wisdom from others or a funny quote about what not to do (without criticizing anyone.)

  • One piece of advice I wish I would have listened to and now want to pass on to you is: “Whenever you’re wrong, admit it. Whenever you’re right, shut up.”
  • I polled my friends who have been married for over ten years, and they all agreed that the key to a successful marriage is…
  • Your great-grandparents were married for 67 years. They said the secret to their success was loving peace more than being right.
  • Always remember the most important three words for a successful marriage: “You were right.”

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Nail the toast

A strong toast wraps the speech up like a beautiful bow on the gift. Make sure your guests know exactly what you want them to do. Otherwise, your speech may fall like a deflated balloon.

  • They say it’s not a miracle that two people are different, but it is a miracle that they can live together so happily. Live miraculously, our dear newlyweds!
  • Rumor has it that in a perfect family, the wife does not pay attention to where the money comes from, and the husband does not notice where it is going. May you live perfectly!
  • May the two of you be poor in misfortune and rich in blessings. Here is to a beautiful wedding day and an even more amazing marriage.
  • Today, we wish you happiness. May the Lord protect you from the storm and bad weather, bad people, pain and illness, and hardships. May God grant you a lot of passion, ardor, and love. And a lot of happiness!
  • May your troubles be few and your blessings many.
  • Your wedding day will come and go, but may your love forever grow. May the love and happiness you feel today shine through the years.
  • Wishing you joy, love, and happiness on your wedding day and as you begin your new life together. Thank you for letting us share on this joyful day.
  • May your marriage always bring glory to God, joy to one another, and blessings to your family for many generations to come. May love and laughter fill your hearts and your home for all the days of your lives. May you face every challenge hand-in-hand and side-by-side, knowing that with God’s grace, you’ll conquer all obstacles together. May the world forever be a better place because the two of you fell in love.

For more amazing tips on giving an incredible wedding toast or speech, read our advanced guide. 

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What to Say in a Father of the Bride Speech (Dos and Don’ts)

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Do

  • Ask for help. Before you even think about writing your first draft, it helps to brainstorm with a few key people. Ask your wife, the bride’s mother, her siblings, or close family friends to reminisce about your daughter. Look through photo albums to be reminded of the key moments or hilarious stories you may have forgotten.
  • Incorporate humor. Find a humorous quote even if you’re not naturally known for your sense of humor. Laughter is always a great way to bring people together.
  • Evaluate your adjectives. Nearly every father would say their daughter is beautiful, amazing, and kind, but what sets your daughter apart? Think about what makes her unique and show the audience why she is kind or beautiful.
  • Seek your daughter’s input. Ask your daughter if there’s anyone special she would like you to mention. She may not think to say it, but she will appreciate that you asked and the time and thought you’re putting into your speech.
  • Create bullet points. Most people don’t relish speaking in front of a bunch of people, particularly on a momentous occasion. Creating notecards of bullet points can help you feel more comfortable.
  • Speak from the heart rather than reading from a script. The more fluid and off-the-cuff you can be, the better.
  • Practice. Practice. Practice. This is not a time to wing it! Professional speakers know that the secret to a successful speech is to be comfortable with the material. The same is true with father of the bride speeches and toasts. Give your speech in front of your wife or good friend. Practice it in front of the mirror until you are really confident.

If you’re one of the nearly 30 percent of Americans who is “afraid or very afraid” of public speaking, dive into the research-backed public speaking tips to have the confidence you need on this special day.

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Don’t

  • Ramble. As the father of the bride, you’ll likely have 3-10 minutes for your speech. Practice your stories to ensure you can tell them succinctly in that time frame, noting that it’s easy to ramble when you’re nervous.
  • Forget to smile! This is, after all, a wonderful day, and you want your face to reflect the joy you are feeling.
  • Forget to introduce your wife. She has been a part of your daughter’s story and has likely put a lot of work into this day as well. Appreciate that effort and tell her that you love her as much today as you did on your wedding day.
  • Embarrass your daughter (or her spouse!) Stick to stories that are meaningful and humorous without being embarrassing to her or her new spouse. If you’re unsure, ask her about including the story.
  • Mention any exes. There is almost no reason that the exes’ names should be stated during this event celebrating new love.
  • Be generic. Instead of saying, “Julia is my oldest daughter” or “I am the father of the bride,” try this: “The first time I saw her face, I knew I could never fall out of love, wrinkles and all. Holding her in that hospital room, just after she was born….”
  • Make the speech about you. Remember, this day is about your daughter and the person she loves. When reviewing your speech, look for places where you use “I” or “me” and where you say “she” or “her” or your daughter’s name. If it’s more about you and less about her, revise it to make your daughter the focus. This day is all about her.
  • Curse. Just don’t do it. Even if there aren’t children on the guest list, a conservative Aunt Betty or another guest may be offended.
  • Forget your glass. At the end of your speech, you will want to have a glass for your toast. If you have an opportunity to practice holding it while you deliver your remarks, it will feel more natural when the big day arrives.

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How to End a Speech: My Favorite Closers

Do you know how to end on a high? Leave a lasting impression in your presentation? Science tells us that the first and last part of your presentations are the most important. Get our FREE download to get our closer guide.

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Remember Your Body Language

Finally, don’t forget your nonverbal body language. Here are 3 tips from How to Give an Awesome Toast: Advanced Strategies for Speeches.

  • Claim the stage. Confident body language is about taking up space  Plant both feet (don’t stand like you have to go pee), roll your shoulders back (don’t look like a turtle), and keep your torso un-blocked  (See the next point—you should be using your hands, not hiding them!)
  • Can you embellish your stories with hand gestures, reenactments, or voices? The audience loves this. There is no such thing as too corny in a toast.
  • When you make a joke, laugh with the audience. Smile when you get on stage or say sweet things about the toastee. It will warm you up and help with your nerves.

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Best Father of the Bride Speech Examples

YouTube is an excellent source of inspiration for touching and funny reception speeches.

If you’re more of a man of action than words, check out this father’s “speech.” One of the most unique and creative online.

This father sure knows how to start the audience off laughing. Thankfully, the bride is laughing, too.

This beautiful video hits all the highlights of a touching and memorable speech from a father to a daughter. Get out your tissues.

Don’t miss this classic Saturday Night Live interpretation of the father of the Bride movie. 

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Make Great Conversation

After you’re done with your speech, what next? You’ll likely have time to converse with everyone at the event. This is where your interpersonal skills can truly shine! Take your conversations to the next level by learning how to make great conversation—and make boring, awkward conversations a thing of the past.

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Key Takeaways

  • Honor your daughter and her spouse. This is their special day, and you want to make it memorable and emotional for all the right reasons.
  • Take this seriously. A lot of time, money, and effort has gone into this celebration. Your daughter will appreciate the sentiment and energy you spend crafting the father of the bride speech.
  • Authenticity takes the day. While you may be afraid of becoming too emotional or not delivering the speech perfectly, your daughter wants you to be the dad she loves and will be grateful for the kind words, humor, and wisdom you offer as she enters her marriage.
  • Enjoy the celebration. A wedding day is a big event for the whole family. Take time to appreciate the gifts you have in them, and step back to reflect on the impact.

Get more great wedding tips with our insightful guide for the best man‘s speech.

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