Worried about your dad's wedding speech? Here's some top advice from Speechy

‘The Speech Surgery’ with Heidi Ellert McDermott, founder of Speechy & author of ‘The Modern Couple’s Guide to Wedding Speeches

man in a suit giving a speech Credit: Photo by Victor Rodvang on Unsplash

My dad is prone to 'dad-jokes'. Any tips I can give him to ensure I'm not cringing on my wedding day?

Ultimately, you can't control what comes out of people's mouths on the day, no matter how much you'd like to. All you can do is sit back, drink the Champagne and hope they say vaguely nice things about you.

That said, you can definitely nudge your dad in the right direction. There's lots of good advice out there but there's also plenty of terrible advice; so first things first, tell your dad straight... AVOID THE GOOGLE GAGS AND THE CHEESY WEDDING JOKES. Yes, a nice generic ice-breaker can be tempting but it's likely to be greeted by forced smiles (or groans) rather than genuine laughter.

At Speechy, we believe that all great speeches have good story-telling at the heart of them. So instead of hunting down one-liners, encourage your dad to simply tell his favourite stories. Remind him that he can call on your mum or siblings for help with content and constructive feedback, and send him links to lots of various speech examples to get his brain thinking. There's also plenty of great father of the bride speech videos you can point him to on YouTube – or have a read of some of our examples (link below). Feel free to share some of Speechy's comedy guidelines with him. For example...

  • Avoid anything edgy - Think Chris Rock at the Oscars. It's just not worth the risk. Some punchlines ain't worth the punch.
  • Keep it clean – Seems obvious but sometimes even the fathers can go rogue.
  • Don't mention exes – No matter how ripe the material
  • Keep it short – If it takes too long to get to the laugh, drop it. Jokes are funnier the punchier they are.
  • Any of the old wedding gags – 'Without all of you here today, it wouldn't have been the same... but it would have been cheaper.' 'Let me tell you that is not the first time today I have risen from a warm seat with a bit of paper in my hand.' And so on. Basically, if the joke could be used in someone else's wedding speech, it probably shouldn't be in yours.
And that's the key – your dad needs to find the fun to found in your real-life reality, rather than trying to find it online! Affectionate teasing is welcomed but internet jokes aren't!

Find more inspiration at www.speechy.com/father-of-the-bride-speech-examples

Missed our first Speechy series of columns, find more here.

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